Friday, October 17, 2014
Bethlehem Road by Michael Whitworth
The Old Testament book of Ruth is a classic love story filled with sorrow and joy, despair and victory, death and life. At just a cursory glance, we might overlook the rich wealth of wisdom contained in it's few chapters. In the book "Bethlehem Road" by Michael Whitworth, the author explores the book of Ruth in detail and gives the reader reason to pause and consider the implications of the text on his or her own journey down the road of life. I received this book for free through the book review program for bloggers, available at www.bookcrash.com and the opinions expressed in my review are my own.
Michael Whitworth is the author of several other books and preaches in Bowie, Texas. At the beginning of this work, he answers questions people frequently have about the book of Ruth. Then he launches into a verse by verse exposition of the Biblical text of Ruth, offering clarification and insight into the contents. He does share personal stories throughout his writing, including the sometimes painful twists and turns we can encounter as we seek to serve God in everyday life. The introduction of the book alone will resonate with many who have had ups and downs in life that left them heart-broken and grieved.
The book is unique in the fact that it functions as somewhat of a commentary on Ruth, but endeavors to maintain a bit of a devotional feel, in my opinion, throughout it's pages. Commentaries can sometimes be dry and complicated, and he does avoid the excessive complications by keeping the explanations simple. However, a few times I did find it to be a bit slow to get through. Yet, that did not keep me from enjoying it.
He borrows from a wide range of commentators to explain the verses in Ruth. But, I think the most helpful way to use this book is simply, as I suspect it may have been intended to some degree, as a guide to learning more about the book of Ruth when you do dive into it in your own Bible readings. I do hope to see other works from the author in the future, as he kept enough of my interest to keep the pages turning.