A Multi-Layered Reading of Ruth 1:1-5

First off, the book of Ruth presents itself as the solution to Judges's problem. The book of Judges sums itself up in its final sentence: "In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25). Turn the page, and Ruth 1:1, we find ourselves in same world: "In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land." However, in verse 2 we are introduced to a man named "Elimelech", which translates "God is King."

How Temptation Works

Sometimes we get confused about the way the gospel works. We think that proclaiming the gospel to one another means only encouraging one another in forgiveness and grace and mercy but never warning one another of the dangers of diving headlong into sin. This kind of gospel has no word for the brother or sisters who gives in to temptation over and over again--who, what's the phrase..."makes a practice of sinning".  We avoid the Old Testament with all of its narratives of God's judgment and cherry-pick through the sermons of Jesus and the letters of Paul, goose-stepping the harsh warnings of Hebrews and James. We select only the passages that tell us of God's love and forgiveness and joy. But are these warnings in Scripture not a part of the gospel, too?