Women of the Bible Podcast

— Audio Player —

Ruth - Week 6: A Life Restored

Season:  Ruth

Erin Davis: It is the last session of Bible study. We have come to session 6 in the book of Ruth. I always ask the same question when I do Bible studies in my living room, and it’s this: “What are you going to study next?”

And then I say, “Don’t you dare close your Bible and wait for me to tell you when to open them again. You open your Bible the next day and the next day and the next day.”

So, Kristen, I’d love to know: What are you doing in Scripture next?

Kristen Clark: I have loved being in the Old Testament. I’m not sure what it is, but I think it’s going to be in the Old Testament, just digging in and just getting that context and seeing the gospel in the Old Testament and learning more about how it connects to the New Testament, seeing Christ in it. So, I don’t know—something in the Old. We’ll see.

Erin: There’s lots of good stuff in there.

Kristen: There’s so much.

Erin: I have a secret agenda, which is not that secret, which is to get women to fall in love with the Old Testament because it’s rich.

Gayle, where are you heading to next in Scripture?

Gayle Villalba: I knew you were going to ask.

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the Old Testament, so I am planning on getting into the New Testament and study more of the gospels. I just need to read them again. I need to read the stories.

Erin: Well, I’m making my way, maybe not as quickly as I’d like to be, but through a chronological Bible. I made a commitment to my sons that I would write out every promise in Scripture.

Gayle: Oh! Wow!

Erin: Did you know there’s over 5,000 promises in Scripture?

Kristen: And you’re writing out each one of these?

Erin: I’m writing out each one. And the only way I could figure out to do it was to go through the Bible systematically. When I came to a promise, I wrote it down. So, I don’t know where I’ll be, but I’ll be having hand cramps, because the Lord has given us so many promises.

Kristen: How many promises have you written down at this point?

Erin: Oh, several hundred. I started with one notebook and have about got that one filled. I don’t think the first one is going to be too tough, but I have four boys. So I’m going to have to write all those promises four times, but I’ve made a commitment, and I hope it’s one of the greatest treasures of their life.

So I’ve enjoyed this little detour into Ruth where I wasn’t furiously taking notes all the time. And if you’re listening with us, watching with us, I hope you have a game plan. Don’t you dare come to the end of this study and wait for me to tell you when to open your Bible again. I’m telling you right now: It’s tomorrow and the day after that and then after that.

So, I have a second question to get us going today. I want to hear your idea of the perfect happy ending. Gayle?

Gayle: Oooo….(sounds of laughter). The perfect happy ending . . . oh my.

Kristen: It’s a lot to ask. Right? The perfect ending.

Gayle: Oh, yes. I’m not sure, but I know it involves Jesus—and seeing Jesus.

Kristen: That’s perfect.

Erin: I don’t think you have to say any more about it.

The perfect happy ending in your mind, Kristen?

Kristen: Seeing Jesus maybe in the new earth. He promised us a new earth. And maybe with beautiful mountains and scenery because I’m really into national parks right now. Gorgeous scenery, with the Lord, I just can’t imagine anything better than that.

Erin: Well, your answers were very spiritual. (laughter) My answer is going to sound more like a romcom because I think every movie should end like this: The couple comes together. They kiss. The camera spins. They’re in regular clothes. The camera spins, and then they’re in wedding clothes. And lots of birds and butterflies fly away.

Kristen: That’s like a cool social media trick.

Erin: So that, I think, is the ultimate happy ending of every book or movie. If you’re looking for a happy ending, the book of Ruth delivers. Not every book in the Bible gets wrapped up in a pretty bow, but the book of Ruth sure does. And it points us to the ultimate happy ending.N

So as we kick off this final session, we’re going to read all of the last chapter, and just wait, we’re going to get to that happy ending pretty quickly.

