This reading is the book of Ruth. We’ll do an overview of the whole book today, then take a little closer look at it the rest of the week.
I heard a great sermon on Ruth when I was in Singapore a few years ago. It was humorous when the preacher kept saying, “Ruth 3,” only it sounded like, “root tree.” That was one of my all-time favorite worship experiences. The facilities would not have looked out of place in the U.S. It was a fairly large church. It was 95% Asian, of course, so it was nice to be the minority for once. There was an intensity about the worship that is hard to describe. Many people stayed afterwards praying in their pews. Singapore has religious freedom, but I imagine that many of those worshiping came from countries where they had been persecuted.
Synopsis: Ruth’s husband and father-in-law die, and she elects to stay with her mother-in-law, Naomi. She eventually meets and marries Boaz, a distant relative. Boaz is attracted by Ruth’s purity and devotion. Ruth was very loyal to Naomi and sought after the one true God she saw in Naomi’s life. Throughout the book you’ll see how God does great things through the least likely people.
As you read it, try to think about which character(s) you are like. It may be a different character at different times.
Ruth trivia facts:
- Along with Esther, one of the two books of the Bible named after a woman.
- Ruth was from Moab, not Israel, yet God did amazing things in her life.
- She was the great-grandmother of King David and an ancestor of Jesus.
- Boaz was a descendant of Rahab, the former prostitute from Jericho.
Famous verse: Ruth 1:16 “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
The next reading is Ruth 1-2.