RUTH OVERVIEW

Tomorrow we will read the book of Ruth. It is only four chapters and is a wonderful read.

The author of the book is unknown. There are scholars who believe the Prophet Samuel wrote it, and others who believe there was no way he could have.

The book of Ruth was written to the Israelites during a very dark time in their history.  As I write this, we have just finished reading the book of Judges and saw how the Israelite Nation had all turned to idolatry, wickedness, self-centeredness, rebellion, and basically no relationship with God.  “Everyone did as he saw fit.”

Now we are about to begin the book of Ruth, which took place “In the days when the judges ruled” (1:1.) This book shows us there were still some people living for the Lord.  It was a book of HOPE for the Israelites.  Its main theme is REDEMPTION (and a foreshadow of Jesus.)

If you are like me, in my past readings of Ruth I saw it as a tender love story and one of deep respect for her mother-in-law.  OH BOY… was I ever in for a huge glorious surprise.

Without giving away all the secrets for our read tomorrow, I thought I would go ahead and remind you who the Moabites were.  In chapter 1:1 we are told that: “a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab.”

Remember Lot, Abraham’s nephew, who CHOSE to live right next to Sodom and Gomorrah?  Well, after the angels rescued him (more like JERKED him out of there) with his family from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, they were all told not to look back.  BUT, his wife did not want to leave all the things she had, turned around, looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt.  Anyway, Lot and his 2 daughters ended up living in a cave.  The daughters feeling desperate and seeing NO way for them to find husbands and have children schemed to get their father drunk and have sex with him.  And each of them became pregnant.  One of the sons from this little episode was Moab.  The Moabites worshiped MANY gods, worshiped idols, believed strongly in child sacrifice and prostitution as a way to worship their gods, and were into all of the things from which God wanted Israel to remain separate and apart.  When you stop and think about their history… starting with an unwed, drunken, incestuous night…. Well that might explain a LOT (pun intended!!)

WHY did this man and his family leave Bethlehem?  It was because there was a famine in the land.  These times of the Judges (spanned over a period of 325 years) were very oppressive for the Israelites in all ways.  The famine must have been extremely severe for this man to move his family to Moab.  Desperate times call for desperate measures so this Israelite family went to live with the Moabites in search of food.

I pray God will open the eyes of your heart with the book of Ruth so you will come to understand it in a way you never have known.

Sharing HIS love,

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