Ruth was a sojourner. She had faced loss. She meets Boaz. Boaz is going to redeem her. And we pick it up in chapter 4. And if you are listening to Women of the Bible, I hope you have your Bible. You can follow with us. We’re going to read all of this last chapter. I’ll read a few verses. And then, Gayle, I’ll toss it to you, and you pick it right up.

Now Boaz had gone up to the gate and sat down there. And behold, the redeemer, of whom Boaz had spoken, came by. So Boaz said, “Turn aside, friend; sit down here.” And he turned aside and sat down. And he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down. Then he said to the redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our relative Elimelech. So I thought I would tell you of it and say, ‘Buy it in the presence of those sitting here and in the presence of the elders of my people.’ If you will redeem it, redeem it. But if you will not, tell me, that I may know, for there is no one besides you to redeem it, and I come after you.” And he said, “I will redeem it.”

Gayle, you want to get it at verse 5?

Gayle: Sure: 

Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi and from Ruth the Moabitess, you acquire the dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.” At this, the kinsman redeemer said, “Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.”

Now in earlier times in Israel for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transitions in Israel. So the kinsman redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself,” and he removed his sandal.”

Erin: We’ve not gotten to the happy ending yet. This is just the weird sandal exchange.

Kristen: So, what is going on?

Erin: So, Kristen, pick up at verse 9.

Kristen:

Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and to Mahlon. Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day.”

Erin:  

Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem, and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the Lord will give you by this young woman.”

Gayle, get us at verse 13.

Gayle:

So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi, “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” Then Naomi took the child, laid him in her lap and cared for him. The women living there said, “Naomi has a son.” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. This then is the family line of Perez.

Erin: It feels like that’s the happy ending right there. First comes love, then comes marriage, and then comes the baby in the baby carriage. (laughter)

But if we really want to understand why the ending of this story is so happy, we’ve got to read this list of names at the end.

So, Kristen, I don’t think there’s any tricky names in there.

Kristen: None at all. I’ve got this.

Erin: Then give it your best shot. Finish this.

Kristen: I say these names on the daily.

Erin: I’m pretty sure you know a lot of Amminadabs.

Kristen: Sure.

Erin: So read that genealogy right there at the end of Ruth for us.

Kristen:

Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed, Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.

Erin: Oooo . . . it’s so good! We’ll talk about why it’s so good, but before we talk about why it’s so good, let’s talk about the shoe.

Kristen: Let’s talk about the shoe. (laughter)

Erin: The shoe is the elephant in the room. What is going on with the shoe?

So they go and have a meeting. They’re outside the city gate, and they do this exchange. One guy takes off his shoe and gives it to the other guy. It’s very odd, but let’s look at some cultural context.

Kristen, can you take us back to Deuteronomy?

Kristen: Let’s go!

Erin: Go backwards a little bit to Deuteronomy 25:5–10. We’re going to get a little context, the shoe’s still going to be weird, but at least we’re connecting it to some other Scripture.

Kristen: I like that. I appreciate getting this context. Here we go.

If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband's brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. And if the man does not wish to take his brother's wife, then his brother's wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, “My husband's brother refuses to perpetuate his brother's name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband's brother to me.” 

Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him, and if he persists, saying, “I do not wish to take her,” then his brother's wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders and pull off his sandal (there’s the shoe) off his foot and spit in his face. And she shall answer and say, “So shall it be done to the man who does not build up his brother's house.” And the name of his house shall be called in Israel, “The house of him who had his sandal pulled off.”

---------------------

So that seems really weird. But I think there is some shame attached to the decision. In our language, you’re not going to man up, you’re not going to take on the responsibility to carry on your brother’s name. And it’s kind of like, “Go ahead and hit me.”

Kristen: Yes.

Erin: Or, “Just go ahead and take my sandal off.” It’s a statement of shame. And Boaz does step up—and he didn’t have to.

I don’t know all of the nuances of ancient Israelite culture. 

Kristen: Right. It’s confusing to us.

Erin: It seems to be confusing to us, but he does. This other man is just willing to kind of take the hit and be maybe embarrassed in front of this crowd of elders. But Boaz steps up, and he does purchase her, but it’s for her good.

