Pastor Jonathan Falwell
So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?”
We continue through our Flannelgraph series today focusing on the story of a woman named Ruth. This is a fascinating story, particularly a love story that is cherished by so many. It is a story that encourages us but also one that helps to guide many in their marriages.
This story takes place in Bethlehem and in Moab, occurring in the time of the Judges though written after this period had ended. It’s a story of intrigue, romance and redemption
Ruth 1:1 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
Elimelech, Naomi and their sons left the famine of Bethlehem and traveled to Moab to find hope Soon after, Elimelech dies and leaves Naomi with her two sons. They find wives there.
The sons marry Orpah and Ruth. Not long after, both sons die and leave the three women. Naomi tells the wives to return to their families and she will go back to Bethlehem.
They arrive in Bethlehem and Naomi sends Ruth off to glean the fields of barley for their food. She follows along behind the other workers and soon the boss arrives, his name is Boaz.
Ruth catches Boaz’s eye. He takes care of her, feeds her, sends her home with lots of food and is definitely interested. Ruth tells Naomi of this man and Naomi sends her off with a plan.
After finding out that Ruth is his relative, he seeks to marry her. He must find a closer relative to determine if he has a chance. He meets with the man, he comes up with the plan, and seals the deal that he will marry Ruth. They make the contract among the elders.
Boaz marries Ruth and later have a child. This child, Obed, later has a child named Jesse. Jesse later has a child named David, King of Israel. Down through the generations, eventually another child is born. His name is Jesus.
Ruth 4:14-15 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! 15 And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him.”
1. God uses the famines of life to bring blessings
– Naomi wanted to be called “Mara” because she felt God had forgotten her
Ruth 1:20-21 But she said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?”
2. God’s love is not exclusive
– God proved His love through using unfortunate circumstances and unlikely participants to bring about deliverance
Ruth 4:15a And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age…
3. God’s plan is greater
– When Elimelech and his sons died, no one could have guessed from that broken home the future king of Israel, and the future of King of Kings, would come.
– Our brokenness in life is always an opportunity for God to do the unexpected, the unimaginable