Chapter

“All that You Say, I Will Do”: A Sermon On the Book of Ruth

Ellen F. Davis

in Scrolls of Love

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225712
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237067 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823225712.003.0001
“All that You Say, I Will Do”: A Sermon On the        Book of Ruth

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The first words of Ruth: “In the days when the judges were judging, there was a famine in the land”. “The days when the judges were judging”—if one has read the seventh book of the Bible, then one knows that it was a time of political chaos, with Philistine enemies pressing hard on Israel's flank, and the “national leadership” worse than a bad joke. Against this background of deterioration and disaster on a national scale, the small domestic tale of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz unfolds. The book of Ruth is the still small voice in the canon. It quietly refutes the great-man theory of history, the notion that all the really important events occur in war rooms or on battlefields or even on holy mountains. And this is a further reason to love this story, because it gives people hope and direction for themselves and hope also for something beyond their own lives. “All that you say, I will do for you” is a statement of complete trust and deference.

Keywords: Ruth; Bible; Boaz; Naomi; disaster; deterioration; trust; deference

Chapter.  2753 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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