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Ruth – Godly Living in an Ungodly Culture

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Do you ever get frustrated with the corruption in our culture? I know I do. We’ve certainly been damaged by it personally. To make matters worse, Barna Group studies indicate that most Christians don’t live by God’s principles either. We’ve experienced fallout from that fact too. That’s distressing!

So is it possible to live a godly life in the middle of an ungodly culture? What difference does it make if we do? Persecution is on the rise. It looks like an uphill battle all the way.

By Lisa@TheWarmingHouse

The book of Ruth gives us hope. It’s a bright spot during a dark time.

The events in Ruth took place during the time period of the Judges (1357 BC to 1050 BC) – specifically around 1162 when Gideon was judge.

God had just brought the Israelites into the luscious and fertile land of Canaan (the Promised Land) and helped them conquer it. After settling in, the people:

  • Forgot about the One who had made it all possible.
  • Became ungrateful, indifferent, selfish, and apathetic.
  • Were consumed with bettering their lives and getting more, more, more.

Because they did not follow God’s explicit instructions to destroy the original inhabitants of the land:

  • The values and ideas of those people infiltrated their minds.
  • They intermarried with them and adopted their practices.
  • They “did evil in the sight of the Lord,” turned away from God, and worshipped false idols.
  • There was great permissiveness. “Everyone did as he saw fit.”
  • The people only turned to God in times of trouble.

Instead of being an example of godly living to all the other nations, Israel became a shameful picture of failure. But there was one who pleased God. Her name was Ruth.

Ruth was a Moabitess, a widow, and poor.

A little about the Moabites:

  • The Moabite nation began just after Sodom and Gomorrah were incinerated for  their rampant immorality and “indulgence in strange flesh” (homosexuality – Jude 1:7; Genesis 18 & 19). Lot and his daughters escaped and settled in the mountains near Zoar. There were no men around and Lot did not find husbands for his daughters. In desperation, they got their father drunk and lay with him. The oldest had a child named Moab who began the Moabite nation. A sordid beginning.
  • During the exodus from slavery in Egypt, the Moabites refused to allow the Israelites to pass through their land. This forced them to travel all the way around the borders of Moab on their way to the Promised Land.
  • During the time of the Judges, King Eglon of Moab pursuaded the Ammonites to join him in attacking Israel. Israel spent 18 years under his rule.
  • The Moabites worshipped the false God, Chemosh, murdering their children as sacrifices.

Despite her heritage, Ruth:

  • Committed herself to God (Ruth 1:16-17).
  • Earned the respect of the Israelites (Ruth 2:11-12).
  • Received God’s favor.
  • Stood out as a faithful remnant in a dark, corrupt culture.

Ruth’s story gives us hope. So don’t be discouraged. All is not lost. Yes – godly living is possible in the middle of an ungodly culture. Yes – it does make a difference. Yes – it pleases God immensely. And God is perfectly able to impact the culture even through a small number of people (regardless of their background) whose hearts are devoted to him.

What similarities do you see between the period of the Judges and our society today? Do you feel the church today is impacting the culture – or is the culture impacting the church? How have you seen God influence the culture through a faithful remnant? How can He use you?

Adoring God . . .



  1. […] a little family move from Bethlehem to Moab because of a famine. This was during the time of the Judges when the Israelites’ faithfulness to God shriveled up like a wheat stalk in drought. (Judges […]

  2. […] allow her past to define her or bind her.  In her new life, she would live among Israelites. Israelites didn’t like Moabites.. Her chances for remarriage in Moab – good. In Bethlehem – not so […]

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