God in my Weeping: Enduring Faith (Ruth 1:7-22)
If you have been watching the news, it is pretty much all about the upcoming election. Don’t worry, I am not going to preach politics today, but we all know that every politician is good at one thing: professing. It is easy to profess something. It is easy to stand up and declare in words the policies you believe in and how you think everyone else should believe in as well. However, professing is one thing, but possessing the abilities to carry them out is another thing. And for whoever becomes our next president, only time will tell.
In the beginning of every sports season, usually some arrogant athlete stands in front of the microphone and declares that their team is the team to beat this year. He professes that their team is going to get the championship this year. Only time will tell if that team possesses the ability to get there.
We also see it evangelistic crusades. How many of you have ever seen or been to a Billy Graham crusade? I have only seen them on television, but at the end, the altar call is given and thousands of people flood to the front of the stadium to make a “profession of faith.” But only time will tell if they were making mere professions, or if they possessed real faith or in other words, if Christ really possessed them.
Today I want to talk to you about how we can know if we possess true faith or if we are mere professors of faith? What are the marks of a true follower of Christ? What separates the true sheep from the goats? The Bible says, “The Lord knows who are His” (2 Tim. 2:19). I like that verse, because sometimes I do not know who are His! Sometimes I wish we can turn off the lights and all the true believers can just glow or something. If the Lord allowed that, then people will find ways to have battery-operated lights or something! But one thing I do know is that I need to check my heart to make sure I have it.
You may ask, are there any tests to see who is for real and is not? Good question! One of the sure tests is time, but another sure test is temperature. Very often true believers can separated from false ones when their faith is put under fire. Not that true believers have perfect faith under the heat of a trial, but they have an enduring faith. We are going to see that from Ruth 1 today. The title of the message today is “God in my Weeping: Enduring Faith.” Turn in your Bibles to Ruth 1:7-22. Ruth is a person of enduring faith. There is going to be a lot thrown at her, but she perseveres. She follows all the way, a great picture of what it means to be a committed follower.
Here’s the first thought for today:
I will follow:
I. Even through persuasions of worldly wisdom (Ruth 1:7-10)
We last left the ladies in the fields of Moab. Last week we learned about a man whose name meant “My God is King” who decided to take God’s job and become king of his own life and take his family from the House of Bread (Bethlehem) and Place of Praise (Judah) to swim around in a toilet bowl, i.e., Moab (Ps. 108:9). Irony of ironies, they went to Moab to escape death and all three men in the story end up dying. Before the sons died, they do the unthinkable and marry Moabite wives, another no-no in that culture.
Now we have this gloomy, hopeless setting of a destitute woman driven from her homeland from famine, cruelly robbed of loved ones by death, sitting in the fields of Moab with no hope. Without a male protector, her family unit is teetering on the verge of extinction. I am so thankful that when we come to the end of our rope, God still holds the last strand. Elimelech tried to control his life and future, but when that had failed, God steps in.
Naomi is in the fields of Moab and she gets the news that the famine is over. The text says the Lord “visited” His people. We have a God who visits us and when He visits His own who are turning to Him, He likes to visit with blessing! The Hebrew here is rhythmic, almost joyous. The clouds are finally gone and the sun is out. Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning! (Ps. 30:5). After Good Friday is always Resurrection Sunday.
Isn’t that amazing that God meets us in our wandering?! By the way, the word for God used in Ruth is “Yahweh” translated in capital letters, LORD, in our Bibles. It is the most often used name of God in the Bible (over 6,000x in the OT). One Bible encyclopedia says that “As Yahweh he is a faithful covenant God who, having given his Word of love and life, keeps that Word by bestowing love and life abundantly on his own.” Notice the author using Yahweh in verse 6. It is also the personal name of God. We are often hard on Naomi, but the mere fact that she responds to hearing this news shows that she still has faith. She is a possessor!
