Ruth: Widows, Wheat, and Wedlock

Christ Covenant Church
Rob Aldridge
23 December 2018
Fourth Sunday of Advent

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[ sketch notes ]

Our sermon text tonight will be a selection of passages from the book of Ruth.  If you have your Bibles, I encourage you to turn to the book of Ruth, as I’ll be referencing a number of passages which are not printed in the worship order.  A portion of the sermon text from Ruth chapter 4 is printed in the Order of Worship for your convenience.  I will be reading a larger selection from Ruth chapters 1, 2, and 4.  I invite those of you who are willing and able, to stand, as I read from the book of Ruth.

The Word of God reads:

SERMON TEXT

(1:1-8) In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years, and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband. Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the fields of Moab that the Lord had visited his people and given them food. So she set out from the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house.

(1:14b-17, 19) And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. 15 And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” 19 So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them.

(2:1) Now Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz.

(2:11-12) Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. 12 The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”

(4:10-17)  Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day.” 11 Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem, 12 and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the Lord will give you by this young woman.”

13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went into her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age…” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

This is the Word of the Lord:

Thanks be to God

May God add His blessing to the reading, the hearing, and the preaching of His Word.  And all the church says:

Amen

You may be seated.

Introduction

Our God is faithful.  Our God is gracious.  He is loving and kind and He is sovereign over all things.  He is a covenant making and a covenant keeping God.  There is never a moment when He is out of control, and there is never a moment when something catches Him off guard.  In all situations, He sovereignly works all things for His glory and the ultimate good of His people in Christ Jesus.  The story we are going to look at tonight, the story of Ruth, gives us insight into these truths.

Ruth’s story is a story of God’s faithfulness, of God’s grace.  It’s a story of God’s mercy and providence in the lives of unlikely people.  And above all, it is a story of God continuing His plan to rescue and redeem a humanity fallen into sin and death and rebellion against Him.  Ruth’s story, like all of our stories, really isn’t her story at all, but is instead a story about God’s love and His faithfulness.

And as we look at Ruth’s story tonight, I want you to see God’s faithfulness as the backdrop to everything else we talk about.  We’re going to begin, and spend most of our time tonight, looking at the first chapter of Ruth and God’s faithfulness to his promises even in the midst of darkness and difficulty.  Second, we’ll do a brief overview of the rest of the book of Ruth, highlighting God’s faithfulness and providence toward Ruth and Naomi as He furthers His plan of redemption in Jesus Christ.  Finally, we’ll think about a few ways the story of Ruth, one of the mothers of Jesus, should affect our lives, as those who love and follow Him and eagerly await His return.  As we consider the story of Ruth tonight, I want each of you to be encouraged in Christ, whatever circumstances you are in.  And, I want each of you to leave here tonight more secure in the future hope and certainty of God’s promises for us in Jesus.

Sermon Body

God’s Faithfulness in Ruth 1

I want to begin tonight by looking at God’s covenant faithfulness in the darkness of the first chapter of Ruth.  This is important, because so often, when things are hard, we start to think that God has abandoned us.  Or that God has forgotten his promises.  As we look at Ruth chapter 1, we will see some examples of how God is always faithful to His covenant promises, a fact which remains regardless of how things appear from our point of view.

The first verse of Ruth chapter 1 tells us a lot about the setting.  For starters, we know that the story of Ruth happened, “In the days when the judges ruled…”  This was a time period from around 1200 – 1020 BC, between the death of Joshua and the coronation of King Saul.[1]   For those of you familiar with the book of Judges, you probably remember that “the days when the judges ruled” was a very dark period for Israel.  After the Exodus from Egypt, and 40 years of wandering in the wilderness because of rebellion against God, the people of Israel finally entered the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua.  But, after they entered, they failed to drive out all the pagan inhabitants as God had commanded.  And so, God allowed the pagan nations who remained to became “thorns in the side” of the tribes of Israel.[2]

The book of Judges, which gives us insight into the life of Israel in the time after Joshua’s death, paints a bleak picture.  In this book we read of idolatry on the part of God’s people, followed by oppression from the pagan nations, followed by undeserved favor as God graciously raises up Judges to deliver His people. And this cycle – idolatry, oppression, deliverance –  repeats itself over and over after the successive deaths of judges.  The last verse of the book of Judges, captures the feeling of wickedness and darkness well, explaining to the reader that “In those days there was no king in Israel.  Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”[3]  After reading the book of Judges, you are tired and sad and the closing line of the book leaves you longing for righteousness and justice…longing for a deliverer from sin and death and darkness… longing for a King.

