Summary: Sermon explores the way God worked in Naomi's life in order for Christians to increase their understanding of what God may be doing in their lives. Her end was better than her beginning, although there were trials along the way. At midpoint in the journey
What is God Doing in Your Life?
One way we can discover answers to that question is to study what He did in the lives of people in the Bible. Their stories in many ways, becomes your story. There are consistencies in how God works in people’s lives. On one hand, each life is very unique, as unique as a finger print or a DNA profile. No one can replace you in the eyes of your Heavenly Father. On the other hand, God operates out of principles and integrity. What He has done for others, He will do for you. He is not capricious. He is not impulsive. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.1
I want us to look at God’s work in a woman named Naomi, and allow the Holy Spirit to speak into our own lives about what God may be doing in your journey. May God open our eyes to His goodness. May we see His hand on us a little more clearly. May we rest in His love and guidance more fully.
Naomi was married to a man named Elimelech. They had two boys: Mahlon and Chilion.2 Life was good in Bethlehem where they lived. It was a peaceful, small village in the suburbs of Jerusalem. Elimelech and Naomi were people of faith; they had lots of friends; and God had blessed them financially. It was a good, comfortable life.
But then something happened that was beyond their control. A crisis came that disrupted everything. It came in the form of a famine that affected everybody in Bethlehem.
I. This Famine was a pivotal point in Naomi’s life.
Follow with me as we read Ruth 1:1-2.
“Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, [this gives us the context of these events. The time of the judges was from about 1350 to 1100 B.C.3 It began with the death of Joshua and ended with the installation of Saul as the first king. As a whole, the days of the judges were bad times for Israel. It was a time marked by confusion, defeat, disunity, idolatry, and violence. Yet during those times there were godly people living in this little town of Bethlehem, serving the Lord faithfully. Naomi was one of those faithful followers of Jehovah. This first phrase connects the book of Ruth with the book of Judges). “Now it came to pass, in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. 2 The name of the man was Elimelech, the name of his wife was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion – Eph-ra-thites of Bethlehem, Judah. [The ancient name of Bethlehem was Eph-rath—hence they are referred to as Ephrathites.4] And they went to the country of Moab and remained there.”5
Verse 3 “Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons. 4 Now they took wives of the women of Moab: the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth. And they dwelt there about ten years. 5 Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.”
What do you do when one blow after another hits your life?