Summary: Anne and I may be driving along the highway, and out of the blue, she will say, “did you see that?” And for some reason, when she does that I am not usually looking in the same direction that she is, and I have to say: “No, what did you see, I missed it.”
Anne and I may be driving along the highway, and out of the blue, she will say, “did you see that?” And for some reason, when she does that I am not usually looking in the same direction that she is, and I have to say: “No, what did you see, I missed it.”
Just like I miss what Anne sometimes sees because I am not looking in the same direction that she is looking; I sometimes miss what God is doing in my life and in the world because I don’t have my eyes focused the same place Jesus has His focused.
Did you know that according to Hebrews 12:2, our eyes should be fixed on Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith? If that is true, and it is true because it is the Word of God (let God be true and every man a liar), then where Jesus is looking, we ought to be looking. But we don’t always do that.
In our passage of Scripture this morning, a family didn’t do that, and they missed a lot of what God was doing in their life and most importantly, they missed the last-minute miracle that God performed. Our story takes us to two books of the Old Testament- The Book of Judges and the Book of Ruth.
The last chapter and the last verse of the Book of Judges sets the scene, and the first six verses of Ruth describes what they have missed. Let’s take a look at those Scriptures and make some statements about them.
Judges 21:25 (KJV)
25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Judges
Ruth 1:1-6 (KJV)
1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.
3 And Elimelech Naomi's husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.
4 And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years.
5 And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.
6 Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread.
We are told in that last verse of Judges that the people of Israel took their eyes off of the Lord and did what was right in their own eyes. And we turn the page to the next book, Ruth, and it tells us in the very first verse, “now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled. So what are we to conclude about the family we are about to be introduced to? They have taken their eyes off of God, and they are doing what is right in their own eyes. That is an important thing to know as we read these first six verses of Ruth.
YOU DON’T KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON JESUS, AND YOU WILL START THINKING IT IS ALRIGHT TO TURN AWAY FROM GOD IF THINGS GET BAD ENOUGH.
Listen to what I am saying? We all have a spiritual breaking point. If too much bad stuff happens in your life while you are a Christian, you say to yourself, “what is the use,” and you pull away from the faith. You don’t read your Bible like you use to; you don’t pray like you use to; you find reasons not to be in church. Unfortunately, as a preacher, I see this all the time. And we never give any thought to the fact that some of this bad stuff that could be happening in our lives is because we are not doing what we should be doing.
Israel is suffering a famine in their land. If you read the Book of Judges, you know that God is using the famine to discipline the people for turning away from Him and enjoying the pleasures of sin. If you want to place blame, the children of Israel are to blame for the famine because they turned away from God, and God uses that famine to disciple the children of Israel because He loved them. We are not told of a mass exit of the people of Israel to land of Moab or any other country around the Promised Land. Most people stayed and dealt with the discipline of the Lord. What we are told about is one man that took his family and left Israel because he wanted none of that.