Book of Ruth: A Story of Redemption

book of ruth

The book of Ruth is the story of God’s grace in the midst of difficult circumstances. Ruth’s story occurred during the time of the judges – a period of disobedience, idolatry, and violence. Even in times of crisis and deepest despair, there are those who follow God and through whom God works. No matter how discouraging or antagonistic the world may seem, there are always people who follow God. He will use anyone who is open to him to achieve his purposes. Ruth was a Moabitess and Boaz was a descendant of Rahab, a former prostitute from Jericho. Nevertheless, their offspring continued the family line through which the Messiah came into the world.

When we first meet Ruth, she is a destitute widow.  We follow her as she joins God’s people, gleans in the grain fields, ricks her honor at the threshing floor of Boaz.  In the end, we see Ruth becoming the wife of Boaz.  What a picture of how we come to faith in Christ.  We begin with no hope and are rebellious aliens with no part in the kingdom of God.  Then as we risk everything by putting our faith in Christ, God saves us, forgives us, rebuilds our lives, and gives us blessings that will last through eternity.  Boaz’s redeeming of Ruth is a picture of Christ redeeming us.

Read this book and be encouraged. God is at work in the world, and he wants to use you. God could use you, as he used Naomi, to bring family friends to him.

Writer

The book is named for its main character, Ruth, a Moabite widow who married the Bethlehemite Boaz. She became an ancestor of King David and thus an ancestor of the Messiah (Matthew 1:1, 5-6). The writer of Ruth is never named in the Bible. According to rabbinic tradition, Samuel is the author. This is unlikely, however, since Samuel died before David actually became king, and Ruth implies that David’s kingship was an established fact at the time of writing.


The ESV Study Bible, Large Print edition features the content of the award-winning ESV Study Bible with a highly readable, large-print type. Extensive study notes, charts, maps, and articles make this study Bible a valuable resource for serious readers, students, and teachers of God’s Word.

Date Written

Sometime after the period of the judges (1375-1050 B.C.). The book could have been written any time after 1010 B.C. by an author using accurate oral or written material as historical sources.

Purpose of the Book of Ruth

To show how three people remained strong in character and true to God even when society around them was collapsing.

Historical Setting for the Book of Ruth

The events in the book occurred at a dark time in Israel’s history – “in the days when the judges ruled” (1:1), according to the historical introduction. This was a period of unrelieved chaos when the nation lapsed again and again into the worship of false gods.

Theological Contribution

Ruth’s life gives us a beautiful example of the providence of God. He brings Ruth to precisely the right field where she can meet Boaz, who will be her kinsman-redeemer. God is also portrayed in the book as the model of loyal and abiding love.


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