Ruth 4 – Joining Hands

Ruth 4 – Joining Hands

Today we come to the last instalment in the book of Ruth, this biblical romantic comedy that we’ve been looking at over the last month. For those who’ve forgotten, or who missed the first few episodes, let me remind you what’s happened so far in Ruth. Continue reading “Ruth 4 – Joining Hands”

Ruth 3 – Bare Feet and Full Hands

Ruth 3 – Bare Feet and Full Hands

When Sarah and I found out we were pregnant for the first time, we didn’t wait the twelve weeks you’re supposed to before telling people. We wanted those close to us to be praying right from the start, to be supporting us, and to be ready if anything should go wrong. So, at about 6 weeks we phoned my Dad to tell him the good news. Do you know what the first thing he said was? Almost before I’d finished saying, ‘Dad, we’re pregnant,’ he was asking, ‘Do you know what you’re having?’ Why was he so concerned? Because he didn’t want the family name to disappear. As it turned out, we’ve done a good job in securing a lasting name! A similar concern has been running through the book of Ruth, though it comes to the front in today’s chapter. Continue reading “Ruth 3 – Bare Feet and Full Hands”

Ruth 2 – Clutching At Straws

Ruth 2 – Clutching at Straws

Last week, I said that Ruth was kind of like a romantic comedy. It’s more like a mini-series, than a movie, so for those who missed out, or who need a reminder, last week in the book of Ruth:

There was a famine in Bethlehem, so Elimelech took his family to live in Moab. Then tragically he died, leaving Naomi to raise their two sons. When the boys became men they married Moabite women, and then they too tragically died. Hearing the Lord has remembered his people and the famine is over, Naomi decided to head home. She convinced Orpah to leave her, but Ruth ‘wed’ herself to Naomi. The two women returned to Bethlehem in time for the harvest, where they caused quite a stir in town. And now, their adventure continues… Continue reading “Ruth 2 – Clutching At Straws”

Ruth 1 – Coming Home Empty Handed

Ruth 1 – Coming Home Empty Handed

The story of Ruth begins like all good stories, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Actually, Ruth isn’t so long ago. It’s the time when the ‘judges judged’. It was an unsettled time for the nation of Israel. They were still finding their place in the world and in the Promised Land. Tellingly, the book of Judges ends with the words, ‘In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes.’ (Judges 21:25). In the midst of that turmoil, we zoom into one particular family and one certain man of Bethlehem in Judah, Elimelech. Interestingly, his name means, ‘My God is King!’ So with the background of Judges in mind, the question is, how will this man express his belief in God? Will he live up to his name?

We’ve had some friends up for the last few days. Deb had promised to take her husband Emmanuel to the Beechworth Bakery. She’d talked up the donuts there, but when they went guess what. They’d run out of donuts! As the story of Ruth begins there’s a famine in the land of Bethlehem, which is ironic because Bethlehem means ‘House of bread’ in Hebrew! The house of bread has run out! This famine’s a problem, not just on a national, or regional scale, but on a personal one too. In the face of this particular crisis, what will this certain man Elimelech do? Continue reading “Ruth 1 – Coming Home Empty Handed”