The Book of Ruth Background Information
During the time of the Judges, a period of social and religious disorder when “everyone did whatever seemed right to him” (Judges 17:16)
Era bridged the time between the conquest of the land under Joshua and The Rise of King David (1150 BC-1100 BC)
After reading the book of Judges which paints a dark and depressing picture of Israel, Ruth is a welcome relief.
One of the five scrolls read during the Jewish festivals, in particular The Festival of Weeks.
- famine in the land of Moab
- Killed Naomi’s husband and two son’s (one being Ruth’s husband)
- Famine was also known as a natural disaster or a means of testing to strengthen the faith of the people of God
- Which in turn was a test of Naomi & Ruth’s heart
- Moab where they were, not in favor of the Promised Land
- During this time your husband was your voice
- Whatever was your husband’s if he passed went to the next male or next of kin
- (1:6)-God is still faithful to his people
- (1:8)-Naomi tries to send them back home. We see Naomi looking at the best interests of others. She had absolutely nothing to offer Ruth. This showed kindness and humility in Naomi’s heart.
- (1:9)-Despite emotions running high (weeping out loud) Naomi’s heart was still focused on others
- Naomi tells Ruth and Orpah to flee because she has nothing to offer (Remember your husband was your voice)
- She also feels like the Lord has turned against her
- They all weep together
~Have you ever been in a position where you did not understand why?
~Did you continue to trust in God’s promises or look at your circumstances?
- Ruth clings to Naomi (this shows empathy, sympathy, and kindness)
- Naomi demands them to leave
- Ruth, however, has a different plan. Ruth says with authority what seemed like wedding vows to her Mother-in-law.
- emotions are running high still
- “your God will be my God” (just after Naomi spoke of the Lord “turning against her…)
Lets Put Ourselves In Ruth’s Shoes
- Husband and father-in law just died in a famine
- Your voice in society was your husband (male)
- Weeping together with mother-in-law and sister-in-law
- Live in the land of the Moabites (not in favor of the Promised Land)
- Naomi feels the wrath of God BUT Ruth chooses to lay down her life for her mother-in-law (leaving everything she knows behind, including her beliefs)
- Ruth ultimately loses her life to find it
- heart of a servant
- has an attitude of determination
- bold and courageous
- a heroine
Heroine: an ordinary woman doing extraordinary things
- even though Naomi is still distressed we see later on that Ruth’s decision to follow God changed not only her future but her mother-in-law’s and future generations including our own
Ruth is a great great great……grandmother of King David. (See Matthew 1)
Take Away Questions:
- Have we ever felt like Naomi, where God’s discipline or test seems to be too much? (See Psalm 30:5)
- Are we willing to drop everything to follow the will of God? (Example: Ruth left everything she knew would you stay at Fort Polk or move across the country because God called you to?)
- How can we be like Ruth? (She was a heroine, but so are we. She sought out God’s will so should we. Read God’s Word. Be aware of the spiritual war we are in and fight!!)
- What are some qualities you admire about Ruth or Naomi?
- Are you in complete submission to God?
- Did you realize the choices you make now effect future generations?
~Later we will see the Lord’s favor not only upon Ruth, but Naomi and future generations because of the choice Ruth made to be obedient. She followed God’s plan instead of her own.~
“Don’t let your limited understanding of an unlimited God, limit his potential to equip you in the season you are in.”-Todd Lane