Kristen: Yes, for her redemption.

Erin: For her redemption. He’s willing to make sacrifices. This was an exchange of goods or funds. It did cost Boaz something, but he’s doing that, not to take Ruth as his slave. We don’t see that anywhere in Scripture. We already read it—it’s to take her as his bride.

So he pays the price for her good. And that’s got some really beautiful parallels to the gospel.

______________

Erin: Okay. So, a couple of thoughts here: Boaz knew Scripture because he does this to the letter. I don’t think there was any face spitting—but that was the other guy.

Kristen: I’m glad they left that part out. (laughter)

Erin: But it’s the situation where somebody in Israel—which Ruth wasn’t an Israelite, so it’s interesting that this applies to her here. Somebody in Israel,husband dies, she’s left without an heir. The brother’s supposed to take her in, and this is how that exchange is supposed to happen. So that’s exactly what Boaz does here.

I’m not saying it’s not strange. I’m just saying we’ve got some context here in Deuteronomy.

Any thoughts come to mind as you connect those dots, Gayle?

Gayle: Well, isn’t that just the equivalent of a handshake now?

Kristen: Some sort of contract with a signature.

Gayle: Right. It sounds weird to us, but that was their custom.

Erin: Well, they might think our fist bumps and handshakes are weird.

Gayle: Right. Exactly.

Erin: It was an outward symbol of an agreement that was made between them. So don’t get caught up in the exchange of the shoe.

Kristen: We can just can move right past that.

Erin: Right. We can move past the shoe, but I don’t want to gloss over the fact that this was a business transaction involving a wife.

Gayle: That’s right.

Erin: She was kind of lumped in with the sale of the land, and that’s uncomfortable. But that’s what we read here that is happening.

Kristen: Right.

Erin: I think sometimes we Bible-teacher types like to sanitize Scripture because it’s easier.

Kristen: Clean it up a little?

Erin: Clean it up a little, and then you don’t get the hard questions. Right? My sons can come up with some real doozies of hard questions. We have one of those Lego Bibles—have you ever seen those? Very cool. All Bible stories in Lego. And there was a picture of a Lego guy who with a red square, and it was illustrating circumcision.

My son was, like, “What’s this picture of?” And I was, like, “Ask your dad.” (laughter)

Kristen: Now you’ve got me curious about other passages in Lego version.

Erin: So we want to gloss over things because it can make it easier to teach or help us from getting those curve balls. But all Scripture is God-breathed and useful. So I don’t want to gloss over the fact of what was happening here.

Gayle: Right.

Erin: Boaz bought Ruth, essentially. This is not a passage condoning human trafficking, but I think it’s important as we consider the gospel that Boaz purchased Ruth. So let’s look at some passages that might help us make some connections there.

Gayle, take us to that New Testament—get us in the practice of heading there next. I want you to read us 1 Corinthians 6:19–20.

Gayle: Okay.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own. You were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.

Erin: We were bought at a price. And what was the price? It wasn’t an exchange of sandal. What was the price?

Gayle: Calvary.

Erin: It was Calvary. It was His very own life.

Gayle: Yes.

Erin: So as we’ve been teaching ourselves to look at the book of Ruth as an expression of the gospel, which it is, this fact that Boaz bought Ruth is important because Jesus bought us with His blood.

Kristen: Yes. There’s so much there. Christ bought us to redeem us as His Bride. So not just as His servants, in the sense that He wants to whip us into shape as the taskmaster, but to love us as His redeemed Bride. That’s what we see Boaz doing here.

Erin: Yes.

Can you, Kristen, read us Acts 20:28?

Kristen:

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

Erin: With His own blood. So that verse in Corinthians is individual. “Don’t you know you were bought at a price?” But to use a word we Midwesterners use: “Yous were bought at a price.” Like the Church, God’s people, were purchased with Jesus’ blood. (So if you’re listening, Bible teachers, I’d maybe encourage you not to gloss over the purchasing part of it.) But for all of us, it is a picture of what Jesus has done for us. And you’re right—so that we can be His Bride.

