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Where is God

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CHURCH ON RANDALL PLACE SERMON NOTES 1/4/09

“COLORING OUTSIDE THE LINES” A STUDY IN RUTH

TODAY’S MESSAGE: RUTH 1:1-5 “WHERE IS GOD?”

I.       Introduction

a.       Where is God?

b.      A book w/ many relevant lessons

                                                              i.      God’s unseen activity on behalf of His covenant people

                                                            ii.      God’s care for the socially insignificant.

                                                          iii.      God’s tireless effort to fulfill His promise of redemption.

                                                          iv.      Encourages confidence and security

II.    A Sneaky Little Book

a.       Buried in this love story is a God who doesn’t explain Himself

                                                              i.      We love to masquerade. 

b.      Providence of God

                                                              i.      He is not only Creator, He is Sustainer and Ruler.

                                                            ii.      He knows the great things and the mundane

1.      All things great and small have been purposed that He might share His life, love and glory with us.

                                                          iii.      All things work for good, evil for good

1.      Easy to say at the end of the story.  A challenge when lanquishing alone w/o support, means or hope.

c.       Target Audience

                                                              i.      Those who wonder where God is when things go from bad/worse.

                                                            ii.      For those who can’t imagine anything great coming from the ordinary 

III. Beauty in an Ugly Era

a.       When the judges judged

                                                              i.      Governors, local chieftans called by God to deliver.

                                                            ii.      The dark ages of Israel’s history. Cruelty, war, selfishness

b.      Root problem

                                                              i.      Judges 17:6; 21:28

1.      The precepts of God had been abandoned.  Individual became the std of right/wrong.

a.       Subjective feelings replace objective truth.

                                                            ii.      Application

1.      Social: When objective stds are rejected then anything goes.

a.       From small (cheating in sports)

b.      To large (life issues)

                                                                                                                                      i.      Human life is not intrinsicly valuable

                                                                                                                                    ii.      Value is determined by its contribution

1.      Fetus, clone, Down Syndrome, creation of uber race, etc.

2.      Church: God’s Word no longer authorative.

a.       DOEM. Church Discipline.

b.      2 Corinthians 10:5

                                                                                                                                      i.      Every error taken captive and subjected to Christ.

c.       Philosophies of men are caged by the overarching idea of obedience to Christ.

c.       Ruth is an oasis

                                                              i.      In the midst of this filth stand two women who will take a risk to serve God.  And in this filth God is at work.

IV. Famine

a.       We have no concept

b.      A means of God’s judgment

                                                              i.      God is clear.  Leviticus 26:3-4; Deuteronomy28:23-24

1.      Truth is suppressed a lie is believed and every wickedness is practiced

                                                            ii.      God still judges sin

                                                          iii.      God still provides light for a way out

1.      General revelation

2.      Spoken truth

3.      Natural evil.  Purpose is to bring repentance (Amos 4:6)

a.       Affects event the righteous

c.       Bethlehem

                                                              i.      Where one would expect to find nourishment was desolate

1.      Why?  God no longer honored

d.      A Family plays with fire.

                                                              i.      Soujourn in Moab

1.      When trial commences the land of promise is abandoned.

a.       The place God has called them to is vacated for a place we are called to be separate from.

                                                            ii.      The temporary became permanent

1.      How often do we follow this pattern

a.       When_______ then I will get back to the place God wants me.

b.      Soon the sojourn becomes home.

e.       Naomi’s Plight

                                                              i.      Torn from the place of God’s promises

                                                            ii.      An immigrant

                                                          iii.      A widow

                                                          iv.      Childless

                                                            v.      A woman

f.       Where is God?

                                                              i.      Put yourself in her world.  How would you respond?

V.    Conclusion

a.       Challenge

                                                              i.      Leave the dark ages

1.      View things as God views them

                                                            ii.      Have you allowed the temporary to become permanent?

1.      It’s time to return to where God has called you.

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