Ruth 1: "Return"
That we would see the utterly magnificent and intensely personal kindness of God
1. The context of the story: This story takes place during the time of the judges over Israel (see Judges 2), a low point in the history of Israel during which there was no leadership and the people were turning away from God. Will God be faithful to his promises to Abraham?
2. The bookends of the chapter: A departure takes place due to a famine at the beginning, and a return during the barley harvest takes place at the end. The whole story of the Bible is also a story of departure and return. Mankind departed from God in Genesis 3, and Revelation 21 describes the ultimate return of those who have received the gift of redemption to their God forever. In the middle, we have the story of how God provides a redeemer to make a way of return.
3. The responses of the two main characters: Naomi responds with bitterness to the events. Perhaps her intense preoccupation with her loss prevented her from seeing the bigger picture. Ruth, the outsider, responds with faith. She has become convinced that Yahweh is the one she will remain faithful to all the days of her life.
3 takeaways from Ruth 1
1. Let’s worship God for his desire that all peoples return to relationship with him (1 Peter 3:9).
2. Let’s worship God and thank him for how he continued to move the story of redemption forward.
3. Let’s consider Ruth’s and Naomi’s responses to difficult circumstances of life. May we not be consumed with bitterness but full of faith.
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