Ruth – Gospel in Life


Tim Keller |  December 9, 2001

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  • The Bible
Ruth 1:8-17; 4:13-17
RS 142-2

Ruth 1:8–17; 4:13–17

The story of Ruth in the Bible shows us how important families were in those times, especially as it connects to the coming of Jesus. It tells us about the struggles of women who lost their husbands and how brave Ruth was to stick with Naomi, her mother-in-law. The story encourages us to think about how women in the Bible acted in ways that were unusual for their time and what we can learn from them.

1. This tells us about the absolute life-changing power of friendship

Friendships are so powerful that they can be even stronger than marriage, as they form the base of a strong marriage. The story of Ruth shows us how impactful friendship and love can be. Naomi’s love for Ruth and her welcoming friendship led Ruth to believe in the God of Israel. But Naomi didn’t force Ruth to convert, instead, Ruth saw God’s love through Naomi. Building such strong friendships takes time and dedication, but these relationships can also lead us to experience God.

2. There are signs of hope in every single life, even the most hard and mundane

From Ruth’s story, we can learn that God works quietly, even during normal or tough times, without needing to perform miracles. It’s important to see the hidden signs of hope, especially when we feel lost because our plans don’t match God’s plans. Being part of a community is important because it helps us keep our hope and remember God’s love, even when we can’t feel His presence.

3. The gospel of grace should destroy snobbery and prejudice

Ruth’s story challenges the norms of society, showing us that relationships built on grace are more important than family ties. It also questions the idea of interracial marriage being wrong and the belief that men are superior. The story shows that God often works through the people we least expect and challenges our snobbish and prejudiced attitudes. Jesus showed the ultimate example of selfless love, and his life encourages us to show love like Ruth did.


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