Faithlife Sermons

God Provides

Mother's Day  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  26:05
0 ratings
· 8 views
Files
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

prayer
Ruth chapter 1.
Ruth 1 NIV
1 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. 2 The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there. 3 Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband. 6 When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah. 8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. 9 May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.” Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud 10 and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!” 14 At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her. 15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” 16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. 19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” 20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.” 22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.
First,
The Departure
The book begins with
Ruth 1:1 NIV
1 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab.
The time of judges, is not a very good time for Israel. It is an in between time, when the Israelites moved into the promised land, before they had a king. The whole book is full of ups and downs. Israel strays, God lifts up a judge to draw them back. The last verse of judges 21:25
Judges 21:25 NIV
25 In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.
The repeating verse in judges is “ Everyone did as he saw fit”. That is also, 17:6 and 18:1. In honor of Mother’s day, this is a good memory verse for moms. Let me explain.
Picture this, Mom steals away for a moment to talk to friend. The kids start inching there way out of eyesight. Even though mom is only gone for a second, one is climbing on the counter looking for snacks, two are chasing one another and wrestling, one is poring juice from a pitcher that is way too full. Meanwhile, she thinks she can count on Dad to fill in the gap but he is helping to build a tower of blocks to the ceiling and is calling to her look honey we are setting the record for highest tower ever.
Mom stops her conversation, sighs heavily and says Judges 21:25, In those days Israel had no king and everyone did as as they saw fit.
If you are not familiar ith that situation, it also applies to work when your manager is on vacation.
Anyway, so the book of Ruth is set in the time of judges and it opens with.
Ruth 1:1 NIV
1 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab.
So here is Israel in the time of the judges, and there was a famine in the land.God sends famine, from time to time as a form of judgement on Israel, and to draw her back to Him.
The Old Testament has this idea of blessings and curses. Follow the Lord, things will go well for you in the Land. Do not follow the Lord and you will be cursed. The land won’t produce, or pestilence, or foreign invaders.
This is from Leviticus 26:18-20.
Leviticus 26:18–20 NIV
18 “ ‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over. 19 I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze. 20 Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of your land yield their fruit.
Ruth 1:1 NIV
1 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab.
Since there is a famine a man picks up his family and heads for Moab.
Moab is a territory on the South East side of the Dead sea, and bordered by the Arabian desert. Often when there is no rain in Judah, the climate is such that the Moab will remain well watered.
The problem is that the land of Moab is not in Israel, not in God’s land. In fact it is the opposite. The Moabites were descendents of Lot’s incestuous relationship with his daughter. They did not get along with Israel.
In the days of the judges there was a treaty, but the relationship was not good.
Ruth 1:2 NIV
2 The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.
Now, this is interesting. Bethlehem in Hebrew means house of Bread. Elimelek means, My God is king, and Naomi, means sweetness, pr pleasant. The name is a shortened form of Yahweh’s sweet one, however, here in Ruth Yahweh is dropped and it is just pleasant one.
Let’s get the full force of these opening verses. In the time of God’s chosen people when they had no king, and everyone was doing as he saw fit, a man by the name of My God is king, and his wife a sweet one, left the House of Bread and the Land of God’s people entirely to go to the land of gentiles, the enemies and live there.
Then
Ruth 1:3–4 NIV
3 Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years,
Then Elimelek died, and the boys take Moabite women as wives. The Israelites were not supposed to marry outside of the Nation of Israel. God did not institute that rule for some racist reason, but to preserve the land. As you know the title to the land is passed down in the family. The Promised Land is promised to God’s people, in order to keep the land they are to marry within the clan.
Namoi’s sons, were married for 10 years, yet did not have any children. Barren land, barren wombs.
Ruth 1:5 NIV
5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
Jewish commentators are big on an idea of do good, blessed, do bad, cursed. This is not New Testament thought. They say Ruth is being punished for leaving the promised land and traveling to Moab. However, the text really doesn’t say that. In fact, realistically the choice to move to Moab was probably not Naomi’s anyway.
But I don’t think we can make Elimelek out to be the bad guy either. His name is my God is King, there is a sense that this family is really just collateral damage in God’s judgement on Israel. He did what he had to do survive. He had mouths to feed, it was famine. Sometimes people do not know what to do, so he was just trying to do the next right thing.
For Ruth, the famine was not her fault. He husband, picked up and moved the family. It was her sons who took the Moabite women as wives, these circumstances are sort of out of her control, and there she is . Widowed, she lost her sons, and she is a displaced person.
Things are bad for Naomi, really bad. She has every reason to be discouraged.
The Return
Ruth 1:6 NIV
6 When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there.
Naomi hears that the Lord is providing food for the people. She hears about God’s goodness, and prepares to head back home.
Then is verse 8 we read this
Ruth 1:8 NIV
8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me.
The daughters protest a little, and Namoi convinces them by explaining the situation to them further.
Ruth 1:12–13 NIV
12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!”
Even if I thought there was still hope, Naomi says. The Lord’s hand has turned against me.
When Naomi is hopeless, and bitter, Ruth clings to her, and pledges her loyal love to her, no matter what.
Ruth 1:16 NIV
16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.
Together, they leave and get to Bethlehem, and verse 19-20
Ruth 1:19 NIV
