Ruth was the victim of tragedy. Her husband died and she had no man to provide for her. Her hope was in her Mother-in-law and in her Mother-in-law’s God. Ruth was from Moab and was not of the house of Israel. She was a widow and in need. Those were hard times for widows and they often became dependent upon the sympathy of the community. Ruth’s story would turn out well. She learned to be faithful to God in the face of her own trials. In this lesson, we will study 1 Peter to discover how God can strengthen us through our own trials. Ruth will serve as an example of how this truth can be lived out in real life.
Everyone has noticed how hard it is to turn our thoughts to God when everything is going well with us. We “have all we want” is a terrible saying when “all” does not include God. We find God an interruption. As St. Augustine says, “God wants to give us something, but cannot, because our hands are full – there’s nowhere for Him to put it.” Or as a friend of mine said, “We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it’s there for emergencies but he hopes he’ll never have to use it.” Now God, who has made us, knows what we are and that our happiness lies in Him. Yet we will not seek it in Him as long as He leaves us any other resort it can even plausibly be looked for. While what we call “our own life” remains agreeable we will not surrender it to Him. What then can God do in our interests but make “our own life” less agreeable to us, and take away the plausible sources of false happiness?
—C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p.96
It is not always easy to follow the purposes of God in our lives. There are challenges to our faith. Circumstances can seem overwhelming to us. We sometimes seem to be at “the end of our rope.” We don’t know where to turn. In fact, we may be like Ruth – overwhelmed and helpless. However, God has not forgotten you in those days. He did not forget Naomi and Ruth. He intervened and blessed their faithfulness. Unexpectedly, Ruth would be written into the script as the great-grandmother of King David. As we read this story this week, let’s learn some core lessons about God as He rescued and restored Ruth.
ISSUES/QUESTIONS TO ADDRESS