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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Ruth
To show how three people remained strong in character and true to God even when society around them was collapsing.
Historical Setting 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 of Ruth
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.
Recommended Bible Study Resources
ESV Study Bible – Study Bibles give you a deeper understanding of God’s Word with tools for life application like commentary, maps, charts, concordance, and study notes. Search our popular translations- NIV, ESV, NKJV, KJV and more!
Believer’s Bible Commentary: Second Edition – A Bible commentary is a written, systematic series of explanations and interpretations of Scripture. Commentaries often analyze or expound on individual books of the Bible, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. Some commentary works provide analysis of the whole of Scripture.
The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible – The best concordance for word study! This exclusive new edition of a legendary classic puts generations of biblical research at your fingertips. A valuable tool for pastors, teachers, and students of the Bible.
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words – This classic word study resource allows you to study the meaning of biblical words in the original languages without spending years learning Greek or Hebrew. A great resource for students, seasoned pastors, and anyone who enjoys biblical word studies–even if they have little to no formal training in Hebrew or Greek.
Halley’s Bible Handbook – The beloved and classic Bible companion has been thoroughly updated, while retaining its time-honored features and Dr. Halley’s highly personal style, to offer even greater clarity, insight, and usefulness.
Click here to view or print the Bible outline on “Ruth – A Story of Redemption“