Ruth 1: A Faithful Remnant

This entry is part 146 of 162 in the series 365 Key Chapters of the Bible

The refrain of the book of Judges was that “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). It was a time of apostasy, warfare, decline, violence, moral decay, and anarchy.

The story of Ruth and Boaz takes place during the days of the judges and is a shining light amidst the darkness. It is a beautiful cameo of character, courage, and commitment, in which two people—Ruth and Boaz—sought what was right in the Lord’s eyes rather than their own.

An Unlikely Commitment

Ruth was a Moabite, not an Israelite. The Moabites were the descendants of Lot (Genesis 19:36–37) who worshiped pagan gods and would war against Israel on two separate occasions (Judges 3:12–30; 1 Samuel 14:47).

Nevertheless, Ruth chooses to cling to Israel and the God of Israel rather than her Moabite heritage. In so doing, she becomes a perfect contrast to the dark period of the judges.

In contrast to the immorality of the people in Judges, Ruth demonstrates fidelity, righteousness, and purity. Instead of their idolatry, Ruth commits herself to following the Lord. While disloyalty to God covers the pages of Judges, Ruth shows covenant loyalty to the Lord as well as to Naomi and Boaz. Her love, peace, and kindness stand out against the lust, warfare, and cruelty in Judges.

The disobedience of the people in Judges leads to continual strife and sorrow. But the story of Ruth shows the blessings God bestows on those who obey Him.

The Purpose of Ruth

The book of Ruth has several themes and purposes.

First, it demonstrates that Gentiles could believe in the God of Israel. This pointed forward to when Christ would graft the Gentiles into true Israel.

Second, Ruth reminds us that God always preserves a faithful remnant. If such a story of faithfulness came even in the dark days of the judges, how much more can we trust that God will preserve His remnant until the end?

Finally, the book of Ruth shows the divine origin of the Davidic kingdom. Ruth would become the great grandmother of King David. The unlikely events that led to her place in the messianic line shows how intricately God is involved in His plans for His people, even before they are born.

This teaching is based on Ken’s Handbook to Scripture

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