You're My People

Relationships That Stand The Test Of Time  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  44:26
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →

Finding Your People

Ruth 1:6 ESV
6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the fields of Moab that the Lord had visited his people and given them food.
Having left judah withher husband, due to a famine, Naomi heard that the Lord had come to the adi of Judah. She prepared to return. there was no question that her daughters would return with her.
Ruth 1:7–8 ESV
7 So she set out from the place where she was with her two daughters-in-law, and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. 8 But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.
On the road to Judah, Naomi releases her daughters in law form any responsibility to her. She knew that their future would be bleak as Moabites in Judah, without husbands.
Ruth 1:9 ESV
9 The Lord grant that you may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband!” Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept.
Naomi wished her daughters safety and security, and kissed them, and they wept.
Ruth 1:10 ESV
10 And they said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.”
This verse is important.... it speaks to who Naomi was, because these two were willing to give up everything to remain with her and for nothing to change. By going back they would have family, friends, and a future possibly with a new husband. But they showed commitment to Naomi … it speaks well to who she was.
Ruth 1:11 ESV
11 But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb that they may become your husbands?
naomi referenced levirate law.... if she had other male children, they would be obligated to marry the widowed daughter in laws.... but she had no other children, no husband, no pregnancy, and was likely not going to!!! She was noble- go bak home!
Ruth 1:12–13 ESV
12 Turn back, my daughters; go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, 13 would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.”
Naomi continues pointing out the absurdity and failure if they were to wait on her. naomi saw her lot as bitter, and that God was allowing her to suffer without relief and the daughter inlaws at least had the opportunity to remarry.
Ruth 1:14 ESV
14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
Note the hopelessness of the situation.
Ruth 1:15 ESV
15 And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.”
Ruth 1:16–17 ESV
16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”
Be clear to understand that Ruth was not only renouncing her people in this statement, she was renouncing her gods and going with Naomi- and Yahweh. Note that she revealed she could not relate to God apart from relating to His people (Naomi’s people). Also note that Ruth here invokes the name of Yahweh for the first time.
Don’t miss that the life of Naomi, her commitment and character, had affected Ruth to make such a large commitment.
Ruth 1:18 ESV
18 And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more.
Ruth 1:19 ESV
19 So the two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them. And the women said, “Is this Naomi?”
Ruth 1:20 ESV
20 She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
It was a common practice in the ancient Near East to change a name to reflect changed circumstances. Her name was changed from “Pleasant” to “Bitter”.
“Almighty” is the name before God revealed Himself to Moses in Exodus 3..... the statement Naomi makes concerning God dealing bitterly with her is not accusation, it is a statement of circumstance.
Ruth 1:21 ESV
21 I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi, when the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me?”
Ruth 1:22 ESV
22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.
The key to all of this passage is found in the book of Deuteronomy 23.3
Deuteronomy 23:3 ESV
3 “No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the Lord forever,
You see, a long time before, because of a famine in the land, Naomi and her husband moved to the land of Moab. A forbidden people and a forbidden place. Permanent exclusion from the people of God for Moabite people! And the two sons, living in that land- married Moabite women.
And honestly, they weren’t permitted back in to Judah. They were Moabites.
But what Ruth did is unique. look again at Ruth 1.16-17
Ruth 1:16–17 ESV
16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”
She left it all. Her place. Her friends. Her family. Her gods. Her future.
And never considered what would happen if the people in Judah said, “no”. How does that happen? How did that happen?
I want to shift gears for a moment… When you read the genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1 you find some strange things. Four of the five women listed in Christ’s genealogy have very shady reputations. Tamar (committed incest with her father in law); Rahab (a gentile prostitute); Ruth ( an outcast Gentile Moabitess); and the wife of Uriah (an adulteress). How did these people, gentile, prostitutes, outcasts, etc., how did they wind up in the genealogy of Jesus Christ?
A simple answer: grace. The grace of God.
And so, when we ask the question, “How is an outcast gentile Moabitess going to be accepted in the midst of the people of God dwelling in Judah? the answer is grace- both the grace of God and the grace of the people of God.

