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Summary: When you abandon God, life has disastrous consequences. The book of Ruth clearly demonstrates this concept ... while also showing that God will provide a way to redeem us, if we will only turn to Him!

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Setting the Stage for Ruth

Ruth 1:1-5

- Just for planning purposes, the month of November will be Ruth study

- December will be Advent series (Sunday’s only)

- Wed nights we will fellowship as always and work on Nativity scene

- Nov 2 is our planning meeting for the Nativity -- don’t forget to be here!

Point 1 – The Introduction to Ruth

- The actual author of Ruth is unknown

-- It was written between the years 1046-1035 B.C.

-- Its main characters are Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz – all with unique stories as well

∆ SHOW MAP

- The location we know was in the area of Moab, east of the Dead Sea

-- On the other side of the Dead Sea was the land of Judah (Hebron & Gaza)

-- And to the North would’ve been the lands of Reuben and Benjamin (Jerusalem)

- Ruth is an incredible story of redemption and of acceptance by all by God

-- It is a story of love, a story of romance, and a story of great personal cost

-- All of the characters in this book face crisis of some sort in their lives

-- APP: This allows us to see them as human, personable, and relatable

- Ruth demonstrates for us a very important contrast of books

-- Judges reflects what happens when a nation rebels and turns away from God

-- Ruth shows what happens when God’s people live in covenant with Him

- There are no miracles in this book, and it’s named after a Gentile

-- The other Gentile book is … LUKE! So it’s a unique book for us to study

- There are two key concepts which we will see in great detail

-- 1) “chesed” which means God’s loyal love, close to concept of grace

-- 2) “go’el” which means “kinsman redeemer”, someone who literally saves

- So, with all that in our head, let’s read and see how God opens our eyes

- Read Ruth 1:1-5

∆ Point 2 – Setting the Scene (1-5)

- What we are seeing here right off (v1) is the time period in which we are in

-- It is important to note what is going on here, which is why it’s written

- Both Ruth and Judges take place within the same time period

-- It is a time between Israel’s conquest of Canaan under Joshua, and,

-- The time when a united (Law-abiding) kingdom begins under King Saul

-- It is, in a word, a very schizophrenic time period for this land

- What Judges does is show us what happens when a nation rebels

-- It gives us a clear look at what God’s response is to a nation’s rebellion

-- Note: We should probably read that book ourselves and see ourselves in it

- What happens in Judges is this: The unthinkable becomes the norm!

-- APP: People turn their back on God and create policies/programs they like

- They rebel against God’s teaching and decide they are morally superior

-- APP: It’s almost like watching the same TV show over and over again

- Paul warned of the VERY same thing happening, decades later to Timothy

-- 2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

- However, something happens from these books that we can learn from

-- God is still God, and He will still remain faithful to Himself

-- 2 Timothy 2:13, “…if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

- In the land, there is a tremendous famine and so this family moves away

-- Elimelek (v2) moves his family to this land of Moab for a better chance at life

-- They moved to Moab to live for a while, but they’ve done something wrong

-- They have left God’s Promised Land (Judah) and went elsewhere

-- IMP: Even they have decided they could make it better someplace else

- Then something tragic happens to this family (v3) …

-- Of the four people we have just met, three of them have their obituaries printed

-- Elimelek, Mahlon, and Kilion (Naomi’s sons) have all died in this land

- Before death however, these two boys have married Moabite women

-- This act goes totally against what God has decreed that Jews should be living

-- Deut 7:3-4, ““Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons. “For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods; then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you and He will quickly destroy you.”

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