This morning we begin a study in the Old Testament book of Ruth. This book has been called by some “The Romance of Redemption” because of the beautiful story about how Boaz became the kinsman redeemer of the Gentile woman Ruth (Ruth 4:8-10). This is one of those books where there are glorious pictures and types of redemption and the Christian walk galore! The beginning of the book tells us that Elimelech took his entire family into the foreign land of Moab because there was a famine in the land of Israel (Ruth 1:1). The famine of course was due to the fact that the people of God were doing those things that were right in their own eyes instead of doing those things that were right in the sight of God (Judges 21:25).
Such may be the case for some of us this morning, whether it is in our personal lives, in our marriages, in our finances, or in our church family. Famine is always the end result of disobeying or neglecting to observe God’s word. Paul put it this way: if you sow to the flesh you will reap corruption, but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap life (Galatians 6:7,8). Therein is the choice that is set before you and me this morning as God set before the nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 30:15-20). God has revealed to us in His Word His truth about sin and salvation (Romans 6:23), good and evil (Genesis 2:17), what is holy and what is not holy (Leviticus 10:10). We have only one of two options, obedience unto life or disobedience unto death.
The tragedy of the start of our study is that while in Moab, both Elimelech and his two sons died (Ruth 1:3,5). There is a strong indication that their death was a result of their failure to obey God’s Word regarding marrying of foreign women. However, the fall of man can never thwart the eternal purposes of God, for one of the daughters-in-law of Naomi, a Moabite woman by the name of Ruth, would convert to Judaism (Ruth 1:16,17) and in the process, by the hand of God, meet a next of kin of Naomi’s by the name of Boaz (Ruth 2), who would redeem her. And it was through the line of Boaz that Messiah Jesus would be born (Ruth 4:18-22).
How wonderful it is to know that the plans and purposes of God cannot be thwarted by mortal man (Isaiah 43:13)!