It is within this dark and troubled time that the story of Ruth takes place. And it is in the midst of these difficult years, that there was a famine in the land of Israel, in the Promised Land. The mention of famine in Ruth 1:1 explains why God’s people are leaving the promised land, but that’s not the only purpose this detail serves.  In light of the wickedness and disobedience of the time of the judges, this mention of famine in the land also serves to point out God’s faithfulness to His covenant with Israel.  In Deuteronomy chapter 28, as Israel prepared to cross into the promised land under Joshua, Moses warned Israel of the consequences for breaking the covenant and disobeying God.  Among the curses for covenantal disobedience was famine in the Promised Land.[4]  So, here in the very first verse of Ruth, we have an example of God keeping His promise to punish covenantal unfaithfulness on the part of Israel.  And it is amidst this unfaithfulness on the part of Israel and faithfulness on the part of God, that Elimelech, Naomi, and their two sons left the Promised Land.

The particular place they left was a town called Bethlehem, which was within the allotted territory of the tribe of Judah.  This was an area well known for the production of “wheat, barley, olives, almonds, and grapes…”[5]  And so, interestingly, in Hebrew the name Bethlehem actually means “house of bread.”  So Elimelech, Naomi, and their sons left the “House of Bread” because there was no bread.  And they went east… east to the land of Moab.

Here again we see some clues that something ominous is going on.  In the Old Testament, and especially in the Pentateuch, going east can sometimes indicate moving away from God’s presence. For example, after the first sin Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden of Eden to the east, and Cain went further east into the land of Wandering (the land of Nod) after murdering his brother, and when Abraham and Lot separated, Lot chose to journey eastward settling in Sodom.[6]  So here also, we have people heading east from the Promised Land, where God chose to dwell with His people, to Moab, a place particularly associated with idolatry and sin and attempts to destroy and oppress God’s people Israel.[7]

As we might expect, bad things happen when God’s people flee His presence and sojourn to the east of Eden.  In this case, Elimelech, whose name means “My God is King” and who, as the patriarch of the family would have ultimately decided to leave the promised land, died leaving his wife Naomi and their two sons.[8]  After the death of their father, both sons married Moabite women.  Chilion married Orpah and Mahlon married Ruth.  It is hard to know what Naomi would have thought of these marriages.  After all, Deuteronomy 7:3 forbids Israelite men from intermarrying among the pagan peoples of Canaan.  While Moab was outside of the Promised Land, since all Israelites should have been living there it seems that marrying Moabite women could be considered another transgression.  We know from Numbers 25, that Israelite men had been led into idolatry by Moabite women in the past, provoking God to anger and judgment.  And we read in Judges 3, that the Moabite king Eglon harshly oppressed Israel for 18 years until God raised up the judge Ehud to deliver them. And so, I wonder if this wasn’t something of a nightmare for Naomi, whose husband was now dead, whose sons had married pagan women, and who was living in a land often, and recently, hostile to God and His people.  And so, the nightmare sojourn continued for Naomi as Mahlon and Chilion’s marriages remained childless.  And then, as if things couldn’t get any worse, after ten years in this foreign land, both of her sons died, just like her husband, apart from the people of God, in a land east of Eden.  Regarding this family’s departure from the Promised Land, Sinclair Ferguson asks, “Do Elimelech and Naomi intend only a brief sojourn?  Ten years later Naomi is still there…When we turn our backs on the Lord’s word we never intend to do it for long.  It is only going to be for a little while… But it rarely works out that way.”[9]

And then, after ten years of heartbreak, just when all hope seemed lost, there is a glimmer of light.  We read in Ruth 1:6 that Naomi heard in the fields of Moab that the LORD had once again given food to His people in the Promised Land.  While it might not be the first thing you and I think of when we read this verse, here we see another clear sign of God’s covenant faithfulness to His people.  If we turned back again to Deuteronomy, this time to chapter 30, we could read that when God’s people repented and returned to Him that He would be merciful, making them and their previously blighted lands fruitful once more.[10]  For the second time in the first six verses, the author of Ruth is highlighting God’s unfailing covenant faithfulness.

