Having a rough time with your mother-in-law? Well, whether you like her or not, all of us could learn a thing or two from Ruth, the main character of the book we start today. She’s pretty incredible and unbelievably loyal to her mother-in-law, Naomi. This is a fascinating story of how God works our small decisions into good for us and others.
Judges 21:1-Ruth 1:22:
- 1 – Giving someone in marriage seemed to be the ultimate way to mix cultures and to influence. God seems to see this as the ultimate threat. Thus the rest of Israel refuses to intermarry with the tribe of Benjamin.
- 13-24 – Because of the devastation of the tribe of Benjamin, they were on the brink of extinction because no other tribe would allow their daughters to marry Benjamites. This was their plan for providing wives without compromising their own daughters.
- 3-5 – A woman’s only source of wealth and protection were her male relatives. With Naomi’s husband and sons having died, she was extremely vulnerable.
- 16-17 – Though it was normally a bad thing for Israelites to intermarry, Ruth seems to be the exception to the rule. Instead of influencing her husband and his family to her Moabite gods, she becomes to loyal to Naomi and Naomi’s God.
- 7 – Procuring water was a woman’s job. It was unheard of for a man to speak to a woman he was not married or related to in public, but even more unusual because he was a Jew and she was a Samaritan. Jews hated Samaritans because they considered them half-breeds.
- 7-15 – Though Jesus is trying to offer the woman something much more important and life-giving than regular water, she cannot understand what he is offering.
- 16-18 – Jesus calls out the woman’s sins to prove that he is not an ordinary person.
- 25-26 – Jesus rarely reveals his true identity so explicitly and when he does, he tends to reveal it to the most unlikely characters.
- 35-38 – Jesus wanted his disciples to begin bringing people to salvation based on the work he and the prophets before him had already done. They didn’t have to do the initial work, but could push the message home.
- 39-42 – Jesus originally came to bring salvation to the Jews, but throughout his ministry he extended it to others as well.
- The Israelites shared the faithfulness of God with younger generations who had not seen it by telling the stories of his great works. This psalm is an example of that.
- Like one of the Ten Commandments, this Proverb encourages its readers not to bear false witness because it only leads to destruction.