F-260 2019 • Sermon • Submitted • Presented • 35:43
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25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever seemed right to him.
1 During the time of the judges, there was a famine in the land. A man left Bethlehem in Judah with his wife and two sons to stay in the territory of Moab for a while. 2 The man’s name was Elimelech, and his wife’s name was Naomi. The names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They entered the fields of Moab and settled there. 3 Naomi’s husband Elimelech died, and she was left with her two sons. 4 Her sons took Moabite women as their wives: one was named Orpah and the second was named Ruth. After they lived in Moab about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Chilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two children and without her husband.
Life didn’t go as Naomi had planned. And I bet life hasn’t gone the way you thought it would either. Life can seem hopeless after tragedies. The reason is because we don’t have the power or ability to restore what we lost. We can’t bring the people we love back from the dead, and we can’t turn back time, and we know it, so we feel like there is no hope. No hope of smiling again. No hope of laughing again. No hope of having peace again. But that’s not completely true. Yes it is true that we don’t have the power to fix it, but God can, and He will. He has promised that He will fix everything for those who love Him, and who are called according to His purpose.
28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
6 She and her daughters-in-law set out to return from the territory of Moab, because she had heard in Moab that the Lord had paid attention to his people’s need by providing them food. 7 She left the place where she had been living, accompanied by her two daughters-in-law, and traveled along the road leading back to the land of Judah. 8 Naomi said to them, “Each of you go back to your mother’s home. May the Lord show kindness to you as you have shown to the dead and to me. 9 May the Lord grant each of you rest in the house of a new husband.” She kissed them, and they wept loudly. 10 They said to her, “We insist on returning with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi replied, “Return home, my daughters. Why do you want to go with me? Am I able to have any more sons who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters. Go on, for I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me to have a husband tonight and to bear sons, 13 would you be willing to wait for them to grow up? Would you restrain yourselves from remarrying? No, my daughters, my life is much too bitter for you to share, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me.” 14 Again they wept loudly, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. 15 Naomi said, “Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. Follow your sister-in-law.” 16 But Ruth replied: Don’t plead with me to abandon you or to return and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me, and do so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.
Ruth had a huge life choice to make, one that would determine the rest of her future. She essentially gave up the opportunity to have children and a new family in order to live with and take care of her mother-in-law Naomi.
18 When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped talking to her. 19 The two of them traveled until they came to Bethlehem. When they entered Bethlehem, the whole town was excited about their arrival and the local women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” 20 “Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara,” she answered, “for the Almighty has made me very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has opposed me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?”
Naomi means Pleasant
Mara means Bitter
Naomi was bitter with God. She was angry with Him. She blamed Him for their deaths and she thought He was wrong for doing so and had no intentions of forgiving Him. Now God didn’t actually do anything wrong, and therefore didn’t need forgiveness, but that’s what bitterness is. When you feel like someone has wronged you, and you hold anger inside of you, instead of forgiving them.
This was a very dangerous time to live, a very difficult time to live. And Ruth stood out as one who did not give up hope. Neither her, nor Naomi could see a way out. Neither of them could see a way to make a good future for themselves, but Ruth completely committed herself to care for Naomi and to serve Yahweh, even if it meant their death. That’s what God is looking for. He’s not looking for Naomi’s that love Him when life is everything you’ve always wanted but are angry with Him and bitter towards Him when life falls apart. This life, is full of pain, and tragedy, and sorrow, and heartache. This life is broken, and fallen, and sinful, and not what God has for us forever. This life is temporary. He has no intentions of us living here forever, and He never intended for us to look to the things, or the people i this life to give us what we need and be everything that we were made for. Because we weren’t made for this life. We were made for Eden. God made us for Him. He is the only one who can give us everything we need. He’s the only one who can be what we need. And He has a new Eden, and new heavenly Jerusalem that will come down out the sky and land on a new Earth where we will live how he meant us to live, forever, with Him. So He’s looking for Ruths. He wants us to be completely committed to Him, even if it means death. Whole hearted, whole life commitment to the one who made us and gave us life.
