Note: At North Baptist Church we are currently on a 31 week journey through the entire Bible. Called The Story, this journey finds us discussing the same Bible passage in our personal reading time, the sermon, Adult Bible Fellowships, and Small Groups. I figured I would post a few thoughts each week as I go through my lesson prep.
In this week’s reading for The Story, the narrative zooms in to look at a single woman, Naomi, and the tragedies that affected her life. In this story we are introduced to Ruth, a foreigner living in Israel during the time of the judges. Even though the story is really about Naomi, Ruth seems to get most of the ink. At first glance this story causes us to ask many questions. Why does a foreigner get a whole book? Why is this book even in the Bible?
To answer those questions, we must see what purpose the book of Ruth holds in God’s redemption plan.
First, the book of Ruth shows that God doesn’t merely work on a national level, but is also concerned with people on a personal level. Ever since Egypt, the narrative seemed to focus on God speaking to the leaders (Moses, Joshua, etc.) While God doesn’t audibly speak in this book, we see his fingerprints all over it: the faithfulness of Ruth, the providence that brought Ruth to the field of Boaz, and the grace of Boaz. We see God impacting people on a personal level once again.
Second, we see that Ruth has a vital role in the genealogy of Christ. spoiler alert: at the end of Ruth, the reader discovers that Ruth is the great-grandmother of David, the Lord’s anointed. And of course in Matthew 1 we see David’s royal line continue all the way to Jesus, who is the true Messiah.
Third, we see a glimpse of what redemption looks like. Boaz redeems Ruth, saving her from a life of widowhood and the end of Naomi’s family name. This picture of selflessness is a shadow of our redemption by Christ on the cross. He redeemed us from the grasp of sin and death, and restored us into a relationship with God.
Join us this Sunday in ABF as we continue to see what implications Ruth’s story has on our lives today.
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