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To download a copyof the Ruth lessons go toTheGoodTeacher.comand click on “Bible Classes”
Ruth Among the Twelve Joshua = the possession of a nation Judges and Ruth = the oppression of a nation 1 and 2 Samuel = the stabilization and expansion of a nation 1 and 2 Kings = the glorification and deterioration of a nation
Ruth Among the Twelve 1 and 2 Chronicles = the preparation and destruction of the temple Ezra = the reconstruction of the temple Nehemiah = the reconstruction of the city Esther = the protection of the people
Ruth Among the Twelve • The story of Ruth is a continuation of the story of the Judges (Ruth 1:1) • The story of … • Decline through idolatry (Judges 17-18) • Debasement through immorality (Judges 19-21) • Devotion through fidelity (Ruth 1-4): light in the midst of darkness; goodness in the midst of adversity
Time Period in OT History Creation The Flood Patriarchs Bondage in Egypt Wilderness Wanderings Conquest of Canaan (1390 – 1090 B.C.) Period of the Judges (Judges – Ruth) United Kingdom Divided Kingdom Captivity and Exile Return and Restoration
Book Background Title: “Ruth” is title of the book because Ruth’s worthy character is the focus of the book (3:11). Authorship: Anonymous. Jewish tradition assigns the book to Samuel, but the author may have lived after the death of Samuel and during the reign of David (Ruth 4:17,22; 1 Sam. 25:1) Date: The story takes place during the time of the Judges (Ruth 1:1)
Book Background Audience: Israel in the land of Canaan under a united monarchy (David) is reminded of how individual faithfulness can exist in the midst of national faithlessness (the time of the Judges). Time: The story of Ruth covers a period of about 11 years (1:4; 1:22; 2:23; 4:13-16) Location: The book open with Ruth and Naomi in Moab (Ruth 1). The book closes with Ruth and Boaz in Bethlehem (Ruth 2-4).
The Story of Ruth Naomi returns to Bethlehem in Judah with Ruth (1:6-22) Bethlehem Naomi travels with her family to Moab (1:1-5).
Keys to the Book Key word: “kinsman” (Heb. goel) = one who redeems (2:1; 3:2,9,12,13; 4:1,3,6,8,14) Key theme: devoted love (1:16-17; 2:23; 3:5; 4:15) Key character: Ruth, a worthy woman (3:11)
The Story of Ruth and Jesus Christ Boaz, as a kinsman-redeemer, is parallel to the work of Jesus Christ (3:11-13; 4:9-10; see chart) Ruth is a part of the genealogy of Christ (4:18-22; Mt. 1:3-6) Bethlehem-Ephrathah would be a new beginning for Ruth (4:11) and for Jesus Christ (Mic. 5:2; Mt. 2:1)
Outline of the Book • Sacrificial Love Demonstrated (Ruth 1-2) • Ruth’s decision to stay with Naomi (1:1-22) (Death of a family) • Ruth’s devotion to care for Naomi (2:1-23) • Sacrificial Love Rewarded (Ruth 3-4) • Ruth’s request for redemption by Boaz (3:1-18) • Ruth’s reward of redemption from Boaz (4:1-22) (Birth of a family)
Ruth 1Lessons for Today Like Ruth, we need to be lights shining in the midst of darkness. Ruth is an example of individual faithfulness in a time national faithlessness (1:1; Phil. 2:15). Bad times can often bring out the best in people (1:1; Rom. 5:3-4; Jas. 1:2-4; 1 Pet. 1:6-7). When hardships enter our life we must continue to rely upon the Lord (1:1-5; Phil. 4:19; Heb. 13:5; 1 Pet. 5:7).
Ruth 1Lessons for Today The Lord deals kindly with his people (1:6-9; Mt. 5:45; Acts 14:17; Jas. 1:17). The one true God needs to be our God (1:16; Acts 17:23-24; Eph. 4:4-6). “Generations gaps” need not occur between the young and old (1:16-17; 1 Tim. 5:1-2; 1 Pet. 5:5). We must remain faithful to the Lord regardless of the circumstances he gives us (1:19-21; Job 1:20-22; 2:7-10; Heb. 12:7-13).
Ruth 2Lessons for Today Employers and employees who serve the Lord make good businesses (2:4; Eph. 6:5-9). A good reputation is the best kind of introduction (2:11; Mt. 5:13-16; 1 Pet. 2:12). We learn to show kindness after receiving kindness (2:18; Mt. 5:7; 6:14).