At this good news, Naomi decides to return to Bethlehem.  And I think we can presume that her physical return to the Promised Land, where the LORD dwells with His people, is also something of a spiritual return as well.[11]  Although she initially wants to be called “Mara” – meaning bitter[12]– instead of Naomi, her physical actions of leaving Moab and returning to Bethlehem also speak of a spiritual return to the LORD in repentance.  She is returning from the land of idolatry to the land of promise.  Returning to the one true God who promised long ago to redeem His people, that the seed of woman would bruise the head of the serpent.[13]  That the seed of Abraham would bless the nations.[14]  And returning with her was Ruth the Moabite.  The widow of Mahlon.  Who through a series of hard providences was also returning, for the first time, to the covenant God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  To the One who knit her together in her mother’s womb and who had sovereignly chose her for His glory, for her good, and ultimately for the good of the world.[15]

As the two prodigal daughters walked west, back toward the land where God dwelled among His people, they must have discussed the good news that God had once again blessed the “House of Bread” with bread.  Maybe they talked about God’s promise to Adam and Eve after the Fall.  Maybe they talked about God’s promises to bless the world through the seed of Abraham. Maybe they talked about Jacob’s royal blessing of Judah and the expectation that one day a King would arise from among the very tribe in whose land they would reside.[16]  Maybe they walked back expectantly.  But, to be honest, it’s hard to know. Certainly they were coming back in faith.  But also they were probably just getting by and hoping to be well received once they arrived back at home.  It had been a terrible ten years for Naomi.  All she had to show for the sojourn in Moab was the death of her husband and her two sons.  She had Ruth but she had no grandchildren.  It seemed like the name and inheritance of Elimelech would die out. She was too old to have more children. But she was returning in faith, certain of the goodness and providence of the LORD and trusting her future to Him.

I wonder what Ruth thought about, as she walked west with Naomi toward uncertainty. She was different now than when she and Naomi had first met.  She was older to be sure, although she was still a young woman.  She had suffered many heartaches over these last years. Unlike so many of her Moabite friends, she had failed to conceive even after ten years of marriage.  And then her husband had died young, leaving her a widow.

But the biggest change in her life was something completely unexpected.  In the midst of all of this heartbreak and tragedy, the LORD had been at work changing her from the inside, changing her heart.[17]  We don’t know when the LORD graciously called her from idolatry to faith, but we do know that He called her to Himself before she left for Bethlehem.  Her response to Naomi’s suggestion that she could follow Orpah back to Moab, back to a life of idolatry, clearly shows us her faith in the one true God.  In Ruth 1:16 she tells Naomi, “Your people shall be my people and your God shall be my God.”  You might have heard this passage explained as a pledge of loyalty from Ruth to Naomi. And certainly it isthat, but it is also much more.  Ultimately it is an amazing statement of Ruth’s faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and of her identification with His people.  The language she uses here is reminiscent of covenant language used by God Himself.  For example, in Exodus 6:7, God tells Moses regarding Israel, “ I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God…”[18]  And going back yet again to Deuteronomy, in 29:13, in the covenant renewal ceremony which happened in Moab, we read that God will “establish you today as His people, and that he may be your God…”[19]  Maybe her husband Mahlon, or maybe Naomi, had told her the stories of how God had chosen Israel to be His people.  Whatever the case, Ruth was now using covenant language to profess her faith in the God of Israel and to identify herself absolutely with His people.

