Ruth and Redemption
Context - starting with Ruth Chapter 1You would think that with the theme of ‘kinsman redeemer’ that runs through the book of Ruth that there would be a fair amount on Redemption there, wouldn’t you? Well, there is, I guess, but it’s not terribly explicit in the text! Paul kindly sent me some notes on this thoughts for this evening’s talk and I have to say that i couldn’t really wrap my brain around them terribly easy. Apparently there are two words for ‘redemption’ that occur 23 times between them through the book of Ruth, but I couldn’t find most of them! I did find some wonderful websites of Jewish sermons – or ‘Midrash’ – that talk about this wonderful book of scripture, but I did struggle with putting things together for this evening. Though that’s probably as much a mark of how busy things are at the moment apart from anything else.
What I hope you have figured out, if you were at the last Team Evening Worship, is that there is a huge amount to think about in the book of Ruth. Coming as it does in the time between the judges and the kings of Israel it is, it seems, an historical book – this may seem like an obvious thing to say, but if we look closely at some parts of the Hebrew Scriptures some things which seem historical may well be allegorical, the book of Jonah, for instance, and of Job. These books may be seen as parables rather than being necessarily historical – though scholars differ about that. [more]