Ruth and Boaz: A Love Story for the Ages
Ruth 1:1-9; 2:1-13; 3:1-12; 4:13-17; Ephesians 5:25-29
February 14, 2016 (Big Springs URC) • Download this sermon (PDF)
Beloved congregation of Christ: Today, we will take a break from our study of the Gospel of John to start a short series on the Book of Ruth. We often hear about this much-loved book as an idealized, romantic love story between Ruth and Boaz, Ruth’s commitment and faithfulness to Naomi, and Boaz’s kindness and generosity. But are these the only themes in this book, as told in many sermons and children’s Sunday schools?
The Book of Ruth is so named because the main character is Ruth, a Moabite widow who married Boaz, a landowner in Bethlehem. Who is the author of this book? The author is unknown. When was it written? Since King David is mentioned in Ruth 4:17-22, the date of writing must be after David became king about 1000 B.C. But the story happened during the time of the judges when Israel had no king as yet (Ruth 1:1).
What is the theme of this book, that it was recognized by Jews as part of the canon of the Old Testament? It is because the story displays God’s sovereignty over all people and events. It also demonstrates his sovereignty through his covenant love and kindness towards his own people, even in difficult circumstances. But the most important feature of the book is that God exercises his sovereignty and covenant love to accomplish his ultimate purpose: to save his people from sin by sending his Son Jesus Christ through the line of Boaz and King David. The book is rich in theological and ethical features that are often missed by many pastors and theologians.
Today, we will have an overview of the Book of Ruth, which is not only a story about Ruth, but about Naomi, Boaz, and most importantly, about our Lord Jesus Christ. Since this is an overview of the book, the themes of the book will be explored in more detail in the next several Sundays. We have three headings, which you might find unusual:
- The Blind Bate: She Finds Favor in His Eyes
- The Midnight Proposal: She Did What?
- The Blessed Wedding: The Newlyweds Bear a Son!
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