So let’s talk about weddings.

Kristen: Let’s talk about weddings. Why not?

Erin: Where did you get married?

Kristen: We got married in San Antonio. We have a very big community down there. Both of us are from there, my husband and I, so tons of friends and family. We had about a thousand people at our wedding. It was huge. We just invited everybody. We debated. “Okay, we’re either going to cut it really short, and it’s just going to be family and really close friends, or we’re going to invite everybody and their kids.”

Erin: And that was a thousand people.

Kristen: It was so fun, though. Stressful at times, of course, but it was so fun and such a big celebration.

Erin: I love that.

Gayle? Where did you get married?

Gayle: We got married in Illinois, and we just had a tiny wedding of 300 people. It was wonderful.

Erin: Was it in a church? Was it in a cornfield? It could have been either way in Illinois.

Gayle: No, it was in a church.

Erin: Well, I got married on the beach, barefoot, at sunset. It actually was small. I intended it to be small. It was just family. But I remember looking up, and all the hotels that face the beach were full of people on their balcony watching us get married.

Kristen: Oh, that’s so sweet!

Erin: It was very romantic.

Kristen: You want to be a part when you see anybody getting married. Or you see they’re taking pictures, you want to pull over and watch.

Erin: I was surprised. I’d never seen these people in my life, and I still tear up. There’s something so beautiful and precious about it.

Let me read us another wedding story. We already read it, but I want to take us back to Ruth, chapter 4, verse 13.

So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son.

So there we have both the wedding and the honeymoon. We don’t have any details. We don’t know if it was in the barley field. We don’t know any of that. And, again, all of this is moving us forward toward a picture of a better Boaz in Jesus.

So, let’s get to a better wedding picture in Revelation 19. I’m going to read us Revelation 19:6–8—the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Gayle: Oh, I love this!

Erin:

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah!
For the Lord our God
   the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
   and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
   and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
   with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.”

Don’t you love that passage? It’s full of wedding language. There’s feasting. We’re in white clothes—white clothes, which, by the way, Jesus purchased for us. It was loud and rowdy—probably more like your wedding.

Kristen: But way bigger.

Erin: Way bigger. I love that the book of Ruth is a reminder that because of Jesus, our story ends with a wedding.

Kristen: It’s all pointing forward to Christ on the cross. I love Revelation. Here’s the end of the story. It all comes together. All arrows are pointing to God’s romance.

Erin: Yes. My own study of God’s Word has been so transformed by realizing the Old Testament is all an arrow pointing forward to Jesus. And the New Testament is all an arrow pointing backward to Jesus. So, really, Bible study for me is about looking for the arrows.

And in Ruth it’s like, “Oh, there’s the arrow. It’s in the kinsman redeemer. And there’s the arrow. It’s in the wedding.” I love that.

I would like for us to read the wedding toast from Ruth and Boaz’s wedding that are right there in the Scripture. So let’s take us back to Ruth 4. And, Gayle, could you read us 4:14–15

Gayle: Yes.

The woman said to Naomi, “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a kinsman redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”

Erin: I’d like to read the wedding toast from Revelation. Let me read us Revelation 19:9.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

So even just comparing these two wedding moments, there’s parallels. That word “blessed” is used over and over. Everybody’s talking about God. There’s those arrows again. It’s so amazing.

Anything jump out to you as you’re thinking about Ruth and Boaz’s wedding or how it points to the marriage supper of the Lamb?

Gayle: It always amazes me when I think that Ruth had no idea what was to come in that she was going to be part of this amazing story, this genealogical story that leads to Jesus. I mean, she was already obedient and doing everything that her mother-in-law and Boaz and God wanted her to do, but she didn’t realize the outcome. That’s just amazing to me.