Notice the word “return.” It is used 12x in this chapter! It is a big deal to God when His people return to Him. Look at Ruth 1: 7. Naomi, Ruth and Orpah, pack up and go. Actually, no mention here of packing up because there was not much to pack up, because they were poor. Naomi is troubled though. We don’t read about it in Ruth 1:7, but she is worried about the future of her two daughters-in-law. She has nothing for them. Even back home, what does she have for them? How can she take care of them? So there is an awkward silence as they are walking.
Nevertheless, they are on the road together initially. Everyone responds to the revival. But as we shall see, time will tell of who lasts and who does not. Look at Ruth 1: 8. Maybe a few miles down the road, perhaps at the border, Naomi realizes she needs to share her heart. So like typical women, Naomi stops them and decide to talk about the situation. I was thinking if it were three men here at this point, the next verse would read, “So they made it to Bethlehem fighting scorpions and snakes, up the treacherous mountains, but unfortunately with one casualty; but he was a brave man, a fallen soldier.” Sermon over, lunch is served downstairs.
But we have a long dialogue here to discuss the options. Naomi is going to try to reason with her daughters-in-law. Her first line of reasoning is to take Easy street. Here is the first test of a true follower. They follow despite persuasions of worldly wisdom. She says, “Go, return!” There is a sense of urgency here. She says, “Go back to your momma’s house!” This is kind of odd, because usually the term is to go back to your father’s house. But by saying “your mother’s house,” what she is saying is that the girls should think about husband #2 back home in Moab. There was a room, probably a bedroom, where you discussed love and marriage with your mother. “Go back home and get on Moabitematches.com with your momma and find some nice Chemosh-fearing men!” This is assuming these two Moabite women still had family back in Moab they were leaving.
Then she adds a prayer that literally reads, “May Yahweh do with you hesed.” This is more than a casual, “Goodbye and God bless.” Remember what hesed was? It is used primarily to describe how God deals with His people—His faithful, loyal, covenant-keeping love. However, humans in response can show hesed to each other. What Naomi is saying is, “I am so thankful for your hesed shown to me by staying with me and even now coming with me. I am so thankful for the hesed you showed my two sons these past 10 years of married life. But I cannot show any hesed to you, since I am left with nothing, so may Yahweh reward you by showing hesed to you.” Verse 9 adds to that prayer as she prays Yahweh would help them find security and stability by giving you a husband and starting a new family. She is leaving them in His care.
Again, I think we are too hard on Naomi. She has true faith. She calls on Yahweh in the land of Moab. She doesn’t call on Chemosh or any other god. And her argument makes perfect sense….in the physical sense. Go back to your own people and settle down by finding a husband. Get on with your lives. She even kisses them goodbye and they start wailing. This term here, “Lifted up their voices and wept” does not mean they start sniffling, but there is real love here between these women and they have seen enough heartache for a lifetime, so they are loud in their crying. They have created a tight bond together since the tragedies. But both women say no in verse 10: “No, we are not going anywhere mother. We are going with you and to your people.” We don’t whether they want to repay Naomi’s love, want to remain loyal to their husbands, do not want to go through the pain of separation or what, but they are willing to sacrifice their future to serve Naomi.
For Ruth (and Orpah, here for now), they were not going to be persuaded by worldly wisdom. It makes sense to take care of yourself. It makes sense to make sure you are happy and you have security and stability, but what will you sacrifice to get there? Case in point: Elimelech! But Naomi adds the God-factor in their case, praying He will take care of them in a foreign land. That is a tough argument! You can get everything you want and God will help you get there.
In the Christian life, it is really tempting to think living for the world is really the way to go. Sometimes I look at pictures of old friends in high school sometimes and some of them are partying it up every weekend and some now are making lots of money and living the American dream. And you look at them and you are tempted to think, “They seem so happy. Maybe I should go that route.” But then I am reminded that the Bible says, “There is a way that seems right unto man, but the end thereof is death.” (Prov. 16:25).
