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Ruth - A story of kindness and redemption ::

LUKE TATTERSALL Offers another outline to help preach through Ruth
©Perspective 2006

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I’ve been making my way through the pages of the Old Testament in chronological order, so we were up to looking at the book of Ruth.
I was inspired by Phil’s approach to the book (here and here . He said in his paper that we need to do the biblical theology … but we shouldn’t let that strip the text of meaning. It is a book about God’s kindness … firstly to these 2 women … but ultimately about God’s kindness to his people Israel.

Purpose of the book of Ruth

The setting for the events of the book is clear – during the time of the Judges.

But the setting for the original readers the book (for my money) was some time during the monarchy. I think that the purpose of the book was to offer support to the Davidic monarchy.

One of the issues that has to be addressed is the trip to Moab at the beginning of the book. Was this disobedience that met with punishment from God or was it a wise move for a man looking to care for his family? I have opted for the “wise man looking after his family”.

I have found myself unconvinced by the idea that their move to Moab was a disaster and that God was judging them for moving out of the promised land.

If Moab was a bad move then surely bringing a Moabite back to Israel was also the wrong thing to do (Deut 23:3).

I think there have been some other notable movements out of the promised land. The move by Jacob and his family during the time of famine seems to be viewed favourably in the book of Genesis.
But the move that I find intriguing is that David takes his parents to Moab for protection when Saul is trying to kill him (1 Samuel 22:3)

But in the end I am not convinced that the move was wrong or resulted in God’s judgement because the text doesn’t say that.
It seems to me that Ruth is a beautiful reminder that in the midst of the chaos in Israel God is at work to raise up a saviour for his people.


The things that I found helpful were:

The Talks

I had worked at one time on titles using the word “A Series of ???”
Ruth 1 – A Series of Unfortunate Events
Ruth 2 – A Series of remarkable Co-incidences
Ruth 3 – A Series of Remarkable Provisions
Ruth 4 – A Series of ???

But in the end I went with the Kindness theme:
Ruth 1 – The Famine – God’s Kindness in Hardship
Ruth 2 – The Harvest – God’s Kindness in
Ruth 3 – The Gathering – God’s Kindness in Relationships
Ruth 4 – The Fullness – God’s kindness in Redemption

Ruth 1 – The Famine. God’s Kindness in Hardship

1. Choosing a Movie

2. What’s In a Name?

3. Moving to Moab … a Series of Unfortunate Events

4. Coming Home … the Hard Way

5. Kindness in Hardship

6. God’s Kindness to Us

Ruth 2 – The Harvest God’s Kindness in Providence

1. Six Billion to One

2. The Story So Far

3. Introducing Boaz

4. “As it turned out …”

5. Boaz’s Kindness to Ruth

6. All the Pieces Come Together

7. Conclusion


Ruth 3 – The Gathering God’s Kindness in Relationships

1. Will You Marry Me?

2. Naomi’s Plan

3. “Will you marry me?”

4. The Twist in the Plot … Another Redeemer

5. God’s Kindness in Relationships

Ruth 4 – The Fullness God’s Kindness in Redemption

1. Ordinary People

2. Boaz and The Other Kinsman Redeemer

3. God’s Solution to Israel’s Problem

4. God’s Solution to OUR PROBLEM

Luke Tattersall
Pearl Beach – 2006

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This is the heart of Perspective. These sermon series outlines have been used in real, live churches and preached to real, live congregations.

While it is important to do the hard work yourself when preparing to preach, it’s a great thing to be able to learn from other people’s experience and effort, so use these outline freely, but wisely.