An Unexpected Travelling Companion
In the days when the judges ruled… (1:1)
I. What’s the STORY?
A. A story of GREAT LOSS (1:1-5)
B. A RADICAL promise of LOYAL LOVE and COMMITMENT (1:16-17)
C. BROKEN to pieces and good for NOTHING (1:20-21)
D. ULTIMATELY a story of REDEMPTION
This is not only a story about Ruth and Naomi being taken from a life that is hopeless and desperate to redemption but also the story of Israel being taken from a place that is hopeless and desperate -without a King, lawless and destitute and ugly- to redemption. Ultimately through this situation and family, God provides the Messiah in Jesus whom the people hope and long for.
II. Where is GOD in the MIDDLE?
A. When HOPE is CRUSHED we SHIELD ourselves from further HURT (1:11-13)
B. What do I use to SHIELD myself from hurt? ______________________________
C. The GOOD things my shield is keeping out are ______________________________
As an Israelite, Ruth would be very familiar with the description God gave of himself to Moses on Mt Sinai. Ex 34:6-7. “Yahweh, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”
Brene Brown (emotions researcher) Atlas of the Heart – “Hope is a function of struggle – we develop hope not during the easy or comfortable times, but through adversity and discomfort. Hope is forged when our goals, pathways, and agency are tested and when change is actually possible…
III. When God seems Silent…
A. Fall back on the TRUTHS that GROUNDS us
1. We are God’s BELOVED (Eph 1:4-7 NLT, Gal 4:6-7, Rom 8: 14-17)
2. A CONFIDENCE in God’s CHARACTER and PRESENCE (Ex 34:6-7)
3. God MEETS us in the SUFFERING (Ps 22, Job 23)
B. We have a COMPANION for the JOURNEY (1:16-17, 19, 22 , Phil 2:6-7)
C. His loyal love just might CHANGE everything
And in that bitterness, in that suffering, we have Ruth clinging to Naomi with Loyal love. Her faithful loving kindness doesn’t change Naomi on the spot, but Ruth is committed to walking the road with her. As the story goes on Naomi will see, that in her suffering, Loyal love has traveled with her and this is the Good News
That’s what Jesus does with us. He is Emmanuel – God with us.
Even if you find yourself not being able to let go of the shield of bitterness or what ever it is for you, that’s ok. But as you travel with Him try letting his Loyal Love in behind the shied – just a little
And see what happens
It just might change everything.