Illus: One of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make was the decision to go into ministry. I gave up the Indian dream, that rather than being a doctor (some of you know my testimony), to be a physician of souls instead. But I cannot tell you the number of times I was tempted to not do it. In the beginning I was plagued with a lot of guilt. My parents leave India, come here, work so hard and pay for college, and then I go and tell them I am entering ministry. My culture is similar to yours in that there is a strong drive to show honor to your parents by getting the right job, finding the right partner and buying the right house. I felt like I was not giving that honor by going into ministry. They have been supportive, but this struggle remained in my heart and still plagues me from time to time. But each time the Lord comes to me and says, “Will you live for my honor?”
Even a couple of months ago, I was down in my spirit and somewhat discouraged (I forget why), but on my facebook page, a friend from Moody wrote that they had met someone in the school he was teaching who knew me. Supposedly this guy told my Moody friend that I had influenced him in coming to Christ when I preached at a church. What?! Praise God. You know what, I would not trade that for anything in this world. There is nothing more wonderful, more amazing than to be used of the Lord for His kingdom! Those times makes me feel foolish for doubting my calling.
Do not be persuaded by worldly wisdom. We are here today sitting in church. Many would think we are wasting our time right now when we can use this day off to do so many other things. Some of you are pouring into children’s minstry or junior highers or leading Sunday School or worship or passing out sermon outlines or taking the offering or picking up someone for church or praying or doing the powerpoint or recording the message. I want you to know that God takes notice of what is done for Him. This is the stuff that is going to last folks! Do not be persuaded by worldly wisdom. There is nothing more exciting than to know that you are working for the Lord Jesus. Life is not made by the dreams you dream, but the choices you make for the Lord.
Ruth weathers that storm, but here comes another one. She says,
I will follow…
II. Even through arguments of logical impossibilities (Ruth 1:11-13).
Naomi gets more personal and wants them to consider what life will be like in the future if they come with her. She brings up how impossible it will be for them to have a future with her in Bethlehem. She asks some rhetorical questions. She exaggerates the impossibility of her situation. She is a senior citizen in her context. First she would have to hit the senior circuit and find a husband. Secondly, she would have to get pregnant at her age. Thirdly, she would need to bear two boys. Then Ruth and Orpah would need to wait until the boys were old enough to marry them. Talk about marrying an older woman?! Naomi is referring to a practice in Deut. 25 called the Levirate Marriage rule. This is “if a woman lost her husband, it was the responsibility of his younger unmarried brother to marry his sister-in-law. Their children would then bear the name of the deceased brother.” She is thinking about younger step-brothers of Mahlon and Chilion for Ruth and Orpah to marry later. It is silly, she’s saying, just like deciding to follow her to Bethlehem.
Notice what option she did not say. She does not say perhaps there might be a Jewish boy who might take you in and marry you. For Naomi, it is more possible that she can marry at her age, get pregnan, have two boys to grow up and marry these women than to ever think there was any hope in Bethlehem for them to find someone who would marry them. It’s impossible! Then she adds, “Yahweh is attacking me!” She says, “I am walking time bomb and God keeps pressing the detonator switching and ruining my life!” So you don’t want any part of that. I am a loser!
This is what I call bad evangelism. It’s like anti-evangelism. It’s like you are sharing your faith and you say after a while, “and if this doesn’t work, try Krishna ok?” Her theology is off because she says God will take care of them in Moab, but why will He not be able to take care of them if they come to Bethlehem? So she says, “It is impossible for you to have a future in Bethlehem so go back!”
The story of Ruth is a story that shows that nothing is impossible with our God. There is an old song that goes:
Got any rivers you think are un-crossable?
Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through?