That’s where you have to get to. It doesn’t mean that life is all doom and gloom and you don’t get to experience any of that life in this life. No. You do. You do get to experience that type of love, and peace, and joy in this life, but not fully.
12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known.
9 But as it is written, What no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human heart has conceived— God has prepared these things for those who love him.
God did end up providing for Naomi and Ruth, and He blessed them in a very special way.
Now Ruth went into the fields to gather left over grain and it ended up being one of the fields of Boaz, who was a family redeemer. Long story short, he ends up marrying Ruth and in so doing looks after the well being of Naomi as well. And Boaz and Ruth have a son.
16 Naomi took the child, placed him on her lap, and became his nanny. 17 The neighbor women said, “A son has been born to Naomi,” and they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Ruth was a Moabitess
Boaz’ mother was Rahab, a Canaanite
David’s Great Grandmother was Ruth a Moabitess, and his Great Great Grandmother was Rahab a Canaanite. God could have chosen anyone to be the ancestors of the Messiah, His own Son, Jesus, and this is who He chose. And if God were ashamed, somehow of the fact that their were of a different race, He could have hidden it, but He didn’t. He made sure everyone knew, and He devoted an entire book of His Sacred Scriptures to the story or Ruth, a foreigner. A book without any miracles or law or anything else significant to his chosen people, except the fact that she committed herself to following God, as a foreigner, and became the Great Grandmother of king David, and so God weaved a Moabitess into His covenant blessings.
11 For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame, 12 since there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all richly blesses all who call on him.
Now, Naomi was taken care of, and Ruth did end up having a family, but Naomi did not get her husband and two sons back in this life. And everyone doesn’t get the family they hope for like Ruth did, in this life. We are not promised anything in this life except the one thing that is worth more than all of it put together, and that’s God Himself. But thankfully, this life is short. Because this is not where I want to live for the next thousand years. But I do want to make the biggest difference in eternity that I can while I’m here. You may not think that as a mother, you are making a big difference, but I want to assure you that the greatest names in history, that have accomplished the greatest feats in history fail miserably in comparison to the eternal impact that you can make in just one child’s life by leading them to the Father who gives life to all who call on him. The impacts of Rome, have a time limit. The impact that the United States has on the world, has a time limit. The impact that computers have had, and will have on the world, has a time limit. And a billion years from now, those impacts won’t even be remembered. The greatest accomplishments we know of will eventually fade away and no longer be felt. But whether someone spends eternity with the Father, on the new Earth with Him, or whether they spend eternity apart from the Father in hell, will always matter. And that’s the most important thing that any mother can pour her life into during this brief time that we have on earth.
There are no guarantees because every boy and girl will have to make that decision for themselves, we can’t make it for them. If we could, we would. But don’t ever think that what you do for your kids, that no one else ever sees or knows about, that doesn’t seem to affect the world you live in one way or the other, is not of the utmost importance. Because I’m telling you right now, that what you are doing to lead your children into an eternal relationship with God, to love Him, and obey Him, and be fully devoted to Him, is more important that what the President is doing, or what congress, or the Supreme court is doing, or what all the leaders of every country in the world is doing. What you are doing will have eternal impacts that will last infinitely longer than what they are doing. And even though, the Bible is clear, that when a man and a woman get married that they now form a new family unit, don’t ever forget that as long as you are both still alive, you are still their mother, and you still have an opportunity to make a difference in their life. So don’t ever give up. Their souls are too important for you to give up. Even when you don’t think there is any hope, don’t give up. I’ll say it again. Their eternal soul, is too important for you to give up. Naomi and Ruth thought there was no hope for them, But God made a way when they couldn’t. And it’s not just your children, it’s anyone you know. They all have eternal souls, and they are all too important to give up on.
Always remember this. God wants them saved more than you do.