Devotional: Introduction to Ruth

Most crises in life are the result of bad decisions or irresponsible behavior. We either make poor or wrong judgments or else fail to do what we should do; consequently, crises strike and problems are created. A person may eat too much and create a health crisis. A person may drive too fast and cause an accident. A person may act irresponsibly and face a broken relationship, divorce, loss of job, loss of finances, bankruptcy, a failed grade, injury, disease, even death.

The results of bad decisions and irresponsible behavior could go on and on, but the point is well illustrated and experienced by us all. When we make bad decisions or act irresponsibly, we often create crises for ourselves or for others. This was true in the life of Naomi and her family. She and her family made several bad decisions and the result was catastrophic. Her husband and two sons died in a foreign land, leaving her destitute and poverty-stricken.

But God, in His marvelous grace, had mercy and compassion upon Naomi. And He actually took the crises of her life and worked them out for good, using them to bring about the wonderful redemption or salvation of Ruth. The first crisis faced by Naomi and her family was day-to-day corruption.

The family lived in the corrupt days of the judges. The judges ruled throughout Israel after Joshua’s death up until the coronation of the first king, King Saul .These were turbulent days, very troubled times—some of the darkest days of Israel’s history. Morally, society collapsed, becoming a cesspool of moral corruption and injustice. Families, society, and the nation as a whole were gripped by a sinful, evil spirit of lying, stealing, and cheating ,selfishness, greed, and covetousness, even within the priesthood and ministry, false religion and religious deception, unbelief, idolatry, and false worship, immorality, drunkenness, and partying, extreme prejudice and discrimination, homosexuality, sexual perversion, and brutality, rape, lawlessness, violence, and murder, national division, disgrace, and civil war, deception and the terrible abuse of human rights by national leaders.

This cesspool of evil permeated and ran rampant throughout the society of Israel during the days of the judges. This vile, shameful, and wicked behavior was due to one fact, every man did what was right in his own eyes. As Naomi and her family arose from bed each day, this was the first crisis they had to face: the crises of a corrupt society. Escape was impossible. For this was the world in which they lived and moved about—a corrupt world gone mad, gripped by a spirit of sin and evil. A person or society gripped by sin and unbelief must face the indictment, the accusation of God. God charges the sinful and evil of this world with the most serious of offenses.

We can learn a strong lesson from the fact that the wonderful love story of Ruth took place during the corrupt days of the judges: God reached out to redeem or save people even during the darkest days of human history. No matter how corrupt a circle of friends or society may be, God will save any person who will ask Him to be redeemed, and delivered from sin and death.

Listen to this message here:

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