God specializes in things thought impossible
If you’ll let him have his way He’ll make away for you
Let go and let God have His wonderful way
Let go and let God have His way
Your sorrow will vanish
You night turned to day
Let go and let God have His way
Let the Lord have His way
In your life everyday
There’s no peace, there’s no rest
Till the Lord has you best
Place your life in His hand
Rest secure in His plans
Let the Lord, let the Lord have His way
Are there mountains in front of you? God turns mountains into molehills. Are there any barren deserts? We have a God who makes streams in the desert. Are there rivers you think you will never cross? Our God parts Red Seas! God specializes in things thought impossible. I can bear witness to that. Growing up in a small hell of a home, I saw God take it and transform it into a small Heaven. He did the impossible! He took a self-righteous Pharisee who didn’t think he had any sin and transform him into his child. God specializes in the impossibilities! Do not be persuaded by logical impossibilities!
Ruth was not persuaded by worldly wisdom or logical impossibilities. One more obstacle will be thrown her away. Thirdly, I will follow:
III. Even though none go with me (Ruth 1:14-18)
At this point, they cry again. Their eyes are red with all the weeping. It is an intense emotional moment. But Orpah takes a deep breath and with a kiss on both of her mother-in-law’s cheeks, she is convinced by Naomi’s argument. She looks down on their watch says, “You’re right! I’m missing my favorite soap opera Midnight in Moab…I’m outta here!” She hops on to Easy Street and exits stage left.
By the way, did you know there is really an Easy Street in Honolulu? I have never been there, but if you take that street, about a block down, there is a sign that says, “Dead End.” This is why Jesus says, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matt. 7:13-14).
Remember we said time will tell who is a professor and who is a possessor? Here is the time. Orpah and Ruth were both tested. Both initially were on the same road. Both showed a lot of emotion. But soon Orpah shows her true colors. She is never mentioned again. How many Orpahs do you know? Actually Sam told me Oprah Winfrey was first named Orpah. Then I guess someone was reading their Bible and changed it. Why would you do that anyway? Here is my son Judas! And this is his brother Lucifer and sisters Delilah and Jezebel?! But yeah, Orpahs are not in a lot of baby name books. However, so many people are named Ruth!
Orpah kissed. Ruth clung. Orpah had a lot of emotion, but Ruth shows devotion. Orpah had conviction, but no commitment. See, it is not high you jump, but how straight you walk. I think there are a lot of “kissers” in the church today, but few “clingers.” We give God a peck on the cheek on Sundays and frolic with the world the rest of the week.
The word “clung” means to fasten oneself to an object. It is the same meaning in Gen. 2:24 where it says man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. It is a picture of real affection and utmost loyalty. It means to be super-glued to one another. It is to forsake everything in the past and stick yourself completely to something else. Naomi is a grieving widow, Orpah is a leaving widow, but Ruth is a cleaving widow.
Here comes Naomi as Orpah leaves with another plea for Ruth to leave (Ruth 1:15). Now this is real peer pressure. She is alone. She may thought that in Bethlehem, both she and Orpah, both outsiders, have at least each other if things got rough. So if no one wanted to talk to them, they could talk to each other. If no one wanted to eat with them, they could eat with each other. If Naomi abandoned them, they still had each other. But now huge pressure! Ruth does have Naomi, but she is really different from Naomi. She is a Moabite. What will she say to this latest round of pressure?
In Ruth 1:16-17, we have arguably one of the richest, most firm confessions of faith recorded in Scripture. A lot of people have used this for their wedding vows. Ruth here completely submerges herself into the pit of Naomi’s need. Martin Luther King, Jr. has aptly said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Here was the challenge posed at her and she shows that her heart is as huge as the Grand Canyon. This is true “hesed” in the human realm. She gives Naomi a command this time: “Don’t tell me to leave!” Her commitment goesgeographically: She says wherever Naomi will stay, she will stay. By the way, Naomi may not have a place to stay. Though God did command His people to take care of widows and orphans (Deut. 24:19-21), who knows if they will obey that? But Ruth says here, “Wherever the future takes us Naomi, I will stay at your side.”
