This is part of the 66 in 52 Bible Journaling Challenge. Over the course of the 52 weeks in 2018, I plan to focus in on one verse from each book of the Bible with many others who have signed up to join me. Each week I will be posting a summary page with some thought about that week’s book(s) of the Bible along with some links that may help our reflection. Click here to sign up if you want to join us at any point along the journey!
The Big Picture of Ruth:
Ruth is the shortest book of the Bible we’ve encountered so far on the journey. Within the first verses we see that this book takes place during the time we were just reading about in Judges. A famine came upon the land and this is one family’s story of how they dealt with it. Facinating is that the book’s namesake is actually a foreigner who ends up marrying into God’s people and is part of the lineage that leads to David and then to Christ. In these four short chapters we see some of the laws God commanded in earlier books put into action, specifically those meant to protect and provide for widows and others in need.
People in the Book of Ruth:
One of things I find most facinating about the book of Ruth is the meanings of the names of the people we are introduced to. Some meanings are given even in the storyline. Here are the key players and the meanings of their names:
- Elimelech (Naomi’s Husband) – my God is King
- Naomi (Elimilech’s wife) – pleasantness
Mara (later in the book Naomi changes her name to Mara for a while) – bitterness
- Mahlon (Elimelech and Namoi’s Son) – sickly, weakness
- Kilion (Elimelech and Namoi’s Son) – failing, pining
- Orpah (Naomi’s daughter-in-law) – back of the neck, stubbornness
- Ruth (Naomi’s daughter-in-law) – friend, companion
- Boaz (Ruth’s husband…eventually) – in him there is strength
- Obed (Boaz and Ruth’s Son) – servant
A Few Key Verses and Possible Reflection Questions/Prayers:
Some of us are planning to read through the whole book each week, while others are just focusing in on one verse. This section of the weekly intro post might help you narrow down a verse to reflect on for the week, but you do not have to choose one of these verse, pick any section of the book you want! These are just some ideas.
- “The Lord repay you what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” Ruth 2:12
REFLECTION: What does it look like for you to take refuge in God today?
- “I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty.” Ruth 1:16
REFLECTION: Have you ever felt like Naomi did when she said this? What was going on? If you’re past that season, how did restoration happen? If you’re in this season right now, spend some time telling God about it and asking Him to fill you again.
- “And now, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman.” Ruth 3:11
REFLECTION: What about you would show others that you are a worthy or noble man or woman? Who is someone else you would characterize the way Boaz did Ruth?
God’s Grace in Ruth:
The story starts out pretty rough. Within the first five verses a famine has caused the family to flee to another country as refugees and three women have been widowed. Despite all of that, I see the book of Ruth as one of provision. God provided Ruth and Orpah with a loving mother-in-law who obviously taught them about her God. God provided Naomi with Ruth who stuck by her in the hardest of times to provide for her. God provided food for Ruth and Naomi along with protection in Boaz’ field, not to mention an end to the famine. God provided companionship for Boaz who seems to have felt like he had given up on that dream completely. God provided a son to carry on the family name. And ultimately, at the end of the book, these people will play key roles in the lineage of David, out of which comes our Savior, Jesus.
Some Other Resources:
- The Bible Project summary video of Ruth
- A Pinterest board with resources and pictures for Ruth
- The 66 in 52 Schedule and Tracking Sheet
So now it’s your turn! Pick a verse and settle in this week, or read through the whole book. If you post any picture or blogs on social media, tag them with #66in52challenge so we can all share in this journey together!