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Seasons Change

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Ruth: A Story of God's Kindness  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  32:03
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Where is God in life’s difficult seasons?

“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.” The haunting words of Job.
Has God ever taken away anything from you?
Loss of loved one, marriage, job/financial security, sudden move, health/independence
Seasons of difficulty - we ask where is God?

Naomi’s “fall”

Book of Ruth opens with the story of a woman who goes through one such difficult season - Her name is Naomi and if you will this season was her “fall”
The story
Name means pleasant - pleasant woman with a blessed life
Problem: famine - no bread in the “house of bread”
Went to Moab - left the Promised Land: Bad to worse
Husband died, sons married Moabite women, also died
Three poor widows, no legitimate way of making ends meet, plan to go back to the land of Israel
Tries to send her daughters in law back home to their families
Orpah returns to her home in Moab, but Ruth out of kindness clings to Naomi
Ruth 1:19 - 22
Is God punishing Naomi? Has he abandoned her? I don’t think so. Maybe there is another interpretation.

The hand of God at work?

The presence of trouble does not equal the absence of God.

Throughout Scripture, God has a pattern of using painful circumstance to move his people into the path of promise.
Family drama - sent Joseph to Egypt
Famine- brought the family back together
Persecution - in Acts, served to spread the message of the Gospel in Samaria and to the ends of the earth.
Ravi Zacharias, Samuel and the Syrians
All around her there is evidence that God has not abandoned Naomi, but that he is providing for her, even though she can’t see it yet.
What do you have to be thankful for?
She’s not dead, this means that God is not done with her yet.
One of her greatest blessings is Ruth, but she can’t see how God will use her yet. But if you are in the midst of a difficult season perhaps the last words of this text will give you the most hope.

Seasons Change

Ruth 1:22
Naomi had been in a difficult season that lasted 10 years, but the last words of the chapter give us hope. It’s harvest time. A new season was beginning. The barley harvest took place from mid-march to mid-april. Naomi’s fall had come and gone, the winter was over and spring was beginning.
Maybe you’re going through a difficult season right now. Maybe you’ve been going through one for a while. But the hope of this passage and the hope of our lives is that these seasons won’t last forever.
Sleepless nights
New opportunities
New relationships
New life
True for others, but what about me, I’m near the end of my life. Naomi thought that too. How can we not become bitter? By remembering that the God who was with Naomi is with you and me.
She didn’t know it yet, but God was working to lead Naomi somewhere good. And he is for us as well.

God With Us

Because of Jesus Christ our hope lasts beyond this life.
Where is God in our suffering? Look at the Cross. What are you facing now, Jesus has faced it, he is rightly called Immanuel, God with us because he understands.
Which is why we can say with the psalmist Psalm 23:4
Naomi’s life had been touched by the shadow of death, as she returned home she believed that her prospects were dim. The odds of her coming back from this were miniscule.
Han Solo - never tell me the odds
Who is writing your story?
You can try to write it yourself, truth is there is so much that’s out of your control. You don’t control the seasons in nature any more than you can control the seasons in life. Trouble sleeping.
So instead look to the real author, the One who is with you. The One who is for you. The One who loves you so much that he sacrificed his One and only son for you. He will never leave you or forsake you no matter what season it is.
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