Summary: Naomi heard how the Lord had visited His people in giving them bread. That good news combined with very difficult circumstances propelled her back to the promised land. That one two punch is what God often does to backsliders
Ruth Part Two, The Journey Back Home
We are studying the book of Ruth and I have entitled this series, "My Redeemer Lives"
A redeemer is one who restores the honor worth and dignity of a thing. It is one who frees from the consequences of sin. It is one who goes after something they consider of value and claims it as their own.
The potter in Jeremiah 18 was a redeemer. He took the piece of clay that was marred and turned it into a masterpiece. That is the message of the book of Ruth. I could well imagine Ruth thought she was under a curse. First life seemed to be pretty good, she married into a wealthy family and seemingly devout man whose name means, "My God is King." But then things started to go south on her, she has two children born with serious sicknesses, in her society that would be thought of as a punishment or an abandonment from God. Then her family is destroyed financially, then her husband dies, then her one son, and finally her last son dies. She winds up reduced to living off of the charity of others.
Others were blest, others were happy, she was under a curse from God. She had things happen in her life that in her mind could not be happening if God loved her. It wasn't just one event it was a whole series of them, that even though they were separated by years they constituted in her mind her life story. To avoid serious bouts of depression you need to learn to interrupt the chain of thoughts that would write in your mind the saddest book the world has ever read.
The wonderful thing about the book of Ruth is that by the end of her book she has made a discovery, and that discovery was that her Redeemer lives and was working even in the most horrible times of her life.
So that by the end of the book she could say:
If any one should ever write my life's story, for whatever reason there might be, You'd be there through each line of pain and sorrow. You're the greatest thing, that ever happened to me.
Your redeemer lives. He will make sense one day of every furrow on your brow. That is the reason the bible says in every thing give thanks, because He is working all things out for good.
De 8:16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
Last week I mentioned that for Christians God has written a law into the fabric of our life that all things work together for good.
Ex 1:11 So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses.
Ex 1:13 And the Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously;
Ex 1:14 and they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all [kinds] of labor in the field, all their labors which they rigorously imposed on them.
You may have noticed verse 12 is missing, here it is:
Ex 1:12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel.
If anyone should ever write my life's story for whatever reason there might be...
Ok lets look at our bible portion
Ruth 1:1 Now it came about in the days when the judges governed, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons.
2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife, Naomi; and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehem in Judah. Now they entered the land of Moab and remained there.
3 Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left with her two sons.
4 And they took for themselves Moabite women as wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. And they lived there about ten years.
5 Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; and the woman was bereft of her two children and her husband.
6 ¶ Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the land of Moab, for she had heard in the land of Moab that the LORD had visited His people in giving them food.
Last week I preached that Elimilech and his family may have gone to Moab, something they shouldn't have done in the natural, because Moab was a cursed nation, simple because there was a special woman there by the name of Ruth that God wanted to get saved. Sometimes your water heater breaks down for no other reason than God wants you to minister to a plumber.