19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”
Everyone comes out to see Naomi the sweet one, but know it is like they don’t even recognize her.
She is this spectacle who lost her husband and her sons. People are talking behind her back.
oh look at her poor Naomi, she was so sweet, and Noami’s share’s with them why she is the way she is.
Ruth 1:20 NIV
20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.
The Almighty has made me bitter.
Has He? Really? Is it the Almighty one who made her bitter? Job said shall we accept good from God and not the bad. Did all these things happen to her because God’s work made her life miserable?
We tend to look at the bad, and it is bad, and we focused on ourselves, think that god is doing this to us. God is not out to make Naomi into a bitter one. He is not out to get her.
Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 5.
Matthew 5:45 NIV
45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
The rain falls on the good and the bad. The world is in sin from the fall. Bad things happen, it isn’t specifically aimed at Naomi. When we are i the middle of bad things, and we will be, We need to remember It isn’t specifically aimed at you.
When God sent the famine on Israel, not everyone was wrong, there were good people, but they still suffered the effects of the famine.
Today, the economy can turn, there are bad health reports. Children can turn away from there families. These things happen, and God is still on his throne, and God is still good, even when things around you are bad.
Mom’s can carry a lot of this weight in the family. They love their family with a Mother’s love. When Jobs are lost, when children turn away, when people die, They can crush the spirit of a mother. Mothers can easily say the Almighty has made me bitter.
The Next Thing
What do you do when life is pressing in, and it looks like the Almighty is making you bitter? You just do the next thing, as Elizabeth Elliot would say.
Elizabeth Elliot, and her husband Jim were missionaries in Ecuador to the Auca natives. Elizabeth’s husband was killed trying to reach the Auca natives for Christ. They had given all they had to reach these people, and it had all turned bad, Elizabeth needed to just do the next thing.
This is a quote from a blog entry by Nareeth Randall Risner
On her Gateway to Joy radio program, Elisabeth explained how “do the next thing” had been so helpful to her. Elisabeth and her husband Jim had been serving on the mission field in Ecuador when he was martyred, leaving her alone with an infant daughter.
When I went back to my jungle station after the death of my first husband, Jim Elliot, I was faced with many confusions and uncertainties. I had a good many new roles, besides that of being a single parent and a widow. I was alone on a jungle station that Jim and I had manned together. I had to learn to do all kinds of things, which I was not trained or prepared in any way to do. It was a great help to me simply to do the next thing.
Elisabeth goes on to say:
I’ve felt that way [other] times in my life, and I go back over and over again to an old Saxon legend, which I’m told is carved in an old English parson somewhere by the sea. I don’t know where this is. But this is a poem which was written about that legend.
The poem says, “Do it immediately, do it with prayer, do it reliantly, casting all care. Do it with reverence, tracing His hand who placed it before thee with earnest command. Stayed on omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing, leave all resultings, do the next thing.”
This is what Naomi did, when she found herself alone in a foreign country. It seemed like the next thing was to pack up and head back.
Ruth 1:8 NIV
8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me.
She says something that we miss in the english, but it is a very important word in the book of Ruth. She says, May the Lord show you kindness. The word for kindness is something extremely special in Hebrew and jewish thought it is called Chesed. It is a special kindness.
Let me explain, people can do a kind act. We are nice to someone by encouraging them. Chesed, is more than that, Chesed, is God’s lovingkindness. Not only does God do kind acts, but this Chesed Hos lovingkindness is an Attribute of God. That means it is part of his character. It is who God is.
It is part of covenant love He has showed to the Jewish people by adopting them.
It is similar to mother’s lovingkindness toward their child. But this God so it is total and complete, and full, and never failing.
It is because God is good. Naomi was not thinking about who God is, she was thinking of what was going on her life. Thinking the Almighty was making her bitter.
But God can’t do that. God is good, His Chesed, or His loving kindness toward His people endures forever.
God demonstrates this to Naomi several times in this chapter, and will throughout the book of Ruth.
Naomi hears that God is providing food. That is God’s Chesed in action. These are God’s covenant people. He provides food for them.
God sends Ruth, and she demonstrates Chesed to Naomi, in verse 16.
Ruth 1:16 NIV
16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.
Then the chapter end with a hope that is built on Chesed. In the middle of her bitterness, when she has no hope, the author records this.
Ruth 1:22 NIV
22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabite, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.
Arriving at the house of bread just as the barley harvest was beginning. Great things are coming. Naomi. God’s Chesed has not left. God is still good.
Sometimes, things are discouraging, for moms, and for anybody. Our life takes place in a world of sin. There are all kinds of bad things, but God is good. It can be hard to see but God is good.
Sometimes we need to the right thing, just to get through the discouragement. We do the next thing, and look for God’s Chesed, in the next thing God puts in front of us.
We look for the hope, the hope that the barley harvest is just beginning, the hope that is sure and certain because God has demonstrated His Chesed to us, in a very concrete way, through that town of Bethlehem.
.Micah 5.2 says....
Micah 5:2 NIV
2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
Out of Bethlehem God will send Jesus. Out of Bethlehem God will demonstrate His love for us through the the life death and resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus is all you need as proof that God is good, as recorded in the words of John.
John 6:32–40 NIV
32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” 35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
Everyone who looks to the son and believes in Him will have eternal life. When we believe in Jesus we have God’s Chesed. To those who believe in Jesus, God will raise them up at the last day.
Sometimes doing the next thing points you to Jesus. Take your burdens, and your discouragement to the Lord Jesus. God is good, the harvest is just beginning.
Related Media
Related Sermons