The book of Ruth.. opinions?

Feb 7, 2017
san diego, ca
Ruth and Boaz: A Romance That Models God's Love for Us

The story of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz Ruth 1-4 is one of the most moving accounts in the Bible. The events occurred during the period of the judges, about a century before David became king of Israel. Set in the midst of great hardship and tragic loss, the story focuses on loyalty and faithfulness that starkly contrasts the pagan Moabite culture from which Ruth originated. The story is also a clear example of God's faithfulness in bringing about His plan of redemption using unexpected partners, in amazing ways and during a time of frequent unfaithfulness of God's people.

The book of Ruth begins with an Israelite family — Elimelech, Naomi (his wife) and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion — living in Moab. Originally from Bethlehem of Judah, the family left the land of its inheritance because of a famine. But tragedy soon struck. Elimelek died. Both of Naomi's sons married Moabite women, and within 10 years, the sons died also, leaving Naomi and her daughters-in-law outside the kin group of her husband.

It is hard for us as modern readers to comprehend the hopeless situation in which the three women found themselves. They lacked the intimacy of a family, which is a tragic situation in any time and place, but were outside the patriarchal clan — cut off from its protection and provision. Their losses were devastating in every way. They were a non-family with no means of providing for themselves. Options for such marginalized women were few and unpleasant. Completely dependent on the generosity of others, they faced starvation or worse.

Naomi and Ruth returned to Israel after God again provided food for His people there. Naomi was a survivor, but she was returning with nothing. Ruth left the gods of Moab behind and chose to put her fate in the hands of Naomi's God and His people without any idea of how things would work out. For her, there was no turning back.

Naomi was deeply discouraged. She was certain that "the hand of the Lord" - Ruth 1:13 had turned against her. She believed that God himself had made her life bitter - Ruth 1:20. How could they have known that just the opposite was actually true? In the midst of their loss, God was orchestrating an amazing plan that generations later would affect all of humanity through the coming of God's chosen Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

A true love story
People often describe the book of Ruth as a love story, as this love story unfolds, we realize that it is about more than the love shared between two people. Ultimately it is about God's amazing love for all humankind, specifically His desire for His people to not only experience His love for themselves, but to reach out and display it in such a way that God is made known to His lost, hungry and hurting children.

Ruth's request to "spread the corner of your garment over me" (Ruth 3:9, NIV) had several meanings, each of which highlighted her desire to be a faithful part of the community of God's people. The word for "corner" in Hebrew also means "wings," so Ruth was asking Boaz: "Protect me like a bird protects her young; be my redeemer as God commanded in the Torah so that in your actions, your provision and your family, I will find God's protection. And take me as your wife, for in your protection I will find God's provision and protection."

This story portrays the love and faithfulness Boaz demonstrated for God who, out of His love for all humankind, commands His people to care for the poor and thereby make His name known. We also see Boaz display what is in Hebrew called hesed (a merciful, compassionate, grace-filled loving-kindness) toward a foreign Moabite widow. We see Ruth's growing love and commitment to Naomi and to the God of Israel, whose amazing love was drawing Ruth into His beth ab, "the father's house."

A plan of redemption for everyone
Boaz and Ruth are a beautiful example of the way that redemption worked in a patriarchal culture. God included the practice of redemption, common in ancient Near Eastern culture, in His instructions to the Israelites. In so doing, He explained His role as "Father" (or patriarch) of all and His desire to redeem family members and the entire creation, restoring them fully in relationship to Him and to each other. Thus the righteous and faithful character of Boaz is a picture of God himself in His work of redemption.

After God used Israel to bring Ruth fully into His community, she joined in the mission to redeem others. She became the great-grandmother of Israel's heroic king David, demonstrating that a foreigner could be completely assimilated into God's people and become His instrument for redemptive purpose. Jesus' descent from David's family in both blood through His mother, Mary, and legal kinship through His father, Joseph, gave Him legitimacy as Messiah to Israel among His first Jewish followers. Jesus' descent from Ruth made it clear that the Messiah would redeem all humanity, not only the Jews.

For Christians, the book of Ruth represents an early sign that the Messiah would liberate all of humankind, not solely Jews, and that Gentiles would join God's community of redeemed people in the mission of restoring God's lost children back into full relationship with Him.

© 2016 Ray Vander Laan. Adapted from Israel's Mission. From Focus on the Family website at All rights reserved.

Was just wondering if any of you have read this and what your opinions were on it! Moderators you can move this if I put it in the wrong section or what have you. Just wanted to start a conversation and I am interested in what God thinks is the perfect marriage that way I can pass it on to the wife.. you know.. be the spiritual leader and all haha
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Hello Godiswithme1922;

If the Senior Moderators and the borrowed link is ok, then I feel your thread in General Discussions is appropriate for discussion, and getting other's input of the book of Ruth will be good learning and teaching for all of us.

Thank you for sharing this article. Ray Vander Laan is an ordained and anointed minister in Michigan who studied at Westminster Theological Seminary. I have listened to his teachings and his article on Ruth and Boaz is consistent with the Scriptures and personally ministers to me.

The book of Ruth is a wonderful example of friendship, commitment and loyalty to God during the most difficult circumstances. Those who attended my Bible study of The book of Ruth included a brother who is very humble but felt taken advantage of by Christians because of his faith and generosity. The study of Ruth helped him realize that God will not allow people to thwart our love, humbleness and humility. The character of Boaz gave him peace.

A couple who had just moved to our city learned from the study how Ruth adjusted from leaving Moab and joining her mother-in-law to Judah, helped our couple adjust from the comforts and love of their city to a large and diverse culture in the SF Bay Area.

A sister in her early 40s who's relationship with her mother (overseas) was so combative but was comforted by an elderly woman (in our church) who became like a "spritual mother and mentor," gave her peaceful reassurance from God, that she could go to someone who would befriend, talk, spend time together and pray with.

A young single member was extremely lonely and facing many problems in her life "feeling alone" broke down, which prompted the other sister to go over and embrace her. Three years later she got married in 2017.

I cannot say whether the circumstances of each person's life in our Bible study of Ruth (back in 2014) was a result of the book, but these happenings ocurred during a season of difficult times (people relationships) in the church.

I will say that at the end of our study of Ruth, its not so much the transformation, but fully God that these brothers and sisters all blossomed in their lives and growing faith in Christ.

God bless you, Godiswithme1922 for sharing this article. It is a good read.

Fish Catcher Jim

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Staff member
Senior Moderator
Feb 7, 2015
Hello Cturtle;

Is it acceptable if we copy and paste the article and display the author's copyright;

© 2016 Ray Vander Laan. Adapted from Israel's Mission. From Focus on the Family website at All rights reserved.

instead of copying the whole link?

God bless you and thank you.
It seemed fine the way it was with the moderator warning.... ;)
I think today some people would say to Naomi, why dont you just start your own business.

You could sell tupperware. I dont know if she would do it, but desperate times call for desperste measures. Instead

what did Naomi do, well she pretty much matchmked Ruth to Boaz. If it werent for Naomi telling Ruth what to do, maybe Boaz would have gotten cold feet.

I now see books in the library with titles such as 'a man is not a financial plan' but maybe it really was in the olden days? Maybe he still is? Whats a woman to do?