Summary: There are consequences to sin.
For Communion last week we noted Ruth’s commitment; she said “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me….”. It was not just a commitment to her mother-in-law Naomi but to God. Ruth, a Non-Jew, was rewarded by becoming the great-grandmother of King David! We are to follow the example of Ruth with her full commitment to God.
This morning we will look at decisions not to be followed. Open your Bibles to Ruth…..
To begin with, read along with me Ruth 1:1-2….
Who were the judges? Judges 2:6-19….
What was the land of Judah? Show diagram:
Sons (Tribes) of Jacob (Israel) were always fighting… led to split of King Saul and King David….. led to Northern Israel and Southern Israel (Judah) show map – note Moab a neighboring country to Judah.
Before moving on with the rest of the story, I believe there is an application question we need to note here: Was it wrong for Elimelech’s family to move to Moab??
God tells us the reason for them leaving Judah (there was a famine) and God also noted that they were to live in Moab only for a little while. There is no indication of sin due to moving from Judah to a pagan land; now, what they did in a pagan land however is a different story.
If we project this biblical principle, didn’t the early Christians scatter to foreign lands because of persecution? I am also reminded of our first church meeting place, downtown in a Masonic Lodge. You can be assured that all places we have done church, including this one now, have been prayed for.
Here’s the point: God can call people to foreign places but God expects people to live godly! Let us also note that we Christians live in a pagan world but God expects us to live godly till He takes us home to heaven!
Now let us continue to learn from Ruth Chapter 1; read along with me starting with verse 3….
Last week we studied v6-22. Let us now learn from the people before Ruth.
From v3-5: Was there sin committed against God??
The Jews Mahlon and Kilion were not supposed to marry Non-Jews!
Mahlon and Kilion sinned per Deutoronomy 7:3! Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons.
Did Elimelech and Naomi sinned? Deutoronomy 7:3 also answers this.
What caused Mahlon and Kilion to sin? Of course they sinned on their own; but we do not note Elimelech and Naomi stopping their sons from marrying Non-Jews! This also make us wonder how godly their parenting was.
Now, were there consequences to the sins??
It does note tell us specifically that Elimelech, Mahlon, and Kilion died early because of their sin but we can note many Scriptures in the New Testament that God can shorten a Christian’s life if they continue to sin. 1. Sinning against God can lead to early death!
But 2. How did sin affect the women who were left behind?
a. They were all widowed. (they had to deal with life without an intimate partner, provider, protector, etc…)
b. Orpah and Ruth had to decide to part with Naomi (separation was so hard for them that, they all wept!)
And how was Naomi’s life? Look again at v20-21……
c. Naomi’s life was bitter!
Let us summarize the Biblical Principles for us:
1. Wherever God takes us, live by “The Book”!
2. Parent Biblically! – start with Deutoronomy 6:5-7 (memorize it and live it out!)
3. There are consequences to sin: harm to ourselves and harm to others!
But let us never forget,
4. God provides Grace in spite of sins!
Think about this for a moment: It was a sin for a Jew to marry a pagan Ruth, but because of God’s grace and Ruth’s commitment to God, Jesus Christ, the final offering of grace to all people, came from the bloodline of once pagan Ruth!!!
And we are today living in this time of Grace which God will end soon when Jesus returns to judge the living and the dead!
Live by God’s Grace and share God’s Grace, who is Jesus Christ!
Avoid sinning! Eventhough there is certainly God’s grace, there will always be consequences to sin!