Picking up in the days when the judges ruled, the book of Ruth tells the story of Naomi, the Moabite widow Ruth, and the farmer Boaz. The four chapters of the book are each designed with intentional symmetry. The first and last chapters reflect how loyalty turned this story of tragedy and death into a story of joy and birth. The inner chapters show how Naomi and Ruth make a plan, followed by an encounter between Ruth and Boaz, followed by Naomi and Ruth rejoicing.
Curiously, God is hardly mentioned in the book of Ruth. At a time when we look for God to be active through a judge or king, God instead worked out his will through the everyday faithfulness of his people. This faithfulness not only benefits Naomi and her family but goes on to bless the world through the family of David, the line from which the Messiah would eventually come.