by Harley Howard

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Introduction and Chapter 1 (1 of 5)
Series: The Book of Ruth
Harley Howard
Ruth 1

1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem- judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

The book of Judges reveals the beginning of the rapid downfall of the nation of Israel after the death of Joshua and after being in the land of promise. The people ignored God continually, and God allowed them to be taken by many vicious and ruthless captors as a means of judgment against His own people. As the Lord continued to raise judge after judge to call the people back to obedience to God, the people soon refused to hearken unto them as well. The nation continued to plunge itself further into apostasy and idolatry. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Truly things were very dark for the nation of Israel as a whole. Ruth provides us a ray of light, a beauty that brings that entire time period into a focus of hope in the midst of despair. Ruth is one of the most beautiful women in the scriptures and it is a shame that more women do not look to the scriptures to find role models for their own lives. This is a love story in the truest sense of the word. It is a story of moral purity, it is the story of the highest dignity of a woman, it is the story of virtue, It is the story of devotion, of hope and most of all of the sovereign God at work even in the darkest times to preserve Himself a remnant of people, and to guarantee that a son would be born through this great woman Ruth that would continue the line of where the Messiah would be born.

2 And the name of the man [was] Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.

So far this is quite clear as the narrative goes. The names, I believe are somewhat significant here. ...

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