All Judges are Representatives and Interpreters of the Law
Ruth 1:1
Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land…

Ruth 1:1. In the days when the judges ruled. This is the age in which the story happened which constitutes Ruth's history, beautiful as an epic, and touching as a pathetic drama of home life. The judges. Whether the earlier or later we know not. Whether in the days of Deborah or the days of Gideon. Probably, however, the latter, as history tells then of a famine through the invasion of the Midianites. The judges. Religion means law, order, mutual respect, and, with all diversity of circumstance, equality in the eyes of the law. A nation that perverts justice has undermined the foundations of the commonwealth.

I. ALL JUDGES ARE REPRESENTATIVES AND INTERPRETERS OF THE LAW. They are not creators of it; they are not allowed to govern others according to their own will, but they are to be fair and wise interpreters of the national jurisprudence. Law is a beautiful thing if it is founded on the Divine sanctions; it means protection for the weak, safety for the industrious.

II. THE BEST ADMINISTRATION CANNOT MEET THE WANT CAUSED BY WARS. Famine came! The Midianites came up and "destroyed the increase of the earth." "And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites." Here are the old border wars. Nature was as beautiful as ever, and the flowers of Palestine as fragrant, and the corn as golden; but the enameled cup of the flower was soon filled with the blood of slaughter, and the beautiful sheaves were pillaged to supply the overrunning enemies of Israel. Such is the heart of man. In every age out of that come forth wars; and although modern legislation is enabled to fill the empty granary from other shores, yet in the main it still remains true, war means, in the end, not only bloodshed and agony, but want.

III. ALL EARTHLY RULERSHIP IS THE SYMBOL OF A HIGHER GOVERNMENT, As the fatherly relationship is symbolical of the Divine Fatherhood, and the monarchical of the Divine King, so the earthly judge is to be the emblem of a Divine Ruler, whose reign is righteousness, and who hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world. There are schools of thought that question human responsibility, that teach a doctrine of irresistible law, the predicate of which is, that sin is not so much criminal or vicious, as the result of innate tendencies which come under the dominion of resistless inclinations. But it is to be noticed that these teachers would not excuse the thief who has robbed them, or the murderer who has slain their child. To be consistent, however, they ought; for they object to punishment in the plan of the Divine government. Human instinct, however, and Divine revelation are at one in this; alike they ask, "Wherefore should a man complain, a man for the punishment of his sin?" In all ages and amongst all races where society is secure, and progress real, and innocence safe, they are "those where the judges rule." - W.M.S.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

WEB: It happened in the days when the judges judged, that there was a famine in the land. A certain man of Bethlehem Judah went to live in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.

A Gentle Heroine, a Gentile Convert
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