Her commitment goes ethnically as she says, “Your people will be my people.” Her commitment goestheologically when she says, “…and your God will be my God.” She is renouncing her ethnic and religious roots to be an Israelite and worshipper of Yahweh. This is amazing, especially in light of Ruth 1:13, where Naomi said Yahweh was attacking her! Aren’t you glad God works in people despite how bad a witness you are sometimes?
Wow, Ruth forsakes all: everything that she is and has and knows. What a jewel amidst the junk! May her tribe increase! This takes so much courage, commitment and sacrifice. She shows the duration of her commitment: even past Naomi’s death. She will be buried next to Naomi. Assuming Naomi dies first, it would be logical to perhaps go back to Moab then. However, she says, “No, even if you die. I will stay here until I die.” So her commitment goeschronologically as well from life to eternity. It was a noble thing to be buried in the land of your fathers, but Ruth renounces that too. Her commitment is total and permanent. She is going into an unknown land, unknown people, really a God she barely knows (and what she knows from Naomi is not really encouraging either). She can face racial prejudice, discrimination and even death. But nothing deters her.
This is the equivalent of a newly converted black woman during the time of segregation saying, “Oh, there is a nice white church in that neighborhood. I shall go there and worship.” Or a Jewish woman saying in the 1940s, when Hitler was killing Jews left and right, “I’m going to go worship in the synagogue in Germany.” What?! Are you crazy?! To confirm the seriousness of her decision, she names the personal name of God, Yahweh, and swears an oath. She says until death comes, she will be super glued to Naomi and may Yahweh deal with her otherwise. She doesn’t call on Chemosh as the one in charge or Yahweh as one of the gods. This means she is truly converted here.
She shows even greater faith than Abraham. Abraham was called out of Ur (Gen 11:27-12:9), a life of idolatry like Ruth, but God came to him and gave him a promise, a divine blessing, a spouse and lots of possessions. What did Ruth have? She had nothing! No direct word from God, no spouse, no possessions, just a bitter old lady she was clinging to! So if Abraham is the “Father of Faith,” I would call Ruth, the “Mother of Faith.”
Finally in Ruth 1:18, Naomi gave up. She could not budge Ruth an inch. This girl refuses to move anywhere than forward. Ruth was single-minded, looking ahead and unwilling to accept any compromise. This is a possessor! She will follow despite persuasions to go back and arguments about impossibilities ahead of her and even if no one else goes with her. Look behind Ruth, go back!! No, I’m going forward. Look ahead Ruth, nothing’s there! No, I’m going forward. Look next to you Ruth, no one’s there. No, I’m going forward! Onward is my motto!
Jesus commands and commends such faith:
Matt. 8:31, when a man offered excuses about following Him, Jesus said, “Follow me and leave the dead to bury their own dead.” In Matt. 10:37-39: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matt. 19:29: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.” Luke 9:62: “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Illus: William Carey (1761-1834), called “the father of modern Missions,” was originally a shoemaker and God was working on his heart about reaching the lost. He stood up at a meeting in church and shared his heart about spreading the gospel around the world. Someone got up and said to him, “Young man, sit down; when God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid and mine.” He was discouraged and did not know what to do, but he never gave up hope. Later, he was preaching a sermon and said this: “Attempt great things for God and expect great things from God.” He believed that will all his heart and God brought him to India a few years later. He translated the Bible into several languages and dialects, started a school and brought people to Christ. Many thought it was a bad idea for him to go, even his own wife; but he had the power of a single mind! We need a tenacious resolve and commitment in what we believe. Though none go with me, I will follow. Even if you are alone in your classroom as a follower of Jesus, will you stand up for him? Will you stand up for him when his name is tossed around the playground as a curse word and no one else says anything? Ruth says, though no none go with me, I will still follow.
