Ruth and Naomi could have run out their lives as victims. But Ruth exercised faith in the God of Israel and helped her mother-in-law in the process. She became a woman in the birth line of Christ. (Ruth 1-4)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11382
6:30 AM on 12/10/2017
(Ruth 1) We are so blessed by the Bible college. We are blessed by people that have given. We give all our lives, don’t we, to the Lord. Maybe I’m not in Bible college but I’m in Footsteps. Maybe I’m not in Footsteps but I’m in the services. If you are listening on the internet, we are so glad. Thank God to Paul Nye and his skilled staff that is able to put these on. A few thousand computers are connected and even some churches are watching. That’s an amazing thing for our connection with each other. Paul Nye could be in the world making a fortune but I don’t want him to know that. He’s living with us and eating macaroni’s! Paul Nye is a man of God. He’s amazing. The whole family. Alex, the goalie. Can’t get passed him and the whole family. We love that family very much.
The book of Ruth in Chapter 1, if you read it slowly and think about it. There was a Jewish woman and husband who saw the grass was greener on the other side so they left Israel. The immigration policy was lose over there! Because there wasn’t food over there. What happens when they went to greener pastures? Can you lean over and tell your neighbor a horror story about going after green pastures and it wasn’t what the fine print said on the contract? Did you ever move to New York City? Did you ever move to Baltimore for greener pastures? Ever marry a rich guy and find out he was a criminal! Ever made those decisions? Of course, yeah. I buy and sell and get gain. I got this figured out and God had a plan. Ruth 1:1+ what’s interesting about Bethlehem? Who is from there? David. The shepherd. Bethlehem of Judah. This family is from Bethlehem. But at this time, it was a small dumpy village. Don’t underestimate God in the plan. He might want you in a dumpy village. That might be where he has you and has something he is doing. This family went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and two sons. It sounds like I’m joking around, but it is sad.
vs. 2-5. When I read that today, I went like, ahh! Wow! Have I seen a woman with two women without any men in their family, and they don’t have the security, the money. They are dirt poor and she is in a foreign country. I have seen in third world countries, I’ve seen and heard about people pinned down, left without a visa or passport, without any money or way of escape. In destitution. I have seen it. I can feel it in my bones. Despair, hopelessness. What can you do? I can go to that office and knock on a door but they tell me go to that one and that one. I get $7 and I’m homeless. Those kinds of stories. No men. They’re gone.
Naomi has one option, I’ll go back to Bethlehem. She tells the women you are Moabites. Stay here. You have your own gods, family, way. They said, no. We will go with you. Orpah kissed and Ruth just held on. You’re not going to get rid of me. I’m going to be with you. Your God is going to be my God. Where you die, I die. I’m going to be with you. She held on. In the story, I’m thinking of life for many people in this world. They just need an anchor, something. In the back of Ruth’s mind, she had her own country but probably she understood from her husband of ten years these are Jewish people. They came out of Egypt. They have promises and a covenant with God. I’m going to throw my lot in with them. She has nothing. She’s bitter. She says, leave me. My name is Marah. I have no future. I’m bitter. Ruth is that woman that we’ve been talking about today. There is something going on. The Spirit of God is what I need. I don’t really need the money. I need God. I don’t need everyone agreeing with me. I need the Spirit of God.
Someone told me if I hadn’t hit the wall and fallen into depression and gone to the bottom, I may never have found God. I may have ended up like the rich man in hell with the security of the world but without God.
I remember my adolescence and also as a missionary many can identify, you don’t have much. Sitting on the curb like Randy Rollins said. That was where in my heart I wanted to find the Lord.
