Series: God's Word for You
Published by Good Book Company on November 1, 2020
Genres: Non-Fiction, Devotional, Theology
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Applied expository guide on the book of Ruth: a story of redemption that points us to Jesus.
The book of Ruth is a love story. Like all love stories it has twists and turns, tension and resolution, and a happy ending.
But it’s far more than that because it reveals to us a God who is deeply committed to caring for his people. In Boaz, God provides Ruth with a loving husband to free and provide for her, pointing us to the Bible’s grand story of redemption and David’s greatest son, Jesus.
Tony Merida’s compelling story-telling and Christ-centered insights make this both an accessible and absorbing expository guide to the book of Ruth. It can be used for personal devotions, or for leading small-group studies, or for sermon preparation.
In Ruth For You: Revealing God’s Kindness and Care, pastor and author Tony Merida explores the book of Ruth through expository teaching. He goes through the biblical book from beginning to end, and also includes context from elsewhere in the Bible, helping readers understand the Old Testament context to Ruth and the ways that this story foreshadows redemptive themes and connects to the genealogy of Christ. At the beginning, Merida writes about how much people tend to love Ruth, because it is both a moving love story and and a triumph over the odds. He gives his readers deeper insight into the story through his understanding of the culture, and gracefully addresses themes of immigration and women’s rights without overemphasizing social elements of the story or making political points that are outside of the scriptural framework.
This book works as a devotional book, a reference for sermon-planning, a group study guide, or a book to read straight through. I read it straight through, and even though this meant that I was more aware of the parts that were somewhat repetitive and restated things, I enjoyed the book and appreciated the extra insight into this familiar story. Throughout Ruth for You, Merida emphasizes the sovereignty of God, explaining that even though the author often introduced new turns in the plot by saying, “it just so happened,” this was a device to underscore God’s providential hand. Merida encourages his readers to consider the ways that God may be working behind the scenes in their everyday lives, just as he brought healing and hope to Ruth and Naomi through ordinary means.
Even though I am very familiar with the book of Ruth and have done a Bible study on it before, I still learned new things from this guide. I really enjoyed it, and since this Bible study includes discussion questions at the end of each section without including the kind of time-consuming activities and requirements that many more traditional Bible studies do, this can be a great option for small groups to study together without having homework requirements that will put people out of sync with each other. This book is great for both men and women, and I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a faithful and practical resource on this book of the Bible.