The Book of Ruth, an Overview                                                   by Jack Kettler


Chapter One:


Ruth chapter one shows the unfolding of God’s gracious plan of redemption amidst a suffering people. Naomi, a woman of Israel, lives in a foreign land and has lost her husband and two sons during a famine. In her sorrow, Naomi urges her daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, to return to their people and find new husbands. Orpah reluctantly complies, but Ruth chooses to stay with Naomi and make a new life in Israel. In doing so, Ruth displays her faith in God and her allegiance to the people of Israel. This loyalty is seen as an act of faith in the Lord, and God rewards Ruth’s faith by providing her with a new husband and a place in the lineage of King David. Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi and her faith in the Lord serve as powerful examples of what it means to trust in God’s grace and mercy. Through Ruth’s story, we see God’s love and faithfulness are available to all, and He will always provide a way of redemption, even while suffering.


Chapter Two:


Ruth 2 begins with the Lord showing his kindness to Ruth by blessing her with a field to glean. Next, Boaz, the field owner, shows Ruth even more kindness by ensuring she is safe and well-provided while she works. Boaz also shows grace to Ruth by allowing her to glean grain from his fields and encouraging his workers to help her. In response to Boaz's kindness, Ruth blesses him and expresses her gratitude.


The chapter ends with Boaz showing his generosity to Ruth by providing her with a significant amount of barley and offering to become her kinsman-redeemer, a significant gesture of grace and mercy and a reminder that God is always watching over and providing for us. Through Boaz's kindness and mercy, God shows His love for Ruth and all of us. He is faithful to us, and His grace and mercy are abundant.


Chapter Three:


In Ruth 3, Naomi instructs Ruth to approach Boaz, a close relative of Naomi’s deceased husband, and ask him to fulfill the duties of a kinsman-redeemer, which would involve marrying Ruth and redeeming Naomi’s family property. Ruth follows Naomi’s instructions, and Boaz is pleased with her actions. Boaz promises to fulfill the duties of a kinsman-redeemer, but he must first go through a legal process to ensure he is the closest relative who can redeem the family property.


From a reformed theological perspective, chapter three of Ruth displays God’s sovereignty and faithfulness in providing a redeemer for Naomi and Ruth. God uses Boaz to fulfill the law of the kinsman-redeemer, which ultimately displays God’s faithfulness to His people. As Boaz is willing to fulfill the duties of a kinsman-redeemer, so also God willing to fulfill His promises of redemption and salvation for His children. Furthermore, God’s sovereignty is displayed through the legal process that must be fulfilled for Boaz to redeem the family property. It is only through God’s providence that Boaz is the redeemer.


Chapter Four:


Ruth 4 begins with Boaz approaching the closer relative of Elimelech, asking him to redeem the land of Elimelech and to marry Ruth. The relative refuses, but Boaz can redeem the land and marry Ruth. In doing so, he can restore the name of Elimelech and provide an heir for Naomi, an imperative event in the lineage of Jesus, as Ruth becomes a great-grandmother of King David, an ancestor of Jesus.


This chapter demonstrates God's sovereignty, faithfulness, and care for His people. Through Boaz, God brings restoration and redemption to Naomi and her family. The redemption provided by Boaz serves as a reminder of God's commitment to his covenant people, as seen throughout the Old Testament. Finally, it also points to God's ability to bring beauty from ashes, as He brought restoration and a new family line through Ruth and Boaz. It shows the power of God to work amidst tragedy and to provide hope in the darkest times. Ultimately, this chapter serves as a reminder of God's faithfulness, providing for His people in seemingly impossible circumstances.


In closing:


The book of Ruth highlights the importance of faithfulness, loyalty, and commitment. Ruth’s decision to leave her homeland and follow her mother-in-law to a new land is a testament to her faith in God and her willingness to trust him even in the face of fear and uncertainty. Ruth’s faithfulness is rewarded when Boaz, a wealthy Israelite, decides to marry and provide for her and her mother-in-law, which exemplifies God’s faithfulness (and love) to those who are faithful to him.


The book of Ruth also serves as a reminder of God’s redemptive power. After suffering the loss of her husband, Ruth finds redemption through Boaz and is ultimately rewarded with a lineage that includes King David. *


“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)


Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of 15 books defending the Reformed Faith. Books can be ordered online at Amazon.

* This article is an experiment. It was written by ChatGPT and perfected with Grammarly