The author of the book of Ruth is not known, although the most prominent suggestion is Samuel. It was written approximately 1375-1050 B.C. after the period of the Judges.
The book of Ruth derives its name from its principal character. The biographical sketch of this godly young Moabitess contains concerning the Ancient Near East customs. It also shows how three individuals remained strong in character and true to God, even when the society around them was collapsing.
The story of Ruth takes place during the dark days of Israel, when every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Naomi and Ruth’s lifestyle in contrast paint a beautiful picture of loyalty, friendship and commitment – both to God and to each other.
The book of Ruth is also the story of God’s grace in the midst of difficult circumstances. People tend to think of blessings in terms of prosperity, rather than the high-quality relationships God makes possible for us. No matter what our economic situation, we can love and respect the people God has brought into our lives. In so doing, we give and receive blessings, knowing that love is the greatest blessing. God brought great blessings out of Naomi’s tragedy. Throughout her challenging circumstances, Naomi continued to trust God and was rewarded.
Despite our sorrows and calamity, God can bring great blessings into our lives. Ruth’s life exhibited admirable qualities. She was hardworking, kind, faithful and brave. These qualities gained her a good reputation, but only because she displayed them consistently in all areas of her life.
Some reader’s, may find the book of Ruth just to be a nice story about a young woman who received God’s favour. But in reality, the events recorded were part of God’s preparations for the births of David and of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. Just as Ruth was unaware of this larger purpose in her life, we will not know the full purpose and importance of our lives, until we are able to look back on the whole picture from the perspective of eternity.
Therefore live in faithfulness to God, knowing that the significance of your life will extend beyond your lifetime. The rewards will outweigh any sacrifice you may have made.