19 Aug Words of Grace – Keep Reading
When we come to the end of the book of Judges we are left with a bleak picture of the state of God’s people at this point in history. “There was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” As Judges shows us, that “right” was wrong. The sins of idolatry, abuse, greed, and disloyalty abound.
But turn the page in your Bible and you will find another book. It’s called Ruth. It’s a beautiful story of the Lord’s gracious provision for two widows, of a woman and a man who treat each other with honor, and of a village of people who still love the Lord and their neighbors. One of the most striking aspects of the book of Ruth is that the opening line tells us that this kindness, faithfulness, honor, and loyalty took place, “in the days when the judges ruled.”
God gave us one book, Judges, to show us the depths of sin and what life is like when we do what is right in our own eyes. He gave us another book, Ruth, to show us his great faithfulness and what life can be like when we walk by faith in him.
Judges and Ruth together show us that we need to keep reading. We don’t stop at the low points, the dark seasons, and the human depravity revealed in the Bible. We keep reading to find the high point of the cross of Christ, the light of the gospel of the glory of God in the face of Christ, and the power of the new creation for all who are in Christ.
We also learn from reading these two books together that in our personal darkness we must keep looking for the light of God’s faithfulness. He will provide. He will keep us. He will fulfill every promise he has made in his good and wise way.
This Sunday at Grace we will keep reading past Judges to the small but significant book of Ruth. We will see in the life circumstances of its characters the providential hand of God. We will find hope for a dark season in the life of God’s people.
You can read Ruth in one sitting in just a few minutes. I have a feeling that once you start reading, you will spend more than a few minutes lingering over this grace-filled story. Take some time this weekend to keep reading.