John Piper's brand new book A Sweet and Bitter Providence is an exploration of the book of Ruth. In the introduction, he writes,
I don't know you or your circumstances well enough to to say for sure that you should read this book.... [L]et me simply tell you why I think you might be helped if you join me in listening to the message of Ruth.
He lists 7 reasons:
1. Ruth is the Word of God.
[T]he message of Ruth is unwaveringly true. It's a rock to stand on when the terrain of ideas feels like quicksand. It's an anchor to hold us when tides are ripping....
The message of Ruth is filled with God-inspired hope.
2. Ruth is a love story.
The way Ruth and Boaz find each other is the stuff of epics.... But the story is the flesh-and-blood experience of one family living the unexpected plan of God.
3. Ruth is a portrait of beautiful, noble manhood and womanhood.
In a day when movies and television and advertising and the Internet portray masculinity and femininity in the lowest ways, we are in great need of stories that elevate the magnificent meaning of manhood and womanhood....
Ruth and Boaz are extraordinary. Men and women today need heroes like this.
4. Ruth address racial and ethnic diversity and harmony.
Ruth is an "unclean" pagan Moabitess. But she is drawn into faith and into the lineage of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Her marriage is an interracial marriage. There are lessons here that we need as much as ever today.
5. Ruth displays the sovereignty of God.
Is God's bitter providence the last word?... Everywhere I look in the world today, whether near or far, the issue for real people in real life is, Can I trust and love the God who has dealt me this painful hand in life? That is the question the book of Ruth intends to answer.
6. Ruth displays radical acts of risk-taking love.
[The book of Ruth is in the Bible] to make you a new kind of person—a person who is able "to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).
7. Ruth displays the glory of Christ.
[A] thousand years before Christ, this book glorifies his saving work on the cross, as we will see. Ruth is about the work of God in the darkest times to prepare the world for the glories ot Jesus Christ.