Summary: Our life is governed by our decisions and each decision has consequences. Naomi, Orpah and Ruth each made decisions that had life-altering consequences. Each of their decisions have lessons for our own lives.
Series: Ruth (Sermon 3 in series)
June 30, 2013
TEXT: Please turn in your Bibles to Ruth 1.
Illus. – At seven o’clock on the morning of December 7, 1941 two US soldiers were on duty at a small radar station in the Pacific ocean. Suddenly, their radar screen filled up with hundreds of dots, until entirely filled. These soldiers quickly notified their young supervisor, a lieutenant. No other officer was around, it being a Sunday, so the lieutenant thought these must be planes from California, and without another thought, said these critical words: “Don’t worry about it.”
Twenty minutes later, at 7:50, the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor began. 353 Japanese airplanes swarmed over the harbor, and within a couple of hours, America lost 8 battleships, 6 major airfields, almost all its planes, and 2,400 men.
There would have been time to scramble the planes at Pearl Harbor, prepare the battleships, and shelter the men, but this lieutenant, in the most important moment of his career, made a very simple, seemingly insignificant decision that had momentous consequences.
Our study today speaks to us of the importance of decisions. Our life is shaped largely by the decisions we make. I am what I am—for both good and for bad—as a Christian, as a husband, as a father, as a worker, and as a person mostly because of past decisions I have made in my life.
Someone once said that “Decision determines destiny.” Another put it this way, “History is made whenever you make a decision.”
Every day you live, you literally make hundreds of decisions. Every day you are pressed for decisions, decision, decisions. And what you are today is the sum total of the decisions you have made in your lives.
Illus. – Listen to this story, based upon a San Francisco, California, newspaper article a few years ago:
Prominent members of San Francisco Society crowded Saints Peter and Paul Church in San Francisco for the wedding. At the stipulated moment in the ceremony, the dazzling bride was asked, “Do you take this man for your lawfully wedded husband?”
“I don’t know,” she murmured to the minister. “I just can’t make up my mind.” The minister waited a moment, and then announced to the audience, “The wedding is off.”
The reception was cancelled. Hundreds of dollars worth of food was given away. All because, in the moment of decision the bride could not make up her mind.
However, a week later the bride asked for the wedding to proceed. “I was just nervous,” she said. “My mind is made up now. I do take the groom as my husband.”
Well, I hope she made the right decision!
In our text we see three decisions made which influenced the lives of three women forever. These women—Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth—had all lost their husbands in Moab. They were all widows, food was scarce, and Naomi was living as a foreigner in Moab with no relations to help her. All three apparently had no means of supporting themselves and there’s no mention of any male relatives to protect or provide for them. They were facing some very distressing, precarious times.