1. The Old Testament Scriptures: a. "were written for our learning" b. are a great source for "hope." 2. In our study, let us be reminded of some valuable information revealed in Ruth, one of the historical books in the Old Testament.
I. FROM RUTH WE LEARN THAT GOD'S PEOPLE ARE NOT IMMUNE TO SUFFERING
A. As Ruth begins, God's people were affected by a famine (1:1-2). B. In Moab, Naomi suffered greatly (1:3-5). 1. She lost her husband. 2. She also lost her sons. C. Naomi was bitter when she returned to her home (1:19-21).
II. FROM RUTH WE LEARN THAT GOD WORKS PROVIDENTIALLY ON BEHALF OF HIS PEOPLE, EVEN DURING TIMES OF DIFFICULTY
A. God had given His people bread (1:6). B. Naomi was blessed with a devoted daughter-in-law (1:16-17). C. Naomi returned to Bethlehem "in the beginning of barley harvest" (1:22).
III. FROM RUTH WE LEARN THAT GOD'S COMMANDS ARE FOR THE GOOD OF HIS PEOPLE
A. Ruth "gleaned" in the field of Boaz (2:1-3; Leviticus 23:22). B. Boaz "redeemed" Naomi's property (4:9; Leviticus 25:25). C. Boaz "performed the part of a kinsman" (4:10; Deuteronomy 25:5-6). D. As God's will was implemented, a special bloodline was preserved (4:18-22; Matthew 1:5).
IV. FROM RUTH WE LEARN ABOUT THE VALUE OF PRONOUNCING BLESSINGS
A. Boaz and his reapers blessed each other (2:4). B. Boaz blessed Ruth after meeting her (2:11-12). C. Naomi blessed Boaz when Ruth returned from gleaning (2:18-20). D. Boaz blessed Ruth for being "a virtuous woman" (3:10-11). E. The people of the city blessed Boaz and Ruth (4:11-12). F. The women blessed Naomi after Ruth gave birth to Obed (4:14-15).
1. There many valuable lessons taught in the Old Testament. 2. Let us remember from the book of Ruth that: a. God's people are not immune to suffering b. God works providentially on behalf of His people, even during times of difficulty c. God's commands are for the good of His people d. pronouncing blessings to others is valuable (Proverbs 25:11).