Sermons

Summary: Did the events of Ruth 2 happen because of good luck or divine intervention?

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[To receive free, weekly sermons contact jonrmcleod@yahoo.com; for sermon audio, visit http://jonathan-mcleod.blogspot.com/]

GOOD LUCK?

Choir practice at the West Side Baptist Church in Beatrice, Nebraska, always began on Wednesday evenings at 7:20. At 7:25 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1, 1950, an explosion demolished the church. The blast was so strong that it forced a nearby radio station off the air and shattered windows in surrounding homes.

But every one of the choir’s fifteen members escaped injury. How? All were late for practice that night.

They supposed rightly that the odds of unanimous tardiness were slim, especially when the reasons were examined. Car trouble delayed two women. The minister and his wife and daughter were delayed by a dress that needed ironing at the last minute. Others were late because they paused to complete homework, finish a letter, or hear the end of a favorite radio show. One awoke late from a nap. Some could think of no special reason; they were just late.

It is impossible to calculate the precise odds for all these events occurring at once. But past performance indicated that each person would be late for practice one time in four—producing a one in a million chance that the entire choir would be late that night. (Source: snopes.com)

What caused every choir member to be late and escape death? Was it just good luck? Or was it divine intervention?

[Current series: The Story of Ruth]

In Ruth 1, Naomi’s life had fallen apart:

• She had no husband.

• She had no sons.

• She had no grandchildren.

• She was alone, except for her daughter-in-law Ruth.

But in Ruth 2, good things start to happen to Naomi and Ruth. On the surface, it appears that their good fortune is due to some lucky coincidences. But the eye of faith can see that God is behind the scenes working out His good plan for Naomi and Ruth.

DEFENDER OF THE WIDOW

Chapter 1 ends with a glimmer of hope: “So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning” (1:22). Little did Naomi know that God was going to use Ruth and the barley harvest to bless her in an amazing way.

[Read Ruth 2]

[Reading challenge & trivia question]

LAST WEEK’S TRIVIA QUESTION: In chapter 2, why was Naomi excited that Ruth had met Boaz? ANSWER: Because Boaz was one of their “kinsman-redeemers” (2:20).

And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor” (2:2).

Gleaning was a provision established by God that allowed the POOR to gather leftover grain in the fields. (The poor could also glean in the vineyards and olive orchards.)

The LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt (Deuteronomy 10:17-19).


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