Searchlights from the Word by G. Campbell Morgan: Ruth

Helpful outline sermon suggestion from every chapter from the Book of Ruth

Gene Exod Levi Numb Deut Josh Judg Ruth 1Sam 2Sam 1Kin 2Kin 1Chr 2Chr Ezra Nehe Esth Job_ Psal Prov Eccl Song Isai Jere Lame Ezek Dani Hose Joel Amos Obad Jona Mica Nahu Haba Zeph Hagg Zech Mala Matt Mark Luke John Acts Roma 1Cor 2Cor Gala Ephe Phil Colo 1The 2The 1Tim 2Tim Titu Phle Hebr Jame 1Pet 2Pet 1Joh 2Joh 3Joh Jude Reve

The Book of Ruth - "Searchlights from the Word" by G. Campbell Morgan.

Chapter 1

Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.
Ruth 1:16

The Book of Ruth stands in striking contrast to the Book of Judges, and especially to the last five chapters thereof. The story which it tells illustrates the truth that God has never left Himself without witness. It is an idyll of faithfulness amid infidelity. It has, moreover, the value of being a link in the chain of history, showing how God moved forward to the central things of His redeeming purpose through faithful souls. The choice of Ruth, here recorded, in its devotion and in the very manner in which she expressed it, has become enshrined in the heart of humanity. With constant recurrence her language has been employed to express the fidelity of love. The younger woman found her heart closely knit td the older one, and she declined to be severed from her in the pathway that lay before her, choosing to share whatever the future might have in store for the one upon whom her love was set. While all this is true, it does not touch the deepest note. It is patent that Ruth's love for Naomi was created by the new faith which she had learned from her. The deepest note in her expression of devotion was: "Thy God, my God." It is a beautiful illustration of how a quiet, strong fidelity to God produces faith in Him on the part of others. Happy indeed are we, if our life is such as to compel some soul to say, "Thy God shall be my God." This is what Naomi had done for Ruth. This result is never obtained by the witness of the lips, save as that is vindicated and reinforced by the witness of life.

Chapter 2

Her hap was to light on the portion of the field belonging unto Boaz. - Ruth 2:3

The home-coming of Naomi and Ruth was to poverty, and they were faced by very practical problems. These were rendered more difficult by the fact that Ruth was a Moabitess. Yet, she it was who faced the fight, and went forth as a gleaner to gather what would suffice for immediate sustenance. The human side of things is expressed in these words. But the statement is by no means a pagan one. The Hebrew word rendered "hap" does not necessarily mean that the thing that occurred was accidental, although often used in that way. It literally means, that which she net with, and the statement is that it was that portion of the field which belonged to Boaz. All the issues reveal the Divine overruling. That which she met with, was that to which she was guided by God - if all unconsciously, yet none the less definitely. God led this woman, who had given up everything on the principle of faith, to a man, completely actuated by the same faith. The lines of his portrait are few, but they are strong, and a man of the finest quality is revealed. It is a radiant illustration of the truth that God does guide those who confide in Him and in the most definite way. Some experience is often so simple that we are tempted to say it happened, and to mean that it was a sort of accident. Yet the long issues make it certain that it was no accident, but part of a covenant, ordered in all things and sure. When in loyalty we make the venture of faith in God, we are ever choosing the path that is safe and sure. There are no accidents in the life of faith. In its music, the accidentals perfect the harmony.

Chapter 3

Then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee.
Ruth 3:13

In these words the nobility and faithfulness of Boaz are manifested. It is hardly possible to read the story without seeing that he loved Ruth, and that therefore he was perfectly ready to take the responsibility of the next-of-kin. There was, however another who had a prior right, and in loyalty to the law of his people, he gave that one his opportunity. The action of Naomi in this matter can hardly be characterized as other than doubtful, and on the basis of faith alone, it is difficult to justify it. Nevertheless, the expedient to which she resorted must be judged in the light of her own age. We must recognize that at the lowest it was an error of judgment, rather than a wilful disobedience; and the overruling love of God carried it to a beneficent issue. One element, and perhaps the strongest, in her action, was that of her confidence in Boaz. Her appeal should have been made to the next-of-kin, but the whole attitude of Boaz toward Ruth had made it natural for her to look to him. He, however, fulfilled his first obligation to the law, as he gave the first opportunity to the true kinsman. This next-of-kin had a perfect right lawfully to abandon his claim, seeing that another was ready to assume it. Thus again the Divine, overruling to highest ends is seen in the case of those who walk by faith, and in strict obedience to the known law of God.

Chapter 4

They called his name Obed; he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Ruth 4:17

The story ends with poetic simplicity and beauty. "Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife." Naomi at last was comforted indeed. The women of her own people spoke words of cheer to her which unquestionably were full of comfort, as they set forth the praises of the one who had chosen to share her affliction, and had become the medium of her succour. There is a stately simplicity in this story of the issue. It constitutes a record of the Divine movement in the history of the chosen people, for thus the kingly line is ordained, in the midst of infidelity, through faithful souls. All the period of the Judges was characterized by the failure of the people to realize the great ideal of the Theocracy. They had no king because they were disobedient to the One King. Presently we shall hear them clamouring for a king "like the nations," and one will be appointed by whose reign of forty years they will learn the difference between earthly rule and the direct government of God. Then the man after God's own heart will succeed him; and that man will be David, descended from these souls who, in dark and difficult days, realized in their own lives the Divine ideal, as they walked humbly with God. But this Book flings its light much further on. After centuries had run their course, there sprang from this union of Boaz and Ruth in faith and love, the Man of Nazareth, Jesus, the One and only King of men, because He was not only a Child born to Mary, descended from these, but also the Son of God in all the fullness of that title. God, in love and might, ever moves on through human failure, in co-operation with human faith.