As I first worked thru the process of determining what book of the Bible I should study once I had completed 3 John, I was a bit hesitant. I wanted to make sure this is where God was leading and not just what I wanted because of how I love the story of Ruth. I began to feel God leading there more and more and then I ran across the quote below that is in an online study on Ruth. This can be found in the Life Application Bible, NIV, Introduction to Ruth.
"... it is the story of God's grace in the midst of difficult circumstances. Ruth's story occurred during the time of the judges -- a period of disobedience, idolatry, and violence. Even in times of crisis and deepest despair, there are those who follow God and through whom God works. No matter how discouraging or antagonistic the world may seem, there are always people who follow God. He will use anyone who is open to him to achieve his purposes."
That did it for me. I knew God was leading me straight to the book of Ruth. I'm struggling right now with things I am seeing ahead for our country... for our world. I'm concerned about the outcome of the election this week. Quite truthfully, I'm a bit scared. I need to spend some time studying and being reassured by God that "even in times of crisis and deepest despair, there are those who follow God and through whom God works." And to know this was happening at a time of great disobedience and violence in that part of the world brings more reassurance to me. This is not to say that I think we are going to experience war or anything of the like... but I am concerned about our world turning away more and more from the Lord. Being reassured that God is still with us and working amongst us it what I need. And, it is what I would like with anyone that may stop by here for a visit. We are not alone... God is with us and God can work through us.
I'll close today with another quote I found regarding the book of Ruth taken from Baker's Bible Handbook. This tells us, in a nutshell, what we can expect to learn about how to live from the book of Ruth.
"The religious truth found in this book relate more to practical life than to abstract theology. Loyalty, love, kindness, the value of persons, and the need to understand one another stand out. In the midst of the chaos then in the land, meaning could be found by returning to the first principles of simple truth. The book of Ruth tells us that no matter how bad things may be, goodness can exist, if we are willing to make the effort."
Please join me as I study the wonderful story of Ruth. I pray that we will all be blessed by the many truths that are stored in this precious book in our Bible.