Ruth 4:1-22 open_in_new
The Book of Ruth is a love-story told in four Chapter s. It gives us a glimpse of everyday life in Bethlehem; in home and in harvest-field, in its general gossip and its law-suits, more than three thousand years ago.
I. Glancing back over the lines of this sweet and pure pastoral idyll, we feel that rarely did human story more impressively demonstrate the unspeakable worth of lowly folk, the fine and favourable issues of seemingly suppressed lives, the hidden wealth of true and unobtrusive souls, for nations and for the race. Notoriety counts for nothing in the sum of things. The world's future lay more in quiet Bethlehem, with Naomi and Ruth, than it did at the headquarters of Judge Eli. Let us not despise ourselves. God does not, and our future is with Him. Every name is historic in His estimate.
II. But we are not near enough to the heart of this story to hear its beat and feel its warmth, until we see that it is a true and tender, pure and heroic woman's love that gives such grace to these Hebrew homes and confers such peerless worth on these lowly lives. The spell of the Book of Ruth is Ruth herself, and the chief charm of Ruth is her unselfish and devoted love.
III. Life and love lead to God. For life is God's gift, and love is of God's nature. "We love, because He first loved us." This is true of the love in the home as much as of the love of the Church. All pure and unselfish love comes from God and leads to God.
Thus the story of Ruth is a fragment in a missionary report. It tells of the conversion of a Gentile and illustrates the wisest way of winning souls. God saves the world by love, and we cannot succeed by departing from His method and ignoring His Spirit. Naomi is a typical home missionary, and Ruth is the pattern and prophecy of the success that crowns wise and loving labour.
J. Clifford, Daily Strength for Daily Living,p. 119.
References: Ruth 1:1. Clergyman's Magazine,vol. x., p. 279. Ruth 1:1-5. Expositor,1st series, vol. ii., p. 81 (also S. Cox, The Book ofRuth,p. 43). Ruth 1:1-8. Lady A. Blackwood, Sunday Magazine,1885, p. 271.Ruth 1:1-18. Parker, vol. vi., p. 185.Ruth 1:2. Homiletic Magazine,vol. xi., p. 15.Ruth 1:6-22. Expositor,1st series, vol. ii., p. 92 (also S. Cox, The Book of Ruth,p. 63). Ruth 1:8. W. M. Statham, Christian World Pulpit,vol. xv., p. 136; Old Testament Outlines,p. 60. Ruth 1:14. Spurgeon, Morning by Morning,p. 350. Ruth 1:14-18. Sunday Magazine,1885, p. 271.Ruth 1:16. R. M. McCheyne, Additional Remains,p. 267; Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes,p. 54; Homiletic Magazine,vol. xiv., p. 49. Ruth 1:16; Ruth 1:17. G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons,p. 125; Preacher's Monthly,vol. iv., p. 31; Congregationalist,vol. vii., p. 656. Ruth 1:19. W. M. Statham, Christian World Pulpit,vol. xv., p. 105; J. Van Oosterzee, Year of Salvation,vol. ii., p. 414; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons,p. 283.Ruth 1 Parker, vol. vi., p. 198. Ruth 2:1-23. Expositor,1st series, vol. ii., p. 165 (also S. Cox, The Book of Ruth,p. 81).