Summary: This is the 1st sermon in the series "God’s Gift Of..."

Family Worship November 22, 2009 Bel Aire Baptist Church

Series: God’s Gift Of… [#1]


Ruth 1:1-22


So, I know that it is hard to believe for some; but Christmas is 1 month away and the stores are working overtime already. Some you have already began to Christmas shop, while some of you are almost done already. Personally, I don’t get that. I still have 22 days before Christmas Eve, so I’m in no hurry. I have already been asked what I would like for Christmas and I don’t really have an answer; but as I thought about some things I would like I did think about some of the gifts that God has given me through the years.

It is hard to see that God is working in our lives sometimes. In fact it seems sometimes as if God is not there at all. How could God allow bad things to happen to good people? How is it that evil people seem to prosper? The devil is a master at focusing us on the negative and causes us to even doubt that God cares; but I want to assure you that God provides and cares for us even when we don’t know it. See, often times God is growing us and teaching us through difficult circumstances. What difficult situation is God using in your life to grow you? Do you feel like God has abandoned you?

Ruth 1:1-5

The book of Ruth takes place during the days of the judges. These were dark days for the Nation of Israel. Everyone did their own thing. Everyone decided what was right and what was wrong.

Judges 21:25

Because of this, we find a situation that was like a roller-coaster ride. The people would sin, God would punish them, the people would cry out for help, God would deliver them, and then it would start all over again. 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 Mahlon and Chilion got married to women from Moab. After about 10 years the two sons died and only three women were left. 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 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 they were all cursed by God and He was no where around, each of these 3 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. Many times the results of our decisions follow us for the rest of our lives and we will find that the decisions made by these 3 women had huge affects upon their lives. Which 1 of these 3 decisions most often fits your life?

Ruth 1:6-22

When you are faced with a decision, do you…

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 in year 2009, clinical depression. The only reason she was going back to Bethlehem was because the famine that God had placed upon Bethlehem due to their 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. She let them take care of her. I can just imagine that they had to often hear how unfair God had been to her for taking her husband. Now that her sons had died, she felt like there was not anyone, including God, who cared about her even a little. Her plan was to go back to Bethlehem alone and just finish her life out as quickly as possible. She had given up.

Although, I’m sure Naomi did love her daughter-in-laws; she was so focused on how sorry and terrible her life was that she didn’t even consider the fact that not only was she telling her daughter-in-laws to go back to their homes and maybe find a husband, but worse she was telling them to go back to their old gods and forsake Jehovah God. Instead of her leading her family to God she was telling them to give up on God and do something else.

Look back at verses 19-21. Naomi’s old friends remembered her and were excited to see her. Instead of Naomi running up to them and having a wonderful time of reunion, she immediately lets them know how unfairly God has treated her. She told them to not call her Naomi which meant “pleasant”. She asked them to call her Mara, which means “bitter”. See, Naomi was bitter and angry at God. What had she done to deserve this? She lost her husband and sons. She had no hope, no future, etc… She wanted to be left alone so she could continue being mad at God.

Have you ever got to this point? You just don’t care anymore. You just want to stay at home, pull the covers over your head, and wallow in your misery. Is this you? Are you still at this point in your life or have you allowed Christ to lift you up? If you feel like you cannot be lifted up, it is o.k. to let someone know so that they can pray for you and encourage you as God becomes more evident in your life. God is still there. He has not left you and He won’t.

When you are faced with a decision, do you…

2. Give in?

Naomi had given up and her negative attitude was pretty obvious. Some people have the personality of Orpah. Orpah knew that staying with Naomi was the right thing, but she just didn’t want to argue with her about it. After all she tried to stand her ground and stay with Naomi, but Naomi was persistent enough that maybe she was right. Most of the time, the right decision is harder to stick with than the wrong decision and what Orpah simply did was give in.

The devil is a master at getting us to give in. The way he does this is he convinces us that doing it his way, (which is always opposite of God’s way) is easier and is the path of least resistance. Just as Orpah gave in and went back to her old ways, it is very easy for us to give in to the wrong things and fall back into our old ways before we were saved.

When you are faced with a decision, do you…

3. Give it your all?

It is easy to give up, it is just as easy to give in, but it is difficult to give it your all. Ruth would not allow Naomi to change her mind because she knew that she was not to abandon her mother-in-law even if it meant that she ended up being single the rest of her life. As Ruth traveled with Naomi, she had no thoughts of finding a husband or how this could benefit her. She was simply concerned for Naomi. We must notice verses 16 and 17.

Talk about commitment. Not only was Ruth remaining committed and faithful to Naomi, but she was also remaining faithful to Jehovah God. Ruth was not trading gods or giving up on Jehovah God just because life had seemed to deal her a bad hand.


It is so easy for us to get mad at God and start jumping to conclusions. When you don’t think God is there, remember these 3 things from 1 Peter 4:12-19…

1 Peter 4:12-19

1. Don’t jump to conclusions.

2. Don’t give it a second thought.

3. Don’t doubt what God is doing.

1 of God’s greatest gifts to you is that He is always there!