The story of Ruth is set during the time of the book of Judges. It involves no famous events or great people. Even the setting--Bethlehem--was, back then, just an obscure farming community. But this story sows the seeds of Bethlehem's future royal connections and--later still--its fame as the birthplace of God's Messiah.
In this historic account, we'll see the hidden hand of God working in the lives of ordinary people: transforming bitterness into joy; liberating a community to reach out to an enemy; working out God's great plan to redeem people from all nations through His promised Savior-King.
As we'll discover, this small book contains some massive Bible truths...
Read Ruth 1 v 1-2
- - What period of Israel's history are we in (v 1)?
We're in "the land" God gave His people. But it's not a time of blessing--this was a period when God's people rejected Him, acting more and more like the nations around them. Now there was a famine...
- - How did Elimelech respond to the famine? Why, do you think?
Read Deuteronomy 32 v 15-18, 23-24, 36-39
"Jeshurun" is another name for Israel.
- - How should the people have understood this famine? How should they have responded?
Out of bounds
Read Deuteronomy 23 v 3-6
- - What was the problem with going to Moab?
The Moabites worshipped the false God Chemosh--human sacrifices were made to him. And during this time of Judges, Moab oppressed Israel for 18 years (Judges 3 v 12-14). It's not surprising that God commanded Israel as He did here.
Elimelech means "God is King," but he didn't act as if God is King. Bethlehem means "house of bread," but he looked elsewhere for material blessing--worse, he looked to Moab! Rather than following God's word and looking to God to help him through, Elimelech followed his own wisdom and looked to Moab.
- - Where is the Christian's "house of bread" to be found?
- - Elimelech turned away from God as bread-provider. What would it look like to be a spiritual Elimelech today?
- - How are you tempted to do this? Is there anything you need to change?
Thank God that Jesus is everything you need. Ask Him to help you live by that truth.
This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.
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