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Posts Tagged ‘Ruth

Ends and beginnings and faith

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 Peter Leithart writes about faith:

Ruth begins with death – the death of the land in famine, the death of exile, the death of Elimelech, the death of Naomi’s sons, the death of Naomi’s future. Naomi goes out full, and comes back empty. Ruth 1 is a perfect tragic story, a story of endings and emptyings.

But it is chapter 1, and the author wants us to realize that this series of deaths is not an end. The end of chapter 1 is a beginning, as Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem “at the beginning of the barley harvest” (v. 22). The author makes his point with a touch so light as to be nearly imperceptible, but the import of that “beginning” is as weighty as anything in Scripture.

“In the beginning” and “once upon a time” make rational sense as the beginning of a story. But recognizing a beginning on the other side of an end is an act of faith.

Mark Dever makes a similar point in his treatment of Ruth. To human eyes, all is despair at the beginning of this book. But the writer of Ruth gives us a glimpse of what a sovereign and good God is planning and working behind the scenes. You can listen to Dever preach on the whole book of Ruth, and also on Ruth chapter 1 specifically.

See also William Cowper’s hymn, God Moves in a Mysterious Way.

Written by Scott Moonen

February 7, 2008 at 10:01 am

Ruth

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Chapter summaries in Ruth.

Ruth 1 – Ruth follows Naomi back to Bethlehem after the death of their husbands, embracing Naomi’s people and God.
Ruth 2 – Ruth gleans in the field of Boaz and finds great favor with him.
Ruth 3 – Ruth seeks Boaz at his threshing floor and asks him to redeem her.
Ruth 4 – Boaz redeems Ruth, taking her as his wife. They have a son, Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Written by Scott Moonen

January 4, 2008 at 3:57 am

Posted in Bible Chapter Summaries

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All God's providences are good

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“God’s providence is sometimes very, very hard. . . Even though the providence of God is sometimes very hard, in all his works he is purposing your happiness and your good.” — John Piper

Whether sweet or bitter, God’s providences are always good.

Written by Scott Moonen

October 29, 2006 at 1:02 pm