Here is the last thought:
IV. When I follow, I am positioning myself for God’s eventual blessings (Ruth 1:19-22).*
Look at Ruth 1:19. They finally make it to Bethlehem. It probably took them about 70-75 miles, and “not a straight or level path, either. It meant they would have to descend from the Moabite Highlands to the Jordan Valley, a descent of 4,500 feet, followed by an ascent to Bethlehem of 3,750 feet, walking through desert territory, through the Wilderness of Judah.” But Naomi’s home and as she gets there, the whole town starts talking. In other words, emails are flying all over the place, the bloggers go crazy and everyone in Bethlehem is updating their facebook statuses. And the women say to each other, “Is this Naomi?” Why don’t the men talk in this story? It’s like EFC. The women are asking this to each other.
Naomi looks up and sees a lot of familiar sights, like the streets where she walked with her late husband and the places where her two boys used to play. She responds, “Don’t call me Naomi call me Mara” Naomi means “pleasant” i.e. “sweetheart” or “cutie-pie.” She says, “Don’t call me sweetheart! Call me Bitter old lady!” Do you know any bitter old ladies? I knew some in the building I stayed in seminary. They are not fun to be around!
She then goes on to say that God has ruined her life. She uses the word “Almighty” twice, which is the Hebrew word “Shaddai,” meaning all powerful, that God can do what HE wants. Do you know what I do not like about God? He doesn’t go with my plan and never seems to gets the memo for how I think things should be run! Actually, thank God that He doesn’t always take my advice!
Naomi has issues with God and most people here highlight how bitter she is. I agree she has things with God that she will need to sort it out with Him, but what I love about her is that she is so honest. You and I are so good at faking. We walk around life and we tell people we are “good” and “doing fine” when we are not. Last time I checked, that is called lying! If Ruth models devotion, Naomi models brutal honesty.
Look at verse 21. She says she went away full—they had money in the bank, children in their hands and a song in their heart—but now she says she is empty. Man, the devastation that sin brings! But the good side of her words is that she knows there is a God who controls the universe. But did she return empty? I imagine this speech with Ruth looking over to her as if to say, “What am I? chop liver?!” Naomi was not empty, she had Ruth.
Both of them did not know it yet, but they are positioning themselves for God’s blessing, even though at the present moment, they did not see it. We all want God’s blessing, but we are not positioning for it. Imagine wanting to plant a garden and you just sit there praying for rain. You have to do your part. You have to get the tools, pull weeds, remove sticks and stones, get some good soil, plant some things and then pray for rain. When you have some conviction in your heart to follow God through persuasions of worldly wisdom and arguments of logical impossibilities and even when no one goes with you, you can be sure you are positioning yourself for the blessing of the Lord. Attempt great things for the Lord and expect great things from the Lord!
Look at Ruth 1:22. Notice how the author mentions Ruth’s nationality. Perhaps he wants us to be shocked that this has happened. Who would have ever thought this? The last part mentions the barley harvest, which means one thing: hope. The famine is officially over. Weeping is over. Night has passed, day has come. The time of rejoicing is here. Naomi and Ruth are in a good position for God to bless them because they have returned to God and His people. This story is getting good! Come back because it is going to get better!
I want us to say the following together I have loved for years called “The Fellowship of the Unashamed” written years ago by Pastor Bob Moorehead:
I am a part of the fellowship of the Unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit Power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by presence, learn by faith, love by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power. My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, back up, let up, or shut up until I’ve preached up, prayed up, paid up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go until He returns, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He comes to get His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My colors will be clear for “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16)
Why are we so die hard committed? Because someone so committed to us, died hard. And love so amazing and so divine, demands our life, our soul and our all.
Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. Map on lining papers. (884). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House.
Courson, J. (2005). Jon Courson’s Application Commentary : Volume One : Genesis-Job (805). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.) (DBLH 1815, #1). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
Fruchtenbaum, A. G. (2006). Ariel’s Bible Commentary : The Books of Judges and Ruth (1st ed.) (302). San Antonio, Tex.: ArielMinistries.