Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why Should I Study Ruth?

The book or Ruth is a small book, but it is a book that needs to be studied and contains many lessons that one can grow from by reading. It is regarded by many as a highly romantic book, and some have even made movies based around the love story between Ruth and Boaz. This book takes places during the period of the book of Judges and is somewhat of an appendix to Judges.

One of the biggest lessons that we can learn from this book is that even in the Old Testament we see that God selects a particular type of person rather than focusing on a nation. Ruth was a Moabite, yet she still was more faithful than most of the Jews at that time. While many see the Old Testament as being just about the Jewish nation, the student of the whole of the Bible will note that throughout the Bible God quickly and openly took those of other nations who were willing to walk in faithfulness with Him. One can see the same with Rahab in Jericho. She began has a harlot, yet when given the opportunity she followed God, and like Ruth, ended up being part of the genealogy of Christ. Just as he is today, God has never been a respecter of person, and we see that even in the book of Ruth. Let us remember that God accepts all who come to Him in faithfulness regardless of their background as long as they are willing to follow Him.

One should also note the contrast between this book and the book of Judges. Though both occur during the same time, while one finds immorality and idolatry in the book of Judges, the book of Ruth contains faithfulness and commitment to God. Instead of war and battle deaths one finds purity and piety. This should help us to remember that even in a time when the majority of the people around us may have strayed from God and faithfulness to Him, we can still find encouragement through those that still are willing to commit themselves to God and serve Him in all things.

The article began by referring to the love story found within the four chapters of Ruth. This book speaks to the sacredness of married life through showing the ideal process through which it became a reality for two people, and the distance they were willing to go to obtain marriage while staying pure. It was also by this pure love that Ruth was able to overcome all difficulties.

It should also be noticed that situations do not make believers. Neither Ruth’s poverty nor Boaz’s riches kept them from faithfulness to God. Many people base their faithfulness to God on their current situation. Riches may keep them from God because they no longer feel reliant on Him, yet some may stray from Him in poverty because they no longer feel as if God is caring for them as they might have to do without excess or the amount others might have. Some might forsake God because their situation is just “too tough to endure” and “God could not possibly let one suffer to the extent they in.” In contrast, some may forsake God because they have no suffering before them and they forget to trust in God and discipline themselves against worldly desires.

The book of Ruth is a short one which almost seems insignificant and can be easily passed over as one skims through the Bible. Despite its shortness compared to the books which surround it, it contains just as important lessons for us today, and is an important part in the history of the Jewish nation. Let us not forsake to study a book of the Bible based on its size as it is often true that “big things come in small packages.”

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