Book of Ruth Ruth, and God's Apparent Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Book Of Ruth

Ruth, and God's apparent absence.

The Old Testament is filled with stories of mighty works between God and man. In supernatural ways, god seem intimately involves with his creation in order to reveal himself in their lives, and weave Himself into their history. Moses, Joshua, Abraham, and Elijah - these mighty leaders seem to be lead, or maybe pushed, to great deeds by intimate interactions with the creator of the universe. So when Ruth appears on the scene, and apparently lives a quiet and self determines life in the middle of what appears to be someone else's plans, where is God? Why is this person 'left to fend for herself' when God can be dramatically active in the lives of his people. Is she somehow less important? If so, why is her story included in the bible. Surely other people lived more inspirational lives than the Moabitess named Ruth. This paper looks into Ruth's life, and the economic and social factors which were all a part of God's plan. Through Ruth, YHWH reveals something about himself that he shows in few other scripture passages.

Ruth is a Moabitess. A descendant of Lot and his Daughters, the Moabites were outside of the collection of God's chosen people. Ruth was woven into the biblical narrative not because of her great calling, like Deborah or Sarah, but because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. To set the stage, Naomi and her son's, Israelites, left their homeland during a famine. This was the first in a series of tragic choices that bring us to the story of Ruth. The Israelites were not supposed to leave their promised land during times of difficulty. The Old Testament covenant instructed that when famine, or trouble came upon the land, that they should seek the Lord Yahweh with their whole hearts, in order to see favor brought back upon the land.

Naomi, her nameless husband, and their two sons disobeyed God, and went to settle in the land of Moab. While there the sons married Moabite women, which was a second step in the direction away from god's revealed will in their lives. God called his people to stay separate form the surrounding nations. He called them to be a 'called out' people, his peculiar treasure. None the less, the circumstances introduce Ruth to this backslidden family, and she becomes a part of their heritage, and future.

By unknown reasons, (possibly God's hand of judgment on disobedient people) the men are killed, leaving Naomi, and her step daughters to fend for themselves. At this point, Naomi remembers that in Israel, the community is commanded to care for widows, so she decided to return to her home land, and wallow in the grief which fate has brought into her life. One step daughter stays in her home land, but Ruth shows a character of peculiar treasure. This is the first revelation of God's nature in the story. Possibly Ruth sees the emotional distress of her mother in law. Possibly she has not ties with her land, and just wants a new start. But her comments to Naomi are a display of her heart of love for her family by marriage "Do not entreat me to leave you or forsake you. I will go where you go. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God." (Ruth 1.15-16)

Ruth is an example of God's commitment to his people. She made a commitment to Naomi when she made a commitment to her son. Now, even though adversity has fallen them all, Ruth chooses to remain apart of Naomi's family, faithful to her promise. It is not that she is a self determined person in the middle of god's sovereign plan, but she is an example of…

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