Faithlife
Faithlife

Ruth 1

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Secular:

Friends – someone so close to us…

  • Laurel and Hardy
    • Mishaps but always there
  • In the bible there is Jonathon and David
  • And of course Snoopy and Woodstock!!
    • Little bird
    • Dog on the roof of his house
    • Friends
    • Fellow adventures
    • Often end in Sigh… but they hang in there
  • We are looking at a relationship between Ruth and Naomi…
  • It reflects as a Foil on the Troubles (and eventual deliverance) of the nation of Israel.

Biblical:

NIB Ruth 1:1 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and 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 Elimelech, his wife's name 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 Elimelech, 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 she heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, Naomi 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 kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead 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 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 gone out against me!" 14 At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, 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 anything but death separates you and me." 18 When Naomi realised that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

Personal: Have you ever had someone abandon you in the middle of your greatest need… Your weak-kneed friend who conveniently disappears just moments before the schoolyard bully turns your body into jelly…

… it is one of those defining moments – that break a relationship or make it extraordinary…

Bridge: God wants us to have an extraordinary relationship with him. Just as Israel had a varied past… including wars, famines and loss… So has Naomi…

Body:

The Famine (v 1-2) NIB Ruth 1:1 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and 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 Elimelech, his wife's name 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.

  • It is easy to be a person of faith in good times
  • It is much more a struggle in bad times
  • But as on Sunday… our relationship with each other and with God can’t be a fair-weather relationship….
  • The stage is set… (for more hardship)

The Funerals (v 3-5)

3 Now Elimelech, 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.

  • Devastating loss
  • Not unlike Job…
  • It isn’t health and wealth…
  • Relationships can’t be based on the rewards…
  • The hardship puts the relationship to the test
    • Israel – God
    • God – Naomi
    • Naomi – Ruth

The Farewells (v 6-15) 6 When she heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, Naomi 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 kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead 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 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 gone out against me!" 14 At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, 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."

  1. Naomi’s Decision
  • Go back to Israel to her people
  • Go back to where the Lord was showing favour
  • Go back to her people and to her God

  1. Naomi’s Despair
  • Send Orpah and Ruth back to their families
    • No hope of sons to marry
    • Different faith
  • Magnitude of Suffering brought forward…
  • Response different
      • Orpah… okay I am out of here
      • Ruth… when the going gets tough…

The Faith (v 16-18) 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 anything but death separates you and me." 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

  • Dedication
  • God wants us to have an extraordinary relationship with him. Just as Israel had a varied past… including wars, famines and loss… So has Naomi…
  • Not blood related…
  • Committed in Faith…
  • My God… commitment to truth to Yahweh
  • My People… commitment to people to the covenant people
  • Galatians 3:6 Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."7 Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 8 The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you."

Conclusion:

Being a person of God:

  • Not just about good times
  • Relationship
    • With God
    • With Others
  • You can always come home… (not suppose to go- not suppose to become part of the world… but you can always come home!!)
  • Stick-to-it (Ruth saw it modeled… faith… heard the truth)
  • True commitment…
    • Regardless of reward
    • Based on Truth
    • Based on Loyalty
    • Steadfast

What kind of relationship does this mirror…

1)      God with Israel

2)      Naomi with God

3)      Ruth with God and Naomi’s People

4)      YOU WITH GOD

5)      YOU WITH YOUR PEOPLE

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