Sermons

Summary: This is the first sermon in a series from the book of Ruth. This message deals with the things that happen which don't seem to make sense.

When God Allows Bad Things To Happen

Ruth 1:1-5

[1] 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--Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there.

[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 should we do when bad things happen in our lives?

People who don’t have faith in God often fall to pieces.

Sometimes even Christians can’t handle bad times.

Today we are going to see how a godly woman reacted

when tragedy struck her life.

Her name is Naomi and her story is in the book of Ruth.

The book of Ruth contains only 4 chapters and only 80 verses.

Yet, this little book covers a wide range of human emotions.

It starts with heartache, then moves to scheming,

then romance and finally happiness.

It shows us that God works in, through,

and sometimes in spite of the decisions we make.

Today we will see 3 lessons

that will help us handle the hard times of life.

Point #1. Hard Times Can Happen at Any Time.

[1] 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.

This story happened at a particular time and place.

It was during the time of the judges

when there was a famine in the land.

It happened after Joshua’s death and before Saul became king.

If you read the book of Judges,

it would be easy to think it was a godless time for Israel.

The book of Judges ends with chapter 21 verse 25

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

As long as the judges ruled over Israel,

the people served the Lord.

However, when a judge died, the Jews turned to idolatry.

It was a recurring cycle of obedience, disobedience, judgment,

suffering, desperation, and returning to the Lord.

In Deuteronomy 28:24 Moses had warned the people.

The Lord will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.

The famine in the Promised Land didn’t just happen.

God used the famine to send a message to His people.

Point #2. Hard Times Force Us to Make Hard Choices.

[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--Ephrathites of Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to the country of Moab and remained there.

Elimelech has a family.

He worked hard to take care of his family.

The fact he was an “Ephrathite” tells us something.

Ephrathah was the old name for Bethlehem.

That area of the Promised Land was usually very fertile.

A man could grow good crops and raise livestock there.

So what did Elimelech do when a famine hits?

He took his family and moved to Moab.

It was a land of good soil and adequate rainfall.

The famine around Bethlehem was no longer a problem.

Everything seems to be going good for the family.

Verse 3: Then Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died; and she was left, and her two sons.

The Bible doesn’t tell us why or how he died in Moab.

It just says Naomi was left without a husband

and the two sons without a father.

Verse 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.

So now Naomi has 2 new daughters-in-law.

It would appear that Naomi, her 2 sons and 2 daughters-in-law

have things going well for them.

Ten years roll by for them living in Moab.

Verse 5: Then both Mahlon and Chilion also died; so the woman survived her two sons and her husband.

The two sons die and are buried in Moab.

Again, we are now told how they died.

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