The book of Ruth must surely be one of the loveliest short stories ever written, telling an unforgettable tale of purity, faithfulness, innocence, loyalty, duty, and love. Yet it is set in dark times: the final verse of the book of Judges, which precedes Ruth in the Bible, tells us that “in those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” As one commentator writes, the time was marked by “violent invasions, apostate religion, unchecked lawlessness, and tribal civil war.”
It is against this backdrop of strife and chaos that Ruth’s story unfolds—a story of ordinary people in Bethlehem facing everyday events, from loss and dislocation to marriage and family life. In all of this, however, Alistair Begg reminds us that no matter how dark or dramatic our days may seem, God still protects His people and accomplishes His purposes. Within life’s humdrum and routine events, we discover His loving hand at work.