Introducing our exploration of the Book of Ruth – a Sunday series running through September and October 2019
Sermon recordings are available for Sunday services where possible, you can listen to them online afterwards from our Listen again page.
God has a plan and it’s not what anyone thinks, sees or imagines – its far greater, more intricate, complicated and wider in perspective than we could ever imagine! Even when God’s people make mistakes and go their own way – God’s plan will not be thwarted – He is sovereign over all and He is in control over all, even events that will happen hundreds of years from the time of the judges.
The book of Ruth starts with Naomi watching the three men she loved all die. It ends with her delighting in her grandson, in Ruth and in Boaz – God has redeemed the situation beyond her wildest dreams, and this work of God in Naomi, Ruth and Boaz has eternal consequences, and will mean redemption not only for the historic people of God but for the whole world.
This is the story that will be focusing on during Sunday mornings from 8th September till the 20th October 2019. This manual is provided as a way into the Book of Ruth. For those who are Preachers, Worship Leaders and for those who lead Home Groups. This resource provides a framework in which to understand the heart of God during the time of the judges.
The time of the judges brought about great apostasy in Israel. The nation underwent political and religious turmoil as the people tried to possess those parts of the land that had not yet been fully conquered. The tribes fought among themselves, as well, nearly wiping out the tribes of Manasseh (Judges 12) and Benjamin (20–21). The pattern of behaviour in the time of the Judges is clear: God’s people rebelled through idolatry and disbelief, God brought judgment through foreign oppression, God raised up a deliverer—or judge, and the people repented and turned back to God. Then in time the people of God fell back into sin and the cycle started over again.
These were dark days for the people of God, but to every cloud there is a silver lining. The book of Ruth is the silver lining in the time of the Judges. Not only pointing to one family, one tragedy, one visitation of God, and one kinsman redeemer at the time of Ruth, but also prophetically points us to the one Redeemer Jesus Christ who is the descendent of King David, and who will sit on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:7; Luke 1:32).
We today in our own society are in dark days. One might say that we in the UK are in the midst of political and religious turmoil. One might also say that church has compromised and has failed to live up to God’s plan for it’s own destiny and the gospel has become compromised in the process. Ruth stands for us as a contrast to the darkness and gives us a glimpse into the purposes of God in our present day. A glimpse into the heart of the gospel, that God has raised up a redeemer the Lord Jesus and in him we are all ‘Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven’.