The Gospel According to Ruth: Bitterness and Kindness – 10-8-2017

Ruth 1:1-22

1) Can you relate to the “bitter” anguish that Naomi suffered? How have
you grieved that loss?
2) Have you ever experienced—or offered—the kind of sacrificial, loyal
love that Ruth offers to Naomi?

“Providence” says that God is there, God cares, God rules, and God provides. Faith
in such a God undergirds every chapter of Ruth.
David Atkinson
Sometimes [the Old Testament word] hesed is translated “steadfast love.” It combines
commitment with sacrifice. Hesed is one-way love. Love without an exit strategy.
When you love with hesed love, you bind yourself to the object of your love, no matter
what the response is. So if the object of your love snaps at you, you still love that
person. If you’ve had an argument with your spouse in which you were slighted or not
heard, you refuse to retaliate through silence or withholding your affection. Your
response to the other person is entirely independent of how that person has treated
you. Hesed is a stubborn love.
Paul Miller
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
William Cowper