[CF Devotionals]2013-12015 - The Names of God

Ruth ~ Part 15

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Ruth 1:15-22

The Names of God: There are actually four forms of names of deity in these verses; three are applicable to God, and one to the “gods” of the Moabites. First, just to get it out of the way, let’s look at verse 15. Here is where we find the word gods. While scripture makes it clear there is only one true God, it is also clear that scripture recognizes people had objects of worship other than God. These might have been idols in the classic sense. I also believe that sometimes there were actually demonic manifestations which people may have been worshiping. In either case, Satan was clearly involved in leading people away from God.

Now we find three names of God identified in these verses: God, Lord and Almighty.

  1. God: The use of the word God here deals with God as the father or progenitor of His people Israel. Jackman speaks to Ruth’s use of God’s name this way, when he notes:

    “In verse 16, Ruth’s loyalty to Naomi is shown to have its roots in her loyalty to Naomi’s God (“your God, my God”). What began as a borrowed faith is now declared to be her own, and her further statement in verse 17 reveals her commitment to the powerful, sovereign hand of Yahweh over her life.” 1

  2. Lord: The general use of the word refers to one who has authority over others. In this context, it would refer to the ultimate authority, which can only be exercised by God. Ruth has moved from talking about God in relationship to His people Israel, to accepting His authority over her as an individual.

  3. Almighty: This is the word Shaddai. There are a number of interpretations of the root of the Hebrew, but apparently there is no agreement, and the word is considered obscure. Here the focus is on God’s power. It was Naomi’s belief that God exercised His power to take all from Naomi, because of her sins. Reed has this to say.

    “By speaking of God as “the Almighty, she emphasized His great power (or “provisions”…. This great God could not be resisted. The disaster He sent could not be averted. … Naomi was sure her problem was all God’s fault. … Her complaint began and ended with a reference to the Almighty, the name of the all-powerful God.” 2

  1. Jackman, David, The Communicator’s Commentary, Vol. 7, “Judges, Ruth,” Word Books, Dallas, TX, 1997, p. 326.
  2. Reed, John W., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Volume 1, “Ruth,” Victor Books, Wheaton, IL., 1986, p. 421.

To be continued.

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CFD | Decmber 2013 | Geoff's Devotions | Geoff's Studies | Devotional Topics