Summary: Uses the story of Ruth to show how to obtain the blessing of God in your life.
How to be Blessed By God
You may remember a few weeks ago
we did a survey and all of you got to vote for your favorite bible stories, the stories that you’d really like us to teach about on Sunday morning.
Well, this morning we’re starting a new series that we’ll do for the rest of this summer on the top ten stories you chose.
Today we’ll start with number 10, next week number 9, and so on up to number 1.
Now over the last few weeks I’ve had a bunch of people ask me if their favorite story made it into the top ten.
But that information is highly secret right now –
only pastor Chris and I know.
Even my wife and my daughter were asking me…
and I told them what I’ve told everyone else If I told you then I’d have to kill you.
So you’ll just have to come each week and find out if that’s the week for your favorite story.
But for this week, the number ten story, the one with the tenth highest votes is:
the story of RUTH.
So if you have your bibles,
turn to the book of Ruth.
Ruth 1 In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a man from Bethlehem in Judah left the country because of a severe famine. He took his wife and two sons and went to live in the country of Moab. 2 The man’s name was Elimelech, and his wife was Naomi. ….
During their stay in Moab, 3 Elimelech died and Naomi was left with her two sons. 4 The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her husband or sons.
6 Then Naomi heard in Moab that the LORD had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she set out from the place where she had been living, and they took the road that would lead them back to Judah. 8 But on the way, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go back to your mothers’ homes instead of coming with me. And may the LORD reward you for your kindness to your husbands and to me. 9 May the LORD bless you with the security of another marriage." Then she kissed them good-bye, and they all broke down and wept. …..
skipping to verse 14,
and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth insisted on staying with Naomi. 15 "See," Naomi said to her, "your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same." 16 But Ruth replied, "Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. I will go wherever you go and live wherever you live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17 I will die where you die and will be buried there. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!" 18 So when Naomi saw that Ruth had made up her mind to go with her, she stopped urging her.
22 So Naomi returned from Moab, accompanied by her daughter-in-law Ruth, the young Moabite woman. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.
Ruth 2 Now there was a wealthy and influential man in Bethlehem named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi’s husband, Elimelech. 2 One day Ruth said to Naomi, "Let me go out into the fields to gather leftover grain behind anyone who will let me do it."
And Naomi said, "All right, my daughter, go ahead." 3 So Ruth went out to gather grain behind the harvesters. And as it happened, she found herself working in a field that belonged to Boaz, the relative of her father-in-law, Elimelech. 4 While she was there, Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters. "The LORD be with you!" he said.
"The LORD bless you!" the harvesters replied. 5 Then Boaz asked his foreman, "Who is that girl over there?" 6 And the foreman replied, "She is the young woman from Moab who came back with Naomi. …..
8 Boaz went over and said to Ruth, "Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don’t go to any other fields. Stay right behind the women working in my field. 9 See which part of the field they are harvesting, and then follow them. I have warned the young men not to bother you. And when you are thirsty, help yourself to the water they have drawn from the well." 10 Ruth fell at his feet and thanked him warmly. "Why are you being so kind to me?" she asked. "I am only a foreigner." 11 "Yes, I know," Boaz replied. "But I also know about the love and kindness you have shown your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers. 12 May the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully." 13 "I hope I continue to please you, sir," she replied. "You have comforted me by speaking so kindly to me, even though I am not as worthy as your workers." …..