It makes me think of how many missed opportunities I have if I’m disobedient, where I could be a part of blessing someone else.

Kristen: Yes. It really reminds me that earthly marriage isn’t the end goal. It’s not our ultimate point of happiness. I think we as women can often think, especially when you’re single, “When I get married, my life will begin, when I have my Boaz, my husband.”

Then you get married, and you realize, yes, it can be great, but it’s not everything. You still have the longings, and you start to see these are only fulfilled in Christ and my relationship with Christ.

I love how beautiful the story is, but how it’s really pointing to our real need, and that’s our relationship with Christ.

Gayle: That’s right.

Erin: Which is why I hope, in these six weeks we’ve spent time in Ruth, it’s been refrained. Probably what you’ve been told about the story of Ruth is true, but it’s not about Ruth and Boaz getting married at the end.

In fact, this baby that’s now on her lap is, in many ways, more significant because he is who links her to the genealogy of Jesus.

Gayle: That’s right.

Erin: It’s about those layers that when we read Scripture over and over, we’re like, “Oh, there’s so much there!”

I’m fond of saying the Bible is a deep well. You can drop your bucket down there and pull up truth every time. I think you could read Ruth every day for the rest of your life, and you would still be mining nuggets from it.

Kristen: Oh, yes, and every new season of life hits you differently. Like, “Whoa! Now the Holy Spirit is really revealing something I didn’t see five years ago, or ten years ago.”

Erin: Right. So let’s talk about that baby for a minute. He is important to the story.

Gayle, could you read us again verses 17–22?

Gayle: Yes. 

The women living there said, “Naomi has a son.” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. This then is the family line of Perez. Perez was the father of Hezron, Hezron, the father of Ram. Ram, the father of Amminadab. Amminadab, the father of Nahshon. Nahshon, the father of Salmon. Salmon, the father of Boaz. Boaz, the father of Obed. Obed, the father of Jesse, and Jesse, the father of David.

Erin: Shew! Good job on those names!

Kristen: Way to go!

Erin: You did it!

All right, I want us to think back to Ruth 1 and remember for a minute all that Ruth and Naomi had lost. Actually, let’s think all the way back to the trajectory Elimelech had put his family on.

So, Elimelech takes his family out of the Promised Land and takes them to Moab and could have/should have, humanly speaking, put his family on this trajectory direction. And then who did Naomi lose?

Kristen: Her husband and her two sons.

Erin: She lost her husband and her sons, which means Ruth lost her . . .?

Kristen: Husband.

Erin: And Ruth had no children with him. Right?

Kristen: Right.

Erin: So she loses her opportunity seemingly to have children. And yet, this isn’t generations of curses this family gets. It’s generations of blessings. It’s all grace.

I just said this to my husband the other day. I said, “Sometimes I can think I earned X,Y, Z because I’ve been faithful.” No . . . it’s all grace. Every bit of it is grace.

And instead of the generations of consequences that could have happened, they get these names in the Bible of blessing after blessing after blessing.

So Ruth is the great-great-grandma of King David.

Kristen: That’s incredible.

Erin: I know! And of course, she has no way of knowing that when this bouncing baby boy is sitting on her lap, but we know it. My mind is blown away. I’m glad we took it slow through those early verses, because when you think of Ruth, the Moabitess, the widow. And then you think of Ruth, the great-great-grandma of King David, it’s remarkable.

Kristen: I love the contrast between how this book opens and how it closes. God’s grace is there throughout all of it, but quite the contrast of so much grief and sorrow and loss. Then you see God turn this whole story around for His redeeming purposes. And then you see this lineage. It’s incredible.

Erin: Yes. There are women listening right now who are in Ruth 1:1–5. Maybe it’s not that their husband and sons have died, but they’re just at a site of devastation. The promise is not that it’s all going to come to a full circle, humanly speaking, in four chapters. Wouldn’t that be nice?

