Summary: It is hard to see that God is working in our lives sometimes when things are unfavorable. In fact it seems sometimes as if God is not there at all when we are experiencing difficult, unexplainable moments within our existence, but don’t loss faith, you ar

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Elder M. Edmunds

Co-Pastor of United Ordained Church

August 2003

It is hard to see that God is working in our lives sometimes when things are unfavorable. In fact it seems sometimes as if God is not there at all when we are experiencing difficult, unexplainable moments within our existence.

Our archenemy, the devil is a master at focusing us on the negative situations and circumstances causes us to even doubt that God cares.

Many born-again believers are robbed and rendered ineffective because they are unaware of the devices that the enemy employs for their destruction. Satan is a deceiver, a liar, a manipulator, and an intimidator. Through positions, persons, and past experiences, he causing us to believe through the difficulties of life that God does not care and has left us hopeless and abandoned, but I want to “assure you” that God provides and cares for us despite the circumstance, the feeling, or the lies of the adversary.

See, often times through adverse undesirable situations and challenging moments (which are known as the growth process), we are being prepared for are destiny; for God is teaching us through these moments to become more reliant on Him for our future.

Tell the person next to you that, “You are a destiny child, a generational changer.”

What difficult situation is God using in your life to stretch you, mature you, and teach you? Do you feel like God has abandoned you -- then think again.

Ruth 1:1-5

Elimelech died and Naomi was left, she and her two sons. The sons took Moabite wives; the name of the first was Orpah, the second Ruth. They lived there in Moab for the next ten years. Then the two brothers, Mahlon and Kilion, died, Naomi was left without either her sons or her husband.

The book of Ruth takes place during the days of the judges. These were dark days for the Nation of Israel. Everyone did his or her own thing. Judges 21:25 reports, “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

Because of this we find an on-going cycle of sin, divine judgment, petitioning God for help, divine deliverance, and then a return to more debauchery or sin. This is the time in which our story takes place.

Elimelech moved his family from Bethlehem to Moab because of a famine. While there, Elimelech died; but his family continued to stay in Moab. His two sons got married to women from Moab. After about 10 years the two sons died and only three women were left: Elimelech’s wife, Naomi; Mahlon’s wife, Orpah; and Chilion’s wife, Ruth.

These women now faced a serious problem. In this era of time, women without husbands, especially young widows, did not have much hope. In those days, it was very important that women were married and had children. If they were widows or could not have children, they were considered by the opinion of that generation to be cursed by God.

To make matters worse for Orpah and Ruth, tradition would have it that if your husband died you were to marry their nearest of kin. Usually the dead husband’s brother would take his brother’s wife to be his wife; but Naomi had no more sons.

At a time when it seemed that God cursed them all and He was no where around, a devise of the enemy to render them ineffective to reach their destiny, each of these three women had to make a decision.

There comes certain times in life when although we would like to procrastinate on making a decision, that we must make that decision now, because the result of our decision affects our entire existence.

What is very interesting about these three different decisions made by Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth is that these same three decisions are the same options that we have to choose from when we are faced with a decision today.

I want us to notice these three options and then ask yourself which option you tend to use when you have to make difficult decisions.

(Ruth 1:6-22)

Option #1: Give Up

On the surface, Naomi seems to be a very unselfish and caring person because she gave her daughter-in-laws a way out; or did she? One must read the entire chapter to see that Naomi was experiencing what we call clinical depression. The only reason she was going back to Bethlehem was because the famine that God had placed upon Bethlehem due to the inhabitants of the land’s disobedience had been lifted and there was now food available.

Apparently, Naomi could have gone back to Bethlehem after her husband died, but she stayed with her sons and daughter-in-laws. Now that her sons had died, she felt like there was not anyone, including God, who cared about her. Her plan was to go back to Bethlehem alone and just finish her life out as quickly as possible. She had given up.

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