Redemption. If you were to summarize the book of Ruth in one word, that would have to be it. In fact, the words “redemption”, “redeem”, and “redeemer” appear 23 times in this short book. Most scholars peg Samuel as the writer, and this incredible story puts us about a century before David comes on the scene. It’s a story about love, friendship, and most of all, God’s unfolding plan of redemption.
There are so many connections in this brief book. You can look back to Rahab, the prostitute who aided the Jewish spies, and you can look ahead to David, the greatest King in Israel’s history. But you can’t read Ruth without catching a glimpse of Jesus Himself! After all, that is what redemption is about. It’s the big picture; Jesus’ great love for and rescue of His bride (made up of both Jews and Gentiles). Here’s a snapshot of Ruth’s significance from the ESV Global Study Bible:
The dominant theme in Ruth for global Christianity is Gentile inclusion into the people of God. Ruth is a classic example within the Old Testament of how an individual outside the covenant community becomes a member of the people of God by faith alone (see Rom. 3:29–30). Ruth is a foreigner and part of a despised people who had treated Israel with inhospitality and hostility. Nevertheless, through her faith, the Lord welcomes Ruth into his covenant community as a full member. In fact, by her unswerving loyalty to Naomi, Ruth matches the great matriarchs of ancient Israel. Ruth is one of only five women to be mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus (Matt. 1:1–16).
Over these six days here at Jumpstart, I challenge you allow your heart to be captivated by this incredible story. But take it a step further. Ask God to overwhelm your mind with the truth of His grace and His redemption of you.
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor