This is the first book I've read by Elizabeth Gaskell. You may have heard of her more popular books, 'North and South' and 'Wives and Daughters.' I've loved watching the adaptations of these stories in the movies, but had never gotten around to reading her. That has changed now, and as I really enjoyed 'Ruth,' I can't wait to read more of her novels.
This was not the easiest novel to read, the lengthy passages and conversations were sometimes hard to follow, but it had some wonderful moral truths to share.
Ruth is a young orphaned girl of 15 who lives with a seamstress who employees young girls. Ruth meets and falls in love with an older man, in his mid-twenties, who takes advantage of her innocent nature and ends up eventually leaving her pregnant.
A kindly pastor and his sister take her in and show her the grace of God.
The thing I loved about this novel the most, was that the author didn't downplay the sin of fornication. Ruth had to grapple with her sin and come to repentance. It was a beautiful thing to read, and then more beauty was shown through the grace the pastor and his sister bestow on her.
This is how God does things, He convicts us of our sin through the Holy Spirit, then promises to pour His grace upon us when we humbly come to Him in repentance.
"For the LORD takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the humble with salvation." Psalm 149:4
"Surely He scorns the scornful,
But gives grace to the humble." Proverbs 3:34
“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Matthew 9:13
I think we have all sinned against God and then hid. But there is no need for that, for He keeps His promises and will forgive and show us His amazing grace. He desires to share His mercy with us, that's why He calls us to repentance.
We also see the growth in Ruth's walk with God. Her love and thankfulness towards Him, as well as her maturity in her faith.
Some will think this novel is old-fashioned, but I found it so refreshing, with its honesty about the sin and consequences of fornication, balanced with the love and grace that God freely gives us.
"For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance" Matthew 9:13
Buy it HERE on Amazon