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The Book of Ruth Through Today's Lens

Last blog post, we looked at the story of Ruth through the lens of the author’s perspective. The author included the genealogy at the end of Ruth to tell the story of David’s lineage as the rightful king from the tribe of Judah sitting on the throne of Israel—fulfilling Jacob’s prophecy (Gen. 49:8-12). Though Ruth, Boaz, and Naomi didn’t know that their great-grandson David would be king, the writer of the Book of Ruth rejoiced to see that day!

In this final blog post through Ruth, we’re going to zoom the focus of our telescope all the way out as we view Ruth’s story from the perspective of our times. Normally, when one looks through a telescope from earth there’s atmospheric interference meaning that the further away we’re trying to see, the fuzzier the image becomes because we are looking through more atmosphere. However, the Hubble telescope being outside of earth’s atmosphere gets crisp, clear images. Interestingly, in our days looking far, far away to the time of the Book of Ruth, we can see more clearly the meaning of the events than they did! Why might that be? Because God has given us His word, His promises, His prophesies, and because Christ has already come, when we look back to God’s work in the OT, it’s clearer to us than to those who lived before Christ! After Christ was raised from the dead Luke 24:27 tells us, “Then beginning with Moses and with all the Prophets, He [Christ] explained to them the things written about Himself in all the Scriptures.” Through giving us His word, God removes the atmospheric midst and shows us what was and what is to come (think Revelation)! Studying Ruth in our day, we know more than Ruth and gang did and more than the author did in their days.

First, we know what Ruth and friends knew: God is our Provider and Sustainer. We can place our trust and hope in Him and His promises even when things look bleak! God cares for the lowly who take refuge under His wings. Secondly, we know what the author knew: God preserved the line of Judah and placed a godly king on the throne of Israel. God is keeping His promises to Israel through whom the nations of the world will be blessed (Gen. 12:1-4; 2 Sam. 7:1-29)! The author may not have known that later in history, during another terribly hard period, prophets would tell Israel that from Bethlehem in Judah a ruler would come who would sit on the throne of David forever and bring everlasting peace (Mic. 5:2-5; Isa. 9:6).

"From Bethlehem in Judah a ruler would come who would sit on the throne of David forever and bring everlasting peace (Mic. 5:2-5; Isa. 9:6)."

In our day, we know all these things, as well as that the promised King came and was rejected by the Jews. However, He inaugurated His kingdom and made a way for Jews and Gentiles alike to be part of His future rule and reign when He comes again. So, when we study the Book of Ruth, we too, are encouraged that God keeps all His promises. He works in the seemingly little things of life through humble people to accomplish His great purposes. He has given us the New Covenant in His blood for the forgiveness of sins and has shown us His future plans in the Book of Revelation. We can trust that what He has said will come to pass.

Ruth, Boaz, and Naomi are examples for us. Ruth was a woman and a Gentile—essentially an outsider. We have all experienced the pain of being an outsider. Additionally, you may have experienced the trauma of being a widower like Ruth, feeling the pain of loss and being alone. And like Ruth and Naomi your dreams may have been crushed or delayed. Yet, God worked in their everyday lives to redeem them in every way. Today, we know that God has redeemed our life from the pit through Jesus Christ. He has given us a righteous King who rules in our hearts at this time and with whom we will serve forever in His kingdom.

Collectively, as the body of Christ we know that God’s kingdom will come, and His will will be done. His Word, His truth is marching on. All that He has said will come to pass. The story of Ruth speaks through the telescope of time, brighter and brighter as the day of His return grows near. Hebrews 10:25 tells us to encourage “…one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near,” and that is what the Book of Ruth helps us to do!


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