But that’s actually not the full restoration that Ruth experienced either. If we trace that family line out all the way from King David, it gets even better because who does it go to?

Kristen: To Jesus!

Erin: Ultimately to Jesus. So the hope is that our sorrow is restored, not in the happy ending, humanly. But in Jesus, our desperation is restored. In Jesus, our messy families are restored. In Jesus . . . what else? Think about your own life. Think about women. What is it that we could just send out a beacon of hope right now, that at the end of the story . . . that doesn’t even often mean in our lifetime.

Kristen: Right. Exactly.

Erin: Or in our generation. But at the end of the story, there will be restoration in Jesus. Let’s just call out those things.

Kristen: I just know in my own life, as I’m continuing on this journey of infertility. It’s not resolved. We haven’t arrived at a place where now I’m surrounded by children, and it’s wonderful. I’m still trusting the Lord.

My mentor told me something as I was walking through some of these darkest moments, “The valley may be long, and it may be very dark, but God promises to be with you in the midst of it.”

Gayle: That’s right.

Kristen: So in this life we’re not promised this happy, fairytale ending. We’re not promised that we’re going to get all the things we’ve ever desired, longed for, prayed for, even things we’ve prayed for for years—good things the Bible calls “a blessing.” But God promises to be with us in the midst of it. And in this world there is brokenness, but Christ is with us, redeeming our broken hearts, restoring us to have a relationship with Him.

I know on the other side of this earth, I will spend all of eternity with Him forever. That’s what gives my heart joy. Not in getting what I want on this earth, but having Christ truly made all the difference for me.

Erin: What comes to mind, Gayle, when you think of what will be restored in Jesus?

Gayle: Well, I see this whole thing as a story of redemption and grace—absolutely grace—but redemption. We love the way God makes something beautiful out of our messes. All the ugly parts that we are in a puddle of grief over, God turns it around and makes something beautiful of it because it’s not about us—it’s about Him and His glory. I’m so thankful for that.

Erin: Amen. I think of this cultural brokenness. I’m fond of saying I have brokenness fatigue. I mean, I can just get so worn down.

Kristen: Yes. It’s heavy.

Erin: And many fears of our world, the most brilliant minds are working on solving this political problem or this medical problem and coming up short. And for me, knowing that the happy ending is not an election turning out a certain way or a vaccine or a cure or a peace in a certain area of the world.

To me, knowing that the end of the story is Jesus. You mentioned the new heaven and the new earth. My seven-year-old Judah is kind of obsessed with the new heaven and the new earth. “What’s it going to be like?” “I don’t know, but I’m glad it’s coming.”

And just knowing that the ending is Jesus of all of that is just . . . it just helps you get through.

Kristen: All things will be made new.

Erin: They will.

Kristen: He will dry our tears, and all things will be made new. That’s the best ending we could ever hope for, that He will restore all things.

Erin: It is. And the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end.” But the reality is, for those of us in Christ, “All bad things must come to an end.”

Kristen: I love that!

Erin: Right?!

Gayle: All good things are just starting.

Erin: They are just getting started.

Kristen: Praise God!

Gayle: It helps me just to remember that we live in a fallen world. We live in a really fallen world. But that’s not the end of that story. It is because we have a greater hope. And just because we know the end of the story is Jesus, and it’s a beautiful ending, doesn’t mean we’re not going to go through hard things here. But to have that hope, that’s just priceless. It really is.

Erin: Yes. And Ruth’s story is an example of that journey. There certainly were dark moments.

Gayle: Absolutely.

Erin: Hard moments, moments of desperation when she couldn’t have known how it was going to end. But the Lord, in His goodness, was moving her towards this sweet moment of marriage and children, and then being a part of the gospel story. So profound.

So Ruth’s story, even though it’s in the Old Testament, and the name of Jesus is never mentioned, Ruth’s story is a story of restoration because of Jesus.

Gayle: That’s right.

