Summary: We all face difficult times in life. It is helpful to know what to expect when we face difficult times so we can prepare to respond in a way that will glorify the Lord and be beneficial to us. What can we learn from the story of Ruth so that we can face
Ruth – Life Lessons during difficult times
Ruth 1:1 – 4:21
Running from God does not prove beneficial (Ruth 1:1-5)
Following God will lead to…
Times of Sacrifice
Provision of Needs
The Hope of Redemption
We are so glad you are here today.
Today is the day that we typically remember Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
He came into Jerusalem to the cries of Hosanna in the highest! From a human perspective, this was a high point of his life because over the next week things got progressively worse with the Jewish leaders wanting him arrested and killed, to one of Jesus’ disciples betraying him, to Peter denying him, to ultimately His arrest, flogging and crucifixion.
But the Father had a plan for this suffering and hardship, and it was a plan that was to your benefit.
Many of us here have faced difficult times in life.
There are many here right now that may be facing difficult times.
But no matter what the hardships we face, God has a plan and not only does he have a plan, but He is also able and willing to provide His strength for us to be able to endure, get through, and experience hope.
We are going to be going through the book of Ruth today
It is my hope that as we examine the situations and people that we find in the book of Ruth, that we will learn some life lessons to deal with difficult times and truly understand and know the hope we have.
Ruth is only 4 chapters long and is a great story, and we are going to read most of it by the end of this message, but I am going to vie a synopsis of some of the first chapter and read a few verses toward the end, So, if you would turn with me to Ruth 1 and let’s see what is happening.
We find in this first chapter that a man and his wife and 2 sons who are Jews, leave Israel because there is a famine and they go to the country of Moab. There the man dies and leaves the wife and 2 sons. The 2 sons get married to Moabite women and then after about 10 years both the sons die, leaving the wife and mother, Naomi, and the 2 daughters in law, Ruth and Orpah.
Naomi hears that the famine is over in Israel and is going to head back and her daughters in law are going to go with her. Naomi is bitter and doesn’t want her daughters in law giving up their lives to come back with her, so she urges them to go back to their families and their gods. One daughter in law, Orpah, heads back, but Ruth does not turn back. And beginning in Ruth 1:16, it says,
Ruth 1:16-18, 22
16 But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.
22 So Naomi returned from Moab accompanied by Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, arriving in Bethlehem as the barley harvest was beginning.
Ok, so in the synopsis I gave of the story, we find that Naomi and her husband, Elimelech and their sons, leave Israel and head to Moab to live there.
In our day and age, this doesn’t seem like too big a deal. They are departing because there is a famine and they are going where there is food.
But what is happening here is that Elimelech and his family are running way from God and his discipline of Israel for their unfaithfulness.
Israel was the land of promise for the Jews. It was the place where God’s presence was.
Elimelech and his family leaving Israel for Moab is the same as running away from God.
One thing we should realize is that
Running away from God is never beneficial
They run away to what they think will be greener pastures, a better life for their family, at least in the midst of their temporary, difficult circumstances, but look what happens.
Elimelech dies there. His kids marry Moabite women, which is not prohibited, but not looked upon well within Israel. And then the sons die. Now we don’t know the reasons they died, just that they did.
But for sure, the benefit that they were hoping to find in this land away from God, did not appear.