Why Study the Book of Ruth?

In the days when the judges ruled...
— Ruth 1:1

Since the beginning of the year, our church has been studying the book of Judges. This complicated and challenging book invites us to contemplate the disastrous consequences of spiritual compromise. Time and time again, we see the people of Israel turning away from God, worshiping idols, and then experiencing hardships as a result of their sin. As the often-repeated phrase in Judges says, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

While the book of Judges presents a very bleak picture, the book of Ruth shows us that there is hope! As battles are raging and people are turning away from God, there is (at least) one family in Israel who remains faithful to God through many challenges. In fact, the book of Ruth tells us the story of the ancestors of King David, the greatest king that Israel had ever known. Even though there was no king during the period of the judges, God was sovereignly orchestrating things behind the scenes to provide for his people.

For Sound City, the book of Ruth provides us with some much-needed perspective as we continue our study of Judges. The book of Judges has a wide focus; the book of Ruth is narrow, only having three main characters. The book of Judges is political; the book of Ruth is personal. And the book of Judges highlights the many flaws and failures of its characters; everyone in Ruth is noble, admirable, and God-honoring.

And the book of Ruth points us to the gospel of Jesus.

Ruth is not an Israelite, she is from the people of Moab. But because of God’s call on her life, she joins the people of God and worships him alone. This reminds us of the promise of the gospel, that God is building a family from all nations of the earth. And Boaz, the “kinsman-redeemer” of Ruth and Naomi, serves to remind us that Jesus is our ultimate redeemer who purchases us out of sin and death with his blood. And these ancestors of King David serve to point us forward to the ultimate king, the one who sits on the throne forever: Jesus Christ.

We hope that you’ll join us for this four-week sermon series! For more information on the structure and themes of Ruth, check out this helpful video from the good folks at The Bible Project.