Erin: If I wanted to leave one thought in the hearts and minds of the women listening, it’s that it’s all about Jesus. The book of Ruth is about Jesus. The book of Erin is about Jesus. The book of Gayle, the book of Kristen—they’re about Jesus.

Gayle: That’s right.

Erin: And because of that, it’s such a happy ending.

Kristen: Amen. And we can have that today.

Erin: We can!

Kristen: It doesn’t have to come later or in the future season. Today we can have Christ, and we can really live the full life He has for us right now.

Erin: Absolutely. Yes. What Ruth gained that was the most precious was not a husband.

Kristen: Exactly.

Erin: But it was being a part of what Jesus was doing, and it’s the same for us.

Gayle: Yes.

Erin: I thought that we might just end our time together with reading Scripture over the women who are listening.

Let’s head over to Isaiah 61:10.

We’re all going to read it—we’re all going to read this same passage. But if you’re listening—I just got a lump in my throat at the thought. I want you to know we’re reading this passage over your life. This is the promise you can take to the bank as a reminder that it’s all about Jesus.

So, Gayle, will you read us Isaiah 61:10?

Gayle:

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with jewels.

Erin: Kristen, will you read it to us again?

Kristen:

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with jewels.

Erin: I think I could hear it in my sleep, and it would still stir my heart. But one more time. Isaiah 61:10.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Well, I hope that you’ve been studying along right with us. I hope that your copy of Ruth is all marked up with notes and things the Lord showed you. But maybe not. Maybe you’ve been listening along, and you haven’t done the study yet. So let me encourage you to head on over to ReviveOurHearts.com/Ruth, and you can get your copy there. You can watch the videos there.

But you also might know Ruth is one of many Women of the Bible studies put out by Revive Our Hearts. We’ve got Abigail. We’ve got Elisabeth. We’ve got several others. So you can head to ReviveOurHearts.com/Women of the Bible and grab this study. Maybe from here you can go and do it with a group, or grab another Women of the Bible study.

I’m stalling because it’s time to say, “Goodbye.”

Kristen: Oh, no!

Erin: I don’t like that.

But I’ll let you girls have the last word. Gayle, I would love to hear what has the Lord done in your heart through the study of Ruth?

Gayle: It’s just a beautiful reminder of Jesus and salvation and the price. I mean, it’s all over the book of Ruth. Jesus is our Kinsman Redeemer, and He paid such a high price for us. It’s just beautiful.

Erin: It is.

Gayle: And just as you said, I think in the beginning of the study, it’s a love story. It’s a beautiful love story. And we think automatically it’s the story of Ruth and Boaz, but it’s the story of Jesus and us.

Erin: I love that.

Kristen: That’s so good.

Gayle: Jesus and His Bride.

Erin: Kristen, what has the Lord stirred in your heart over these weeks?

Kristen: I have been so encouraged by Ruth herself—just seeing how she stepped out in faith from the very beginning. She chased after the one true God. Leaving all of the gods of Moab behind to chase after the one true God, not knowing what was ahead, not knowing how life was going to be.

I know in my life, that’s hard! And I was just so encouraged by seeing her tremendous faith, encouraged to trust the Lord wherever He took her, and to trust that He was good, and to put her faith in Him.

All Scripture is taken from the ESV unless noted.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

Share the Good News

Our team loves putting out quality posts to help you walk with Christ. If you have been helped or encouraged today, would you consider giving a few dollars to support the Women of the Bible podcast?

Donate Now

About the Speakers

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many …

Read More
Kristen Clark

Kristen Clark

Kristen Clark is married to her best friend, Zack, is co-founder of GirlDefined Ministries, and author of Girl DefinedLove Defined, and Sex, Purity, and the Longings of …

Read More
Gayle Villalba

Gayle Villalba

Gayle serves as Ministry Representative for Revive Our Hearts and has served on staff for nearly twenty-five years. She also facilitates, with her husband, at The Lodge, a retreat center …

Read More

Women of the Bible