It began with a man not content with the land God had given him. Elimelech saw the fruitful soil to the east, in the idol worshipping country of Moab, and against all advice he moved to the greener pastures. Now, ten years have passed, and his wife, Naomi, is left a widow. In addition, both of her sons have died, leaving her with two idol worshipping daughters-in-law. She belongs to no one, the future is bleak, and the path home beckons. Naomi is willing to strike out alone on the dangerous road to Bethlehem, but Ruth refuses to remain in Moab. This daughter-in-law vows to go with her, give up Chemosh, the filth god, and her other gods, the Baals, and remain with Naomi until death. Making the vow is one thing, fulfilling it will take time and a special love that only few possess. However, Ruth, the Moabitess, personifies this unselfish love. Leaving family, gods, and country behind, she clings to her embittered mother-in-law, refusing to remain in Moab. After arriving in Bethlehem, Ruth places her trust in a new God and meets a new man. Now, with a bitter old woman in her life, a God far different from her previous gods, and warm feelings for a wealthy man, will she measure up to all of these challenges? Author Jim Baumgardner invites the reader to enter the ancient world of the Moabites, Canaanites, and Israelites and witness this extraordinary woman become Ruth, Woman of Valor.
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Born in Wichita, Kansas, Jim Baumgardner grew up in a Christian home. The author's mother gave her life to the Lord in her late teens, and she brought his dad to Christ after they were married in 1939. April 30, 2015 marked Jim's 58th year as a Christian. The author continues to reside in Wichita with his wife Linda. They have three children and nine grandchildren. All of Jim's books are primarily written for his grandchildren's benefit. He also makes them available to all others who wish to read and enjoy the stories.Review:
*****Ruth Woman of Valor is a Foreword Reviews' 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award Finalist in Religious Fiction.*****
**Reviewed by Rebecca McLafferty for Readers' Favorite
Ruth: Woman of Valor, A Virtuous Woman in an Immoral Land by Jim Baumgardner is a captivating Christian historical fiction story. Ruth's early years are spent living under the strict and predestined authority of her parents. As Ruth's life changes, she endures one disaster after another. The author skillfully describes both geography and people, whether in the contemptible marketplace or lush vineyard. Ruth unceasingly questions the difference between the Hebrew God, Yahweh, and the numerous Moabite gods, particularly Chemosh and the Baels. As Ruth finds answers to her questions, the reader understands the laws and customs that dictated laws of that day and today.
Jim Baumgardner has brought incredible depth of character to one of the Bible's most heartwarming stories. Vivid scenes coupled with biblical knowledge will remain in the reader's heart long after finishing the story. The author's keen sense of history, coupled with thorough research, literally places the reader amid the Hebrew population at the time and place of the story. The conflicts and dilemmas of Ruth's life clarify and illuminate the differing cultures and lifestyles, particularly of the Hebrews in contrast to the Moabites.
The characterization within this story lends itself to an intricate plot and real-life characters. As Jim Baumgardner sets forth in his Introduction, the Bible addresses a small portion of most of its characters' lives. Utilizing considerable research and a highly skilled imagination, Baumgardner brings the characters of this story to full life. Wonderful job!
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