|Photo by annaER
Last Sunday John started a new sermon series on the book of Ruth. He’s never preached on the book of Ruth. Ever. I don’t know that I’ve heard of other preachers speaking on the book of Ruth either.
So what’s so great about this little book? There’s no miracles, no great godly teaching, no laws given, nothing special. It’s just a story. So why is it even in the Bible?
Because faithful, covenant love is held up as the ultimate virtue.
The Hebrew word “hesed” is repeated throughout the book of Ruth (and throughout the Bible). It is difficult to interpret into English, but it has been known to encompass faithfulness in covenant love, mercy, loving kindness, steadfast love, and loyalty.
“ and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-7144AJ" style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;" value="(AJ)”> and your God my God.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-7144AK" style="box-sizing: border-box; line-height: 22px; position: relative; top: 0px; vertical-align: top;" value="(AK)”> if even death separates you and me.” (Ruth 1:16).
- Naomi needed support. She was past marrying age and well passed child bearing age. She had no one, except her two daughter-in-laws. She could have kept them with her as she returned to Judah and lived with their support, yet she was willing to sacrifice her safety net because she loved them as her own.
- Ruth could have gone back to her parent’s home and been supported by them. She could have remarried and had a family of her own, yet she was willing to sacrifice her future for the family God had given her in Naomi.
**Notes from John Ketchersid’s sermon August 10, 2014.