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Perseverance (2 of 4)
Series: Bitter/Sweet: The Story of Ruth
We are continuing our study of the book of Ruth today. If you're reading through the Bible, Ruth almost seems out of place. Because it's this tiny little book, sandwiched right between these big, epic books about the nation of Israel. So right before it is the book of Judges, which is about these military leaders that God raised up to rescue his people; right after it is the book of 1 Samuel, which talks about the beginning of Israel's monarchy, with King Saul and King David. And right in between is the story of this obscure little family that has to deal with a famine in Bethlehem. To me, this is a reminder that God is not just concerned with big, national issues; he's interested in the little things and the little people.
Alright: we said last week that Ruth is a book of the Bible that's all about responding to loss. Because this woman, Naomi, had left her home in Israel because of famine, and she had traveled with her husband and her two sons to a place called Moab. And then her husband died. Her two sons married local, Moabite girls; and then, tragically, both of her sons died. So she was left with her two daughters-in-law. She got word that the famine was over in Israel, so she traveled back home, accompanied by her one daughter-in-law, Ruth. And Naomi, whose name actually means ''pleasant,'' had become bitter. She felt empty and hopeless and kind of smacked around by God.
And that brings us to chapter two. So let's read the chapter and then we'll talk about it.
1 Now Naomi had a relative on her husband's side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek, whose name was Boaz.
2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, ''Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.''
Naomi said to her, ''Go ahead, my daughter.'' 3 So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out ...
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