Hope in the Ordinary

The setting for Ruth is the time of the Judges. Judges records God’s people doing some of the ugliest things imaginable. It is the story of a faithful God’s mission to love an unfaithful people and save them from their sin.

Most of the story of Judges takes place on a gigantic scale with major rebellion, powerful judgments, brutal oppressors with big armies, and over-the-top heroes.

Ruth is a story of ordinary people in Bethlehem facing everyday events, from loss and dislocation to marriage and family life. In all of this, however, Ruth 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.

The story of Ruth is a glimpse into what a sovereign and good God is doing to accomplish his mission, not despite the sinful choices of men, but through them. The story is not big, it is small; the characters are not amazing, they are very ordinary. It is a story about one small family, and one young non-Israelite widow, serving as light of hope that ultimately leads us to Jesus Christ, the light of the world. When all things appear hopeless, God is faithful.

Ruth reminds us not only that God works visibly through prophets and miracles, but that he is invisibly and mysteriously working all of the time, even within tragedy. It’s a story for those of us who have suffered, are suffering, and will suffer tragedy, loss, or pain. It is a story for those who doubt whether God is in control, whether God is good, and whether faithfulness to do what is right is worth it in hard times. And it’s a story for people who question whether all things, including suffering, are in fact purposed for good.

Ruth explores the interplay of God’s purposes with human decision and will. God weaves together the faithful obedience of his people to bring about his redemptive purposes in the world.


Sermons in this series

Ordinary Greatness (Ruth 4)
September 19, 2021Pastor:Joey Woestman

Sermon Notes

Ruth 4 records the striking reversal of fortune of all the major characters in this story. But it’s no miracle; it’s the quiet faithfulness of God through the acts of greatness of ordinary people. Join us for “Ordinary Greatness” from Ruth 4, as we see God work in incredible ways through ordinary people.

Watch Sermon
Hope of Rescue (Ruth 3)
September 12, 2021Pastor:Jeff Schultz

Sermon Notes

It’s wonderful when God answers prayer by acting directly or miraculously to bring about good outcomes. But what if he more commonly works in and through people to accomplish his purposes? And what if that might include us? Join us as we see what that looks like in Ruth chapter 3 as we consider “The Hope of Rescue.”

Watch Sermon
Under His Wings (Ruth 2)
September 5, 2021Pastor:Tom Macy

Sermon Notes

The dramatic Biblical story of Ruth continues, almost written in the form of a 4 Act screen play ready for filming. Act 2, the second chapter finds the two widows, Naomi and Ruth, now in Bethlehem from Moab. What hope does a widowed Moabite woman have in a tight knit Jewish town that is filled with danger for a foreigner? From a human perspective, prospects are dim, yet in God’s grace, she finds favor and acceptance as we meet another main character, Boaz. Join us for an examination of Ruth 2, Under His Wings.

Watch Sermon
Hope in Suffering (Ruth 1)
August 29, 2021Pastor:Jeff Schultz

Sermon Notes

The story of Ruth is a glimpse into what God is doing to accomplish his good purposes, not despite the choices of people, but through them. When all things appear hopeless, God is faithful. It’s a message for those who doubt whether God is in control, whether God is good, and whether faithfulness to do what is right is worth it in hard times. Join us as we look at “Hope in Suffering” from Ruth chapter 1.

Watch Sermon