Ruth: The main purpose of the book of Ruth is historical. It explains the ancestry of David and builds a bridge between the times of the Judges and the period when God gave Israel a king.

But the Bible is more than a history book. There are many practical lessons to be learned from this book.

  1. This little book certainly reveals the providence of God in the way he guided Ruth and
  2. It encourages us that God still cares for us even when we are bitter towards
  3. The book of Ruth illustrates beautifully God’s work of salvation.
  4. The book of Ruth also illustrates the believer’s deepening relationship with the
  5. Too many of God’s people are content to live in chapter 2, picking up the leftovers and doing the best they can in their difficult
  6. The book of ruth reminds us that God is at work in our world, seeking a bride and reaping a harvest, and we must find our place in His program of winning the

John MacArthur, in the MacArthur Study Bible contrasts the life of Ruth with the “virtuous” wife of Proverbs 31.

Proverbs 31 Wife

“The “virtuous” wife of Proverbs 31 is personified by “virtuous” Ruth of whom the same Hebrew word is used (3:11). With amazing parallel, they share at least 8-character traits. One wonders (in concert with Jewish tradition) if King Lemuel’s mother might have been Bathsheba, who orally passed the family heritage of Ruth’s spotless reputation along to David’s son Solomon. Lemuel which means “devoted to God,” could have been a family name for Solomon (cf. Jedediah, 2 Sam. 12:25), who then could have penned Prov. 31:10-31 with Ruth in mind. Each woman was:

  1. Devoted to her family (Ruth 1:15-18/Proverbs 31:10- 12,23)
  2. Delighting in her work. (Ruth 2:2/Proverbs 31:13).
  3. Diligent in her      (Ruth 2:7,17,23/Proverbs 31:14-18,19-21,24,27)
  4. Dedicated to godly speech (Ruth 2;10,13/Proverbs 31:26
  5. Dependent on God (Ruth 2;12’Proverbs 31:25b,30)
  6. Dressed with care. (Ruth 3:3/Proverbs 31:22,25a)
  7. Discreet with       men       (Ruth       3:6-13/Proverbs 31:11,12,23)
  8. Delivering blessings      (Ruth 4:14,15/Proverbs 31:28,29,31.)

In closing out this book, Warren Wiersbe writes, “Meanwhile, even though we must live in an evil time like the age of the judges when there was no king in Israel, we can still seek for the kingdom of God  and  be  loyal subjects of the King of Kings (Matthew 6:33).

King of My Life

King of my life, I crown Thee now, Thine shall the glory be;

Lest I forget Thy thorn crowned brow, Lead me to Calvary.

Show me the tomb where Thou wast laid, Tenderly mourned and wept;

Angels in robes of light arrayed Guarded Thee whilst Thou slept.

Let me like Mary, through the gloom, Come with a gift to Thee;

Show to me now the empty tomb, Lead me to Calvary.

May I be willing, Lord, to bear Daily my cross for Thee;

Even Thy cup of grief to share, Thou hast borne all for me.


Lest I forget Gethsemane, Lest I forget Thine agony; Lest I forget Thy love for me,

Lead me to Calvary

(Jennie E. Hussey, 1922)


Larry Miles is Co-Editor of Word & Work and attends Cherry Street Church of Christ in New Albany, IN.