As she walked into the unknown with her mother-in-law, she walked now as one who had been called from death to life.  She was, as Boaz would later comment, someone who had come to take refuge under the wings of the LORD, the God of Israel.[20]  As Ruth walked toward the House of Bread trusting her future to the one true God, she never could have imagined how He was using her even then to further His plan of redemption, His plan for the coming of the true Bread from Heaven, the Bread of Life – Jesus Christ the Messiah – who Himself would be born in a lowly manger in the House of Bread many years in the future.

Covenant Faithfulness and the Coming King

We have looked at God’s faithfulness in the darkness of Ruth chapter 1, and now I want to spend a few minutes talking about God’s faithfulness in the rest of Ruth’s story.  Many of you are familiar with Ruth’s time in Bethlehem, so we’re not going to go into great detail here, but there are some things I want us to see.

First, the LORD was gracious to Ruth, and to Naomi, beyond anything either of them could have imagined, and as always, He remained committed to His covenant promises.  While Ruth was faithful to her mother-in-law, working hard to provide for her, gleaning barley in the fields of a relative of Elimelech’s named Boaz, the LORD remained faithful to His promise to send a savior to crush the serpent’s head, to bless the nations through the seed of Abraham, and to raise up an Israelite King from the tribe of Judah.  And in a way which no one could have guessed, the LORD routed these promises through Ruth and Boaz.  Boaz, who was himself the son of an Israelite man and a foreign woman who trusted in the God of Israel– Rahab the harlot, who Marq talked about two weeks ago – this Boaz took notice of Ruth and her faithful dedication to her mother-in-law, Naomi.  But, as I mentioned earlier, Boaz had also heard that Ruth had taken refuge under the wings of the LORD, the God of Israel.[21]  And so, as Ruth approached Boaz by night at the threshing floor, in Ruth chapter 3, and asked him to “Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer,” we are reminded how God, who is our ultimate provider and protector, so often uses the means of His people to achieve His foreordained end.  God establishes not only the end, but the means to that end.  Ultimately, Boaz marries Ruth as a kinsman redeemer.  If you aren’t familiar with that term, it is basically a particular role within ancient Israel, where a male relative could marry the childless widow of another man in his family so that the dead man’s name and land inheritance didn’t die out with him, so that the family inheritance could continue. Boaz was able to serve in this role because of the deaths and childless marriages of Elimelech, Mahlon, and Chilion.

As Boaz took Ruth to be His wife, we read in Ruth 4:11-12 of the prophetic blessing given Ruth by the witnesses – “  May the Lord make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem, 12 and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the Lord will give you by this young woman.”[22]  The LORD did make Ruth like Rachel and Leah, building up God’s people through her offspring.  She was renowned in Bethlehem and her house was like the house of Perez, the offspring of Tamar and Judah, to whom the royal blessing was given in Exodus 49:8-11.

The LORD, who alone opens and closes wombs, opened Ruth’s womb and blessed her and Boaz with a son.  Again, we see a prophetic blessing given by the women to Naomi in Ruth 4:14-16.  The women say, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life.”[23]  What an amazing statement these women made.  How true that the LORD provided a redeemer, whose name would be renowned in Israel, and who would be a restorer of life.  But these things aren’t true only for Naomi and Ruth and ancient Israel, they are also true for us.  In Ruth 4:17, we read that this son, whose name was Obed, was the father of Jesse, the father of King David.  And it is from the line of King David, the grandson of Ruth’s child Obed, that the Messiah – Jesus Christ – would be born in this same town of Bethlehem so many years later.  While the LORD provided a redeemer for Ruth in Boaz, and for Naomi in Obed, He furthered His plan to provide the ultimate redemption for all His people through Jesus Christ, descended from Obed the son of Boaz and Ruth the Moabite.

