“Do not urge me to leave you or return from following you. For where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you” (Ruth 1:16-17).


Our Sunday morning Bible class covered the four chapters of the book of Ruth today. I already knew many of the things that were said, but I learned some new things as well.

The book of Ruth is more than a study of ancient history. Its main point is to show how outsiders enter the kingdom of God. The title character is a citizen of Moab; by God’s own Law, she and her descendants should have been forbidden a place in Israel (Deuteronomy 23:3-6). Instead, Ruth becomes an Israelite and turns out to be the great-great grandmother of King David.

Ruth learns about Israel and about its God from Naomi, her mother-in-law. Yet Naomi is dreadful at evangelism. Not only does she encourage Ruth to return to her people and to her gods (Ruth 1:15); she proceeds to blacken God’s reputation, saying, “the hand of the Lord has gone out…

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