Ruth 2Lessons for Today The Lord blesses his people, rewards his people, protects his people, and shows kindness to his people (2:4,12,20; Gen. 15:1; Psa. 34:7; Prov. 30:5; Rom. 8:28). Steadfast commitment, faith, love, loyalty, self-sacrifice, and hard work are all qualities that are much needed today (1:16-18; 2:2,11,23; Mt. 6:33; 1 Cor. 15:58; Gal. 6:9; Rev. 2:10).
Ruth 3Lessons for Today A good name (reputation) is better than great riches (3:10-11; Prov. 22:1). A worthy woman who can find? Her price is far above rubies (3:11; Prov. 31:10ff). A woman’s inward character is more impressive to a godly man than outward beauty (3:11; 1 Tim. 2:9-10; 1 Pet. 3:1-6).
Ruth 3Lessons for Today Steadfast commitment, faith, love, loyalty, self-sacrifice, and hard work are all qualities that are much needed today (3:5,10-11; 4:15; Mt. 6:33; 1 Cor. 15:58; Gal. 6:9; Rev. 2:10). Men of character are much needed today in the world and in the Lord’s church (3:10-18; 4:9-10; 1 Tim. 2:8; 3:1-13; 4:12; Tit. 1:5-9; 2:2,6-8).
Ruth 4Lessons for Today We must not be slothful to carry out God’s law and to do what is right (4:1,9; Rom. 12:11). The Lord deals kindly with his people (4:11,14; Mt. 5:45; Acts 14:17; Jas. 1:17). Men and women who seem unimportant by the world’s standards can play an important role in God’s plan (4:11-12,18-22; Mt. 1:3-6, 18-25).
Chemosh – Lord of Moab Chemosh was the national deity of the Moabites whose name most likely meant "destroyer," "subduer," or "fish god." While he is most readily associated with the Moabites, according to Judges 11:24 he seems to have been the national deity of the Ammonites as well. His presence in the Old Testament world was well known, as his cult was imported to Jerusalem by King Solomon (1 Kings 11:7). The Hebrew scorn for his worship was evident in a curse from the scriptures: "the abomination of Moab." King Josiah destroyed the Israelite branch of the cult (2 Kings 23). Information on Chemosh is scarce, although archaeology and text can render a clearer picture of the deity. In 1868, an archaeological find at Dibon provided scholars with more clues to the nature of Chemosh. The find, known as the Moabite Stone or Mesha Stele, was a monument bearing an inscription commemorating the c. 860 B.C. endeavors of King Mesha to overthrow the Israelite dominion of Moab. The vassalage had existed since the reign of David (2 Samuel 8:2), but the Moabites revolted upon the death of Ahab. Consequently, the Moabite Stone contains the oldest existing inscription of a Semitic alphabet. Mesha, by way of textual example, attributes his victory over the Israelites and their god to Chemosh stating "And Chemosh drove him before my sight." (2 Kings 3:5) Source: www.ancienthistory.about.com
The Moabite Stone The Moabite Stone is a priceless source of information concerning Chemosh. Within the text the inscriber mentions Chemosh twelve times. He also names Mesha as the son of Chemosh. Mesha made it clear that he understood Chemosh's anger and the reason he allowed the Moabites to fall under the rule of Israel. The high place on which Mesha oriented the stone was dedicated to Chemosh as well. In summary, Mesha realized that Chemosh waited to restore Moab in his day, for which Mesha was grateful to Chemosh. Chemosh seems to have also had a taste for blood. In 2 Kings 3:27 we find that human sacrifice was part of the rites of Chemosh. This practice, while gruesome, was certainly not unique to the Moabites, as such rites were commonplace in the various Canaanite religious cults, including those of the Baals and of Moloch. Mythologists and other scholars suggest that such activity may be due to the fact the Chemosh and other Canaanite gods such as the Baals, Moloch, Thammuz, and Baalzebub were all personifications of the sun, or of the sun's rays. They represented the fierce, inescapable, and often consuming heat of the summer sun (a necessary but deadly element in life; analogs may be found in Aztec sun worship). Source: www.ancienthistory.about.com
The Moabite Stone Photo by Chris Reeves * 05.03.10 * The Louvre, Paris