THE BOOK OF RUTH
Beginning on Sunday November 12, we began a four-week Advent series centered around the captivating story of Ruth.
The Book of Ruth, often overshadowed by larger and more dramatic Old Testament books, holds profound significance in bridging the tumultuous era of Judges with the rise of King David. In Ruth, we meet the essential themes of God's judgment and provision, His unwavering faithful love (hesed), and the concept of a divine redeemer.
Notably, Ruth and Boaz stand as King David's great-grandparents, thereby connecting them to the Christmas story. In the life of Christ, we witness the ultimate embodiment of God's judgment, provision, faithful love, and redemption. Moreover, the story's geographical backdrop, particularly Bethlehem, resonates profoundly during the Christmas season.
Micah 5:2 beautifully encapsulates this connection: "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times."
LOVE AND LOYALTY
Describing God can be challenging, but the Bible consistently portrays His character as compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loyal love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6).
As we explore the book of Ruth, we will focus on the concept of "loyal love”, expressed through the Hebrew word “hesed”. Hesed is a complex word, combining love, generosity, and enduring commitment in a single term that's hard to translate accurately.
The hesed displayed in Ruth points ahead in the Bible to the ultimate demonstration of this concept. Despite our bitterness and estrangement from God, akin to Naomi's situation, Christ enters our brokenness, offering us grace and mercy. Ruth's pledge to Naomi, "Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay" (Ruth 1:16), echoes Jesus' promise: "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).