A Sweet and Bitter Providence - by Piper, John.
Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2009. 160 pp.
Reviewed by Carrie Ring, wife of TMS student Creighton Ring
Would you like to see a portion of God’s grace? Do you desire that your love for Christ be rekindled? Is your understanding of God’s sovereignty over your life ever in doubt? If you have answered “yes” to one or all of these questions, then A Sweet and Bitter Providence by John Piper will be a help to you. In four short chapters the author dives into the book of Ruth and explores the questions we all ask ourselves. He shows readers that Ruth is more than one of the most famous biblical love stories ever told, it is a portrait of a life given over fully to God.
John Piper sums up the book of Ruth beautifully as he writes, “The book of Ruth wants to teach us that God’s purpose for his people is to connect us to something far greater than ourselves. God wants us to know that when we follow him, our lives always mean more than we think they do.” I believe all of you will be blessed by reading again a story that shows the real picture of God’s sovereignty and the implications this truth has for our lives.
John Piper writes, “When you believe in the sovereignty of God and that he loves to work mightily for those who trust him, it gives a freedom and courage that isn’t abandoned in hard times. The story of Ruth—and of all the courageous women who followed her—gives us a glimpse into the hidden work of God during the worst of times ….the book of Ruth was written that we might abound in hope—and in that hope live lives of Christ exalting courage.”
As I read A Sweet and Bitter Providence I was challenged and convicted in my understanding of God’s sovereignty in all of life’s circumstances. I hope you find similar encouragement and challenge as you read the book of Ruth in a whole new light.