Application

Those of you who knew the sermon was on Ruth tonight might have expected me to talk more about Ruth and Boaz and their relationship.  But I purposefully focused our time on Ruth chapter 1 and the hard providences in Moab for Ruth and Naomi.  I wanted to focus our attention here because we need to be reminded that even amidst great hardship, God is faithful to His promises.  When things are difficult, and especially when they are difficult for long periods of time, we might be tempted to think God has forgotten about us.  Or maybe to think that He isn’t in control after all.  But the book of Ruth shows us that this simply isn’t true.  There is nothing outside His control and He uses all things for His own glory and our good in Christ.  And while the entire book of Ruth shows us these truths, the first chapter shows us God’s faithfulness during hard times in a particularly clear way.

As we think about applying some of the truth we have heard tonight, I want us to think about the difference between the author and readers of this book and its characters.  We don’t know exactly when this book was written, but we do know it was not written before the reign of David, as it looks back on his ancestry.  I mention this because unlike Ruth and Naomi and Boaz, the author knew how the story ended and so do we, as readers.  The author and readers know that all the hardship of the ten years in Moab will end and the story of Ruth will close with her giving birth to the grandfather of King David.  But for the people, Ruth and Naomi, who actually lived out what we read, the ten years lasted ten whole years, not just the few minutes it takes us to read chapter 1.  Maybe some of you are going through a time of hardship now and you wonder when will it end.  Maybe you wonder where God is, or if he has forgotten about you.  If this is you, please know for certain that God has not forgotten about you.  Look to the story of Ruth and see how He is faithful to His promises in the midst of heartache.  I don’t say this to diminish the reality of pain, but I say it to give you hope.  God makes no promises for health, and wealth, and physical prosperity in this life.  Instead, He offers you something far greater.  He offers you forgiveness, and eternal life, and reconciliation to Himself.  He offers you true blessedness now and forever in Jesus Christ, which the physical blessings in the promised land of Israel only pointed to.

I know that Christmas, while joyful, can also be a difficult time for many people.  Some of you might be experiencing difficult providences right now.  If you are not, you either have in the past, or you will in the future.  And I want each of you to see that without the hard providences, without the difficulties in Ruth chapter 1, there would have been no Ruth chapter 4.  Now, please don’t misunderstand me.  There are no alternate endings.  There are no “way things might have been.”  What I want you to see that God is working, even in and through the difficulties, and the sadness, and the hardness of life for His glory and for your good.  If you are trusting in Jesus Christ tonight, this is true for you.  No matter what is going on, God is working all things together to make you more like Jesus for your good and for His glory.  Rest assured that God has not forgotten you and He has not forgotten His promises.  He is faithful and as Paul reminds us, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus.”[24]  Be encouraged in Christ.  Nothing in all creation can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.[25]  This is true in any and every situation and is a precious truth in difficult times.

Unlike Ruth and Naomi and the human author of the book of Ruth, we know how the greater story ends.  Obed’s birth leads to Jesse’s birth, and then to the birth of King David, and finally to the birth of the true King, Jesus Christ.  The story of Ruth ultimately points us toward Him.  We see foreshadows of Jesus in the redeeming action of Boaz, and in the selfless and sacrificial love of Ruth, and in the birth of Obed.  But the true story of Ruth is that while God’s people were rebellious, He was faithfully unfolding His plan to save people from every tribe, tongue, and nation in Jesus Christ.[26]  The story of Ruth is a story of God keeping His promises and working for the salvation of His people, even when those people fail in their faithfulness to Him. Ruth’s true redeemer, and Naomi’s, and yours, and mine is Jesus Christ.  Ruth’s story shows us that even in the midst of the darkness and unfaithfulness of the time of the judges, God is faithful to His promises and is working all things together for His glory and the good of His people in Jesus Christ. As you think about the ways God has shown His faithfulness in the book of Ruth over this Christmas season, I hope you find encouragement and joy in the truth that God has kept his promises in Jesus Christ.  The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 1:20, that all the promises of God find their yes and amen in Him.

