Practical Applications from the Book of Ruth

February 8, 2023

Last year during the Summer Study, we studied the book of Ruth, and I think there are many different insights that can be found in this book, but today I will be focusing on Ruth’s faith in God in very uncertain and difficult circumstances. 

Allow me to set the stage for you. Ruth was from the country of Moab, and had probably lived there for her whole life. She had married an Israelite named Mahlon, who had migrated there years before, but fairly soon after they married, he died. So what was she to do now? Her mother-in-law Naomi was going back to Israel, but Naomi had encouraged her to stay back in Moab. But instead of going back, she responded like this: 

“But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16 NKJV)

Ruth chose to have faith in the one true God, and decided to go back with Naomi back to Israel, even though it didn’t make sense. She was going into a whole new culture, no connections, and a place she had never been. But she decided to follow God’s leading, and was blessed, just like others who followed God, like Abraham, Moses, the disciples, and numerous others on their own journey with God. The blessings look different for each person, but for Ruth, God graciously gave her a husband, a child, and a whole community that loved her. 

But putting faith in God is not just something of the past. In my own life, a few years back, my dad was running his own business that was doing well, but he felt God was calling him to go into ministry, though he didn’t initially know where. God eventually led him to move to Oklahoma with our whole family, and we joined a ministry called In The Gap. Since we have been here, God has blessed us immensely with a wonderful community of Christians who authentically live out their faith in service to one another and to our community. That is not to say that it has been without its difficulties, but having experienced living in the will of God, I can say it is the best place to be. 

But how do we practically live out the lesson of following God in faith? And how do we hear from God? Jesus said in John 10:27 (NKJV): “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” So if we believe in Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, which God promised would lead us into all truth. But how does it lead us into truth? It can look different for each person, but God can prompt us through many different things. It can be a verse from the Bible that pops into our head, or it may be a circumstance in which you feel a certain peace about one decision, or wisdom that came from a mature believer. But the most important thing is that all of these things are rooted and backed up in God’s Word.

In closing, I exhort everyone reading to pay attention to the different ways that God is speaking to you, and when you hear Him speaking, to recall to mind Hebrews 3:18 (NKJV), which says: “Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness.” Please don’t harden your heart, but take a leap of faith, and experience God’s best for your life, because no matter the difficulties along the journey, God is good, and always wants your best for you, and He is perfecting the masterpiece that you are in Him.

Written by NBB Alumnus: William Saunders

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