The first sentence of the Book of Ruth identifies the time period: “in the days when the judges ruled” (Ruth 1:1). This was a dark time in Israel’s history when “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6; 21:25). “The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals; and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger” (Judges 2:11-12). This was a generation “who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10). Instead of being a light shining in darkness, the darkness extinguished the light.
But there was a glimmer of light, however, in some ordinary people from the obscure town of Bethlehem. And although the vast majority of people were faithless, God remained faithful. By His providential hand, the Lord redeemed a barren widow who provided a king to lead His people back to Him. And ultimately, what the Lord did in Ruth’s family prepared the way for the Saviour of the world!
As we observe the chaos of tragedy in Ruth’s family and the moral chaos of that society, we discover hope in the providence of God. This heart-warming story gives encouragement to us as we travel the uncertain road of life with its ups and downs. Your circumstances may feel like chaos right now, and moral confusion certainly describes our society. But in the midst of it all, our gracious Saviour is working out His plan for you and the entire world. With God on the throne, we are never without hope.