A Beat of Hope Interrupting a Dark Rhythm (Ruth 1)

“In the days when the judges ruled…”

These were grim days. The evils of the latter kings and the exile to come were but the harvesting of idolatrous seeds sown only a generation after the death of Joshua. Here is the dark rhythm of Judges:

“And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals (Judges 2:11).”

“And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. They forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth (Judges 3:7).”

“And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD (Judges 3:12).”

“And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD after Ehud died (Judges 4:1).”

“The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD gave them into the hand of Midian seven years (Judges 6:1).”

“The people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines. And they forsook the LORD and did not serve him (Judges 10:6).”

“And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, so the LORD gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years (Judges 13:1).”

As you advance through the book, the minor key persists, but a motif of hope is added:

“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6).”

“In those days there was no king in Israel (Judges 18:1).”

“In those days, when there was no king in Israel… (Judges 19:1).”

“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 21:25).”

The hope is a king.

Set in the midst of these local military leaders, these flawed superheroes, you have the pastoral setting of Ruth. It is a welcome reprieve from the violence and evil of Judges and a hopeful transition to the era of kings.

In the midst of such sin, we see the beauty of God’s grace. Here, God’s providence takes the ordinary stuff of life and brings extraordinary mercy to his people. God’s sovereignty works in the regular hurts and glories of all His saints towards the same end we see in Ruth—the glory of His King. The King who will turn the hearts of His people back to God.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s