“We are going to be taking a break from the book of Judges for the next few months, kind of. I say ‘kind of,’ because the book of Ruth opens with the phrase In the days when the judges ruled. So while we are moving to a different book, with a different flavor, we are not actually moving to a different time period. This means that I can basically skip doing a historical introduction to Ruth because we have been doing it for the last 6 months. The land is in chaos, every man does what is right in his own eyes.
As we have moved through Judges, we have witnessed larger than life characters, but now we view the land of Israel under a microscope. We go from viewing the nation as a whole, to looking at the life of a single family in the midst of it. This is necessary for us, because most of us will not lead large armies, destroy foreign nations, or kill 600 people with an oxgoad. ALL of us have the opportunity to live a quiet life to the glory of God. So in many ways, the book of Ruth serves to humanize the time of the Judges. Real people were living real lives amongst the chaos.
But Ruth does more than humanize the chaos, it also serves to personalize God. I am not talking about making the God of the universe our own personal Jesus. But Ruth serves as a reminder to us that the God who spoke the world into existence, who set the stars ALL OF THEM, in their course, the God who is raising up nations and destroying others, is also actively at work in the lives of individuals. Not just in the hearts of heroes, but in the plain, ordinary dealings of plain, ordinary people. Which serves to make our lives a little less plain. We can no longer sit back saying: I’m no hero. We need to ask what God is working out in our lives, and what He may be calling us to.” — Excerpt from HOPE in Suffering Sermon
HOPE in Suffering | Text
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HOPE in Action | Text
HOPE in Redemption | Text