RUTH, A LOVE STORY

  Someone has said, “It’s love, it’s love, it’s love that makes the world go round.”  Someone also said, “that if life is one crazy thing after another, love is two crazy things after each other.”  Everyone loves a love story.  Ruth is one of the most beautiful love stories as is written in the Bible in the book of Ruth. 

  The story begins in trouble as there is a famine in the land of Bethlehem.  Bethlehem, “the House of Bread” has no bread.   So, we have the family, Elimelech and Naomi and their two sons, leaving Bethlehem and moving to Moab.  This is scandalous for Jews to move into a heathen land with a people who worship false gods.  The Moabites were enemies of Israel.  But, hungry people do desperate things.  More depressing news, Elimelech, Noami’s husband dies.  Shockingly,  Naomi’s two sons marry Moabite women by the name of Ruth and Orpah.   Noami and her family live in Moab for ten years.  During this time, the two sons of Noami die. Now, you have three widows trying to care for themselves.  Naomi learns that the famine in Bethlehem is over, so she decides to go home.  She tells the two daughter-in-laws to stay in Moab because there they could find a husband and be cared for.  She has their best interest at heart.  Orpah does as Naomi requested and leaves.  Ruth however, does not but rather expresses deep devotion to her mother-in-law.  She said those beautiful words:  “Where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”  Ruth 1:16
Ruth expresses selfless love by making that sacred vow. It was genuine conversion, a drastic change in surrendering her life to Naomi and to Naomi’s God.  Naomi accepts Ruth and they together go to Bethlehem.  They arrive there at harvest time. This gives Ruth an opportunity to work in the fields to provide for she and Naomi.  Ruth gleans in the field of a relative of Naomi by the name of Boaz.  Boaz was a respected, wealthy farmer.  He notices this stranger in his fields and asks about her.  He learned of her kindness toward Naomi.  Ruth’s reputation was known.  Boaz offers help and encouragement to a stranger, a woman of a different race and religion from his own. Boaz is Kinsman Redeemer to Naomi, but let’s save that crucial part of the story until later.

  I want to emphasize two very important things about the story so far.  The first being KINDNESS.  Kindness transcends nationality.  Kindness is contagious. Never underestimate the power of kindness.  Kindness furthers the purpose of God.  Titus 3:4 “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done but because of His mercy…”  One of the Fruits of the Spirit for the Christian is kindness.  No Christian has the right to be harsh (unkind).

  The second thing, I want to emphasize is WORK.  How do you spell ‘success’? – work.  Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of  the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”  Paul told the Thessalonians, “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule:  “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”  2 Thessalonians 3:10  God has established work for mankind; “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2:15″

  Jesus tells us to take up our cross (His cause) and follow Him.  Out of sacrificial love, we obey.  Next week, I will tell you the rest of the story.

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