Summary: Mounting losses threaten to leave us bitter, but God restores life to His people.

Introduction to the Book of Ruth

What is wrong?—Mounting Losses Threaten to Leave Us Bitter

‘She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara,

for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.”’

[Ruth 2:20]

What is true?—God Restores Life to His People.

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….”’

[Ruth 4:14-15]

What to do—We Must Take Refuge in the Lord.

‘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.’

[Ruth 2:12]


I We Take Refuge in the Lord by Returning to Him (Ruth 1-2)

‘So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab’ (Ruth 2:22a).

II We Take Refuge in the Lord by Trusting in Him (Ruth 3)

10 ‘And he said, ”May you be blessed by the LORD, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman”’ (Ruth 3:10-11).

III We Take Refuge in the Lord by Following His Ways (Ruth 4)

9 ‘Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and to Mahlon. 10 Also 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”’ (Ruth 4:9-10).

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