All of Christ for All of Life
Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone

26 June 2020 – Ruth 1:6-7

When Naomi heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah. – Ruth 1:6-7

John R. Wilch writes:

The end of the famine in Judah promised a return to normal life. The LORD must have sent sufficient “early rain” in autumn to enable the planting of barley and wheat, and the crops would have grown well with the aid of the “latter rain” in spring (Deut 11:14), anticipating a good harvest.

The personal name of Israel’s God appears in Ruth in this section: YHWH, “the LORD.” Throughout the OT this personal name of the triune God, “the LORD,” helps to signal His intimate covenant relationship with His people. He is the Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. He is the only true God, who is one, and who at the same time is the tribune God revealed more fully in the NT as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. …

“The LORD had graciously visited His people” is the first of only two times in Ruth where direct action is attributed to the LORD Himself. Since the verb “visit” can be used of divine judgment as well as salvation by grace, the LORD’s visitation is both a warning not to presume on His holiness and a promise that He wills to bless. Because it may be used in connection with God creating conception in an infertile woman (Gen 21:1-2; 1 Sam 2:21), one may ask, “Will God also intervene in that way here?”

Israel’s believers saw the government of God in everything. They would have responded to the famine’s trial with penitence and prayer, imploring the LORD to remember and visit His people. God may allow suffering to continue for His saints for a time, but eventually, out of compassion, He provides for His people’s needs and promises to grant eternal deliverance from all trials. The fulfillment in Ruth 1:6 of God’s covenant promises to provide for His people is is reminiscent of how He granted food and saved lives repeatedly at the time of the patriarchs, especially through Joseph in Egypt.

MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 89
Q. 89. How is the word made effectual to salvation?
A. The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching, of the word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith, unto salvation.