If you are with me on this curb, and if I can get these words in my heart and if your Holy Spirit will fill me and I have something, I don’t know if anyone will recognize it but I have something. I want to know who you are. I want to believe. If there is a Naomi in my life, I’m going to cling to her. She was a woman who in the working place could say, my family, my life, I am in a depression but I have something in the background. I have something. Ruth in the working place that she went with Naomi and they came to Bethlehem and there was a distant relative who had a field. Ruth got the sense. I think she sensed she was attractive. Most women know that or to what degree. Ruth said let me show up at Boaz’s field. Let me go and glean in that field. I will be with the other women. Jewish law had harvest and they left the corners of the field. They didn’t re-harvest. They let those edges be for poor people. Ruth is looking for the wheat or the barley. Boaz did notice her. He complimented her. That kind of connection between the woman and Boaz in a proper way. Naomi didn’t catch on. It seemed Ruth had a sense we have a future and Naomi is following along. Two women that could have been victims were women now by the Holy Spirit were understanding God would take care of them and even something good might happen. Naomi had land because it passes down in the family. She was going to have to sell it because she was so poor. Boaz could redeem it because he was a relative…He said I will redeem it but you also have to take Ruth, too. And he said I won’t do it and Boaz said I can do it. All I want to say about it is that the Spirit of God can lead you as a woman in an amazing plan and don’t lose heart. Your value, your future. He is in the details.
God works and I want to be one of those operating in the Spirit of God. I might say it’s not fair what happened to me but I have to move beyond that. What is God going to do in the future and how the Spirit will lead me. I want to be an honorable, Spirit-filled woman who has a sense of God in my life. That was why God chose Mary, favored among woman. That is why God chose Elizabeth and worked in Anna’s life, a widow for 84 years.
For a woman to sense that God is in it. He’s in the plan. I’m married to a pastor. Let’s say I’m not married to a pastor but my husband would like to be a pastor and the young woman married to him is saying this is about you. I’m in God’s plan as a helpmate to be behind you in my heart, to pray for you, help you, and support you. To let you be who God has made you to be. The man empowers the wife in a spiritual way and she responds to that and she finds herself with the blessing of God in the family.
Yet in 1 Pet 3:7 a man lives with a woman according to knowledge knowing she is the weaker vessel. It doesn’t mean she’s not a spiritual woman who is able to take that amazing design God has for her. A weaker vessel is not a negative thing. God is seeing a man needs to take care, to learn to love, to take care of the woman. The woman is saying I want to be loved and encouraged. I am the weaker vessel but that’s good for you because you learn love.
“Women have great gifts to bring to the world of men. The qualities of love, compassion and humanity. It is the function of women to humanize since women are the natural mothers of humanity. Endowed by nature with a capacity to love. This is their principle function to teach men.”
I lived with a group of men in a house with my wife. We had a house of 16 men living in it. It was big enough. They had their rooms it was like an engineering group of guys. Square root of nine! Could we have a little bit of fellowship and kick it up a bit and praise the Lord! They were quiet, to themselves, turned inward you could say, introspective, melancholic, – I’m exaggerating.
Women are in the world to teach men to love. Not to be engineers. Leave them to themselves they are mechanics and engineers. They need to learn to love. Compassion, care.
“Once women know this, they will realize no man can ever play as an important role in the life of humanity as a mentally healthy woman…the ability to love and ability to work. A good wife, mother, homemaker is the most important of all occupations in the world. Remember our mothers? They stayed at home and they were mothers at home. That was an amazing period. Now we have working mothers that do their best and work very hard. That’s just the way it is. It can be pointed out the making of human beings is a far more important vocation than the making of anything else. The mother is best equipped to supply those firm foundations on which one can subsequently build…”
Maybe Ruth and Boaz, when they got together and he redeemed the family and they got married, they had a child. Jesse, Obed and David. Grandfather of King David came through that line from this woman who in obscurity without anything at all never to be known in history is now written in our Bible with a kind and generous spirit. Boaz said I have noticed how you care for your mother-in-law. Why do you care about Naomi? The Holy Spirit is teaching me to walk with Naomi and care for her.
This is happening in the church. Don’t underestimate your value or purpose or the plan of God for you in your life.
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