The Grace of God should be reflected in the people of God.

And that answer is critical to understanding this passage. We might say, of course, God is going to extend his grace to Ruth. He’s God!!! And you’d be right.
But remember what I just said: The grace of God AND the grace of the people of God. The people of God.
Yes, God is gracious- but t he people of God do not have the same reputation. Do you know that?
I’ll stop here, for just a minute, so you can think. Have the people of God always displayed the grace of God in their actions? You’d probably agree with me. No.
And now, let’s get to the point of this message: Ruth 2was about to risk- let’s focus on the word “risk” for a minute. Risk was going to gamble herself, her history, her friends, her family, her gods… on relationships. One with God- and one with the people of God.
Remember that 16th verse:
Ruth 1:16 ESV
16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.

Every relationship requires risking something.

Ruth was risking everything to be in relationship with Naomi, her God, and her people.
You know, gods in this time period were geographical. That is to say, every area had their own gods. Judah, where Naomi was returning to, had Yahweh. Moab, where she had dwelt with her husband, had another god. When Naomi sent her 2 daughter inlaws home- she blessed them with the name of her god(yahweh). She didn’t say, may your gods deal kindlywith you… she said, may Yahweh deal kindly with you. And she had the confidence to know beyond geographical boundaries, her god- Yahweh- could do that.
Butwhen Ruth said , “Your God will be my God”, she only knew about that Yahweh in one way: her experience with Naomi, and her husband, and her 2 sons before their death.
And when she said, “Your God will be my God”, she said that on the downpayment that was her relationship with her mother in law, Naomi.
But When she said, “Your people will be my people”, the only way she could find if that was true, was to test the waters to see if God’s people were like Naomi as well. Were they like Naomi, as naomi was like God????

Ruth focuses on 2 things: Naomi’s God and Naomi’s people.

Remember the question, what is the greatest commandment? Love God. Love People. There’s a reason.
You can love God. And your actions with people can reveal you to be a hypocrite in the 10th degree. People will not be impressed nor attracted to that.
You can love your neighbor by being a good person, and never mention God in the process. People and organizations do it every day. It will not attract a soul to Jesus.
But when you love God and it is tangibly evident in the way you love people- people will want to know you AND eventually know Jesus.

Christian Relationships Should Be A Down Payment On God’s Promises

What kind of a friend are you?
There’s a story in 2 Samuel I’d like to share at this point. You all know I love the stories of King David in 1 2 Samuel.
Near the end of his life, DAvid’s son, Absalom, rose up against him. David was asked, what are you going to do? And incredibly, he chooses to take all of his household and leave town. There was a new king in Israel, and it was David’s rebellious son, Absalom.
As they were leaving, many stayed to serve the new king. For all intents and purposes, it looked like David had lost the kingdom to his own son who had rebelled against him.
Just before the rebellion, a man had come to Israel to be with David. Please understand, to establish a new relationship with King David… what bad timing.
And as David is leaving town, he stops at the edge of town to watch his household walk away and here comes this man. with all of his children and their children. And David stops him and tells him to stay. He was a foreigner, he could live in Israel under the new king, and his life would be much better than leaving to go where David had no idea where he was going to. And now you need to hear what he responded to King David: It is in 2 Samuel 15.21
2 Samuel 15:21 ESV
21 But Ittai answered the king, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.”
Christian, let me ask you, what kind of a friend are you?

What kind of friend am I?

Bottom Line:

Christian Relationships Should Be A Down Payment On God’s Promises

John 1:43–46 ESV
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
If you ever want anyone to come and see- you better take the time to know them first. It takes a friend to be a friend.
Nathanael looked for Jesus because he trusted Philip.
You won’t invest in anything unless you trust who’s telling you about it.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more