“The life of the godly is not a straight line to glory, but they do get there. The life of the godly is not an Interstate through Nebraska, but a state road through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee. There are rock slides and precipices and dark mists and bears and slippery curves and hairpin turns that make you go backwards in order to go forwards. But all along this hazardous, twisted road that doesn't let you see very far ahead there are frequent signs that say, "The best is yet to come." And at the bottom right corner written with an unmistakable hand are the words, "As I live, says the Lord!"

The book of Ruth is one of those signs for you to read. It was written and it has been preached to give you some midsummer encouragement and hope that all the perplexing turns in your life lately are not dead-end streets. In all the setbacks of your life as a believer God is plotting for your joy.

Life is one curve after another. And we never know what's coming. But the point of the story is that the best is yet to come. No matter where you are, if you love God, the best is yet to come.

Ruth was written to help us see the signposts of the grace of God in our lives, and to help us trust his grace even when the clouds are so thick that we can't see the road let alone the signs on the side. Let's go back and remind ourselves that it was God who acted to turn each setback into a stepping stone to joy, and that it is God in all of our bitter providences who is plotting for our good.” -- John Piper


“Why does God do things this way? Why is he willing to be involved with such an array of dubious characters? Look at the women who appear in the genealogy of Jesus, as recorded by Matthew. Front and center there is Tamar, the Canaanite mother of Perez and Zerah. Then there is Rahab, who didn’t just dress up like a prostitute; she really was one! She too found a place in the ancestry of our Lord as she was rescued out of Jericho and brought into the covenant community. Next there was Ruth who, for all her worthiness, was still the Moabitess, a despised foreigner. Finally there was Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon and former wife of Uriah. That is quite a collection of family portraits!
Nor are the men in the family tree of Jesus any better. After all, it was Judah who slept with Tamar without any qualms, all the time thinking she was a prostitute. It was David who arranged for Bathsheba’s seduction and Uriah’s murder. In addition, in the list of Jesus’ ancestors is Manasseh, the greatest idolater among the kings of Judah. Manasseh is the one whose sins were so great that from then on the exile of God’s people was a foregone conclusion. 
Together, these men and women make up a remarkable procession of the great unwashed. Why would the Lord Jesus, who could have chosen to be descended from anyone at all, choose to be descended from such a soiled line?
Matthew explains Jesus' ancestry in the next section of his Gospel. The angel told Joseph, ’You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ As Jesus himself put it, 'The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.' He came to rescue sinners, people like his own ancestors, people like us…” Ian Duguid


“Like a golden thread, her obedience weaves her pilgrimage into a stunning tapestry. When we step back and look at the whole, we see God everywhere—orchestrating, shaping, and redeeming. But without Ruth’s obedience there would be no unveiling of God in the story. We discover God in the story as we love.” Paul Miller 


I watched an inspirational (and I'll admit, cheesy) movie the other day, and I was drawn to a couple of songs on the soundtrack by Mandi Mapes. In the process of looking up her music, I stumbled upon this little gem from several years back, when David Platt was Senior Pastor at the Church at Brook Hills. It's a great summary to our study of Ruth!

The first half of the recording (20 minutes or so) is a theatrical introduction to David Platt's message. It contains several dramatic readings of the story of Ruth, as well as 4 original songs (all performed by Mandi Mapes). These lyrics from the third song keep running through my head:

your life is my melody
part of a song that I am singing 
in the dark it's hard to see,
but there will be redemption in the morning

and I already know who's gonna save you
I already wrote the end of the story
you were made for me
and I'll never leave you 
and in the end, it's all for My glory

He already knows! What a comfort it is to trust in God's providence. The end of the story has already been written, and it's all for His glory!