Lessons from the Book of Ruth
Ruth 4:17-22
And the women her neighbors gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed…

I. In the first place it seems to me that the Book of Ruth exhibits to us AN ETERNAL LAW OF GOD'S KINGDOM; THAT IN THE WORST AND DARKEST TIMES OF THE CHURCH GOD HAS HAD HIS OWN PEOPLE. Ever since God had a Church on earth true spiritual religion has never been utterly extinguished. Faith can always say with the apostle that there is "a remnant according to the election of grace." When God's holy dove is driven from cities and the abodes of men, that bird of sweetest note can be heard singing in remote places, even in dens and in the clefts of the rocks.

II. We may learn a lesson on THE LAW OF SOCIAL LIFE. There is throughout the book a constant reference to the Levitical law. There is the goal, the redeeming kinsman. But I wish you specially to observe the beneficence of the law. I wish that some who speak of the barbarous character of the old law would take their Bibles and read the eighteenth chapter of Leviticus. You will there see that God ordained that a portion should be reserved for the poor and the stranger. The law gave a measure of wealth to the indigent. It solved in this way one of the most terrible problems of our modern society. While it did this there was an ample margin left for the exercise of private charity. The corner of the field was defined to mean a portion that in modern language would have been a poor-rate of fourpence in the pound. It was not a system of outdoor relief, for the Book of Ruth shows us that there was great delicacy to be observed in giving. Depend upon it, as the spirit of the Old Testament works, the bitter taunt will become less and less true that England is a paradise for the rich and a purgatory for the poor.


IV. Lastly, we learn THE LAW WHICH PERVADES THE LIFE OF EVERY TRUE BELIEVER. We may learn that our lives are not random things, and that there is no such thing as chance about the Christian's life. This story of Ruth, like every story of the highest sort, would lead us to perfect trust in Him who wants His own dear children to lift up their hands to Him when in darkness. They must wrestle in the darkness before they can face the sunrise. God seems to keep silence when we pray. We ask, and God seems not to give us the things for which we pray. Ah! but He gives us far better.

(Abp. William Alexander.).

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

WEB: The women, her neighbors, gave him a name, saying, "There is a son born to Naomi;" and they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.

The Benevolent Happiness of Old Age
Top of Page
Top of Page