Summary: Mother's Day Sermon focusing on the risk and reward from chapter 1 of Ruth.
Ruth: You and me, me and you
May 13, 2012
I started the sermon with this video which I made and can be found on youtube ~
Most people love a good comeback? They love when the underdog wins? In life, it does our hearts good to see someone get back up after they’ve been knocked down by life. It’s one of the things we really appreciate about some true movies. When we watch a movie like Blindside, it means more because we know it’s a true story of victory over defeat, triumph over despair.
As we move into today’s message, it’s my custom to preach about a woman from the Bible we can all learn from. Today we’re looking at a story which is about coming back from defeat. It’s a story about an underdog. It’s the story of the book of Ruth.
Let’s take a look at the story as I read from chapter 1 ~
1-2 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and Elimelech, a man from Bethlehem, together with his wife, Naomi and two sons, Mahlon and Kilion went to live for a while in the country of Moab.
3 Now Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her 2 sons.
4 They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.
6 When she heard that the Lord had come to the aid of His people by providing food for them, Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home to Bethlehem.
7 With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.
8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead and to me.
9 May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.” Then she kissed them and they wept aloud 10 and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”
11 But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands?
12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me — even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons —
13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has gone out against me!”
14 At this they wept again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-by, but Ruth clung to her.
15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”
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.
What amazing words from Ruth. There’s been a lot of trauma in Naomi’s life. The famine in Bethlehem led her and Elimelech to move to Moab. Moab is modern day Jordan, about 100 miles from Bethlehem. Then Elimelech dies, and Naomi is alone with her son’s.
They married Moabite women; and all seemed to be going well, but both of her son’s die. Now Naomi is in the worst of all situations, she’s a widow and both of her sons have died. She’s a woman without a man. She hears things are better in Bethlehem, so she and her daughters-in-law begin their journey home. But Naomi must have realized this wasn’t the best thing to do for the girls and tells them go back to their people, use your connections, get married and have families. Naomi changes her name to Mara, which means bitter, because life had become bitter.
As we look at the story from Ruth’s vantage, her husband, and a brother-in-law have died and her mother-in-law is grief stricken and depressed from what’s occurred.
Naomi takes a huge step, a risk really, to return to the people and the faith she knew. Even though life had treated her cruelly, she decides to return home, leaving new friends to return to her old friends.