Closing

The story of Ruth begins in famine and ends in fullness.  It starts in exile and ends with inclusion.  It begins with hunger and death and ends in satisfaction and new life.  And it points us to the greater reality of true fullness, and satisfaction, and belonging, and life in Jesus Christ, the true Bread from Heaven, descended from Ruth and Boaz, fully God and fully man, born in a lowly manger in the House of Bread over two thousand years ago.  If you are hungry tonight, if you are in a time of famine, if you are wandering to the east in Moab away from God and His people, hear the good news.  The LORD has visited His people.  Jesus Christ, the true Bread has come to the House of Bread. Repent, believe, return.  Come to Him, eat, and be satisfied.  Be set free from sin and be reconciled to God.  Trust in Jesus Christ, the true Bread, who came into the House of Bread to fill the hungry with good things.  Trust in His perfect life, death, and resurrection on behalf of sinners and receive the true fullness of life in Christ this Christmas.

Just as Ruth and Naomi and Boaz eagerly awaited the first coming of the promised King, we eagerly await His second coming.  Like the book of Ruth, our story is set in a time when it seems there is no King.  We live in a time of rampant violence, and hatred, and idolatry.  A time when everyone does what seems right in their own eyes.  But don’t be discouraged, our King has come, and He has ascended, and He is reigning. Even now, He is seated at the right Hand of God the Father almighty until all His enemies are made a footstool.[27]  And just as God kept His promise in the first coming of Jesus Christ, which we celebrate at Christmas, so also He will keep His promise that Christ will return and consummate His kingdom.  This Christmas as you celebrate the first coming of our King Jesus Christ, the true Bread, born in a lowly manger in Bethlehem, the House of Bread, look forward with great hope and expectation to the second coming of our King in majesty. Don’t lose hope in the midst of darkness.  The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.[28]  Be of good courage.  Hold fast your confession of hope… for the one who promised is faithful.[29]  Our God is faithful.  Come Lord Jesus.[30]

Let us pray.

[1]Robert L. Hubbard Jr., The Book of Ruth, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, ed. Robert L. Hubbard Jr. and R.K. Harrison (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988), 84.

[2]Cf. Judges 1-2, 2:3.

[3]Judges 21:25.

[4]Deuteronomy 28:15-52; Leviticus 26:14-33; cf. Dean R. Ulrich, From Famine to Fullness: The Gospel According to Ruth, The Gospel According to the Old Testament, ed. Ian M. Duguid (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 2007), 21.

[5]Hubbard, The Book of Ruth, 85.

[6]Cf. Genesis 3:24, 4:16, 12:12,

[7]Consider reading the account of the Moabite king Balak hiring Balaam to curse Israel in Numbers 22-24, or the idolatry that occurred when Israel “began to whore with the daughters of Moab” in Numbers 25, or the account of Moabite king Eglon and his 18-year oppression of Israel in Judges 3:12-30.

[8]Ulrich, From Famine to Fullness, 22.

[9]Sinclair B. Ferguson, Faithful God: An Exposition of the Book of Ruth(Bryntirion Press: Bridgend Wales, 2013), 25.

[10]Cf. Deuteronomy 30:1-10.

[11]Peter H. W. Lau and Gregory Goswell, Unceasing Kindness: A Biblical Theology of Ruth, New Studies in Biblical Theology, ed. D. A. Carson (Downers Grove, IL: Apollos/InterVarsity Press, 2016), 80.

[12]Cf. Ruth 1:20.

[13]Cf. Genesis 3:15.

[14]Cf. Genesis 12:3.

[15]Cf. Psalm 139:13.

[16]Cf. Genesis 49:8-13.

[17]Cf. Ulrich, From Famine to Fullness, 45-46.

[18]Exodus 6:7.

[19]Deuteronomy 29:13.

[20]Cf. Ruth 2:12.

[21]Cf. Psalm 17:8, 57:1, 91:4.

[22]Ruth 4:11–12.

[23]Ruth 4:14–15.

[24]Philippians 1:6.

[25]Cf. Romans 8:38-39.

[26]Cf. Revelation 7:9-10.

[27]Cf. Psalm 110:1, Acts 2:33-35, Hebrews 1:13, Hebrews 10:12-13.

[28]John 1:5.

[29]Hebrews 10:23.

[30]Revelation 22:20.