Tomorrow we will read the entire book of Ruth in 1 day. It’s actually only 85 verses. (It is less than a 14-minute read)This is one of the only two books in Scripture which bear the names of women: Ruth and Esther, and they stand in marked contrast. Ruth is a young Gentile woman who is brought to live among Hebrews and marries a Hebrew husband in the line of David. Esther is a young Hebrew woman who is brought to live among Gentiles and marries a Gentile husband.
To me this book is CPR! Conversation, Providence, and Redemption, and Providence.
- We will see true conversion since Ruth actually becomes a follower in ‘Yahweh’ (The LORD, not just a lord).
- Providence-natural events used for supernatural outcomes-(this is my favorite theme of the book).
- A kinsman-redeemer is a male relative who, according to the law, had the privilege or responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need. (Jesus)
I think often I view the Bible as “orchestrated”, when in fact we know that God will use natural circumstances to fulfill His plan. This book God uses Providence for these Prophecies to occur.
- The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem: Micah 5:2
- The Messiah will come from the tribe of Judah: Genesis 4:10
- The Messiah will be born through the family of David: 2 Samuel 7
God uses natural events during a very dark period in history for supernatural outcomes. God will create a genealogy in chapter 4 that will continue the perfect prophecy of Jesus.
Ruth Chapter 1 verse 1: In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land…
These last 3 chapters are rough!! No coloring pages for the kiddos!
Chapter 19. A Levite and his Concubine. This story is crystal clear and does not need a recap. This story is parallel to Sodom in Genesis 19. The moral deterioration of Israel is exactly as it was before. Actually worse! There is an unwritten law of hospitality in the Middle East that is strong BUT it should never be stronger than God’s Law. Chapter 19 ends with the Levite chopping up her broken, raped body into 12 pieces and express mails them to the tribes as a “call to action” for revenge.
This horrible event occurred in Gibeah. As you can see it happens in the land of Benjamin. So Chapter 20 now begins a civil war when the Benjinintes side with the offenders. I am not sure why, as you can see the “story” is already being falsely told on the Levite’s side so I assume the Gibeah side is too. Or it could be that the Benjaminites don’t want to fight their own land. Either way, you can see this civil war is 11 tribes against 1. When the 11 inquire to the Lord “Who should fight first?”, the Lord sends Judah but never promises victory. The second time they ask “should we fight them?” and the Lord says “yes”. See, the Israelites needed their disciplining for fighting against their own tribe, the Benjaminites. However, on the 3rd request, the 11 show repentance by fasting and offering a burnt offering and this time the Lord grants them permission to fight again, promising them victory. The Lord now will discipline the Benjaminites for siding with the offenders.
Chapter 21: What a hot mess!! So the men of Israel had taken an oath NOT to intermarry with the Benjaminites. (God’s Law said not to intermarry with NON-Israelites) So because of this oath, the Tribe of Benjamin will dwindle out! Well, we know this can’t happen because we need to have the first king Saul, Queen Esther, and the apostle Paul, who were all Benjaminites.
So these Einsteins come up with a plan.
- “Let’s find anyone who did not participate on our side in this civil war, we will kill them and their wives and just steal the virgins”.
- What in Sam Hill! So they did that and pocketed 400 virgins.
- “Shoot! We are still 200 short, what shall we do??”
- “Oh I know….there is an annual festival in this place called Shiloh, during the festival we can hide in the bushes and the old men can each steal for themselves a woman”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! Why is there an annual festival in this little place called SHILOH?????
So what started as avenging the rape of 1 woman, ended with the rape of 600 women and many many deaths.
And the final verse in Judges could not be more fitting to the tragic ending
In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.