A Choice that Changed Everything
Ruth 1:8,9; 14-17
Intro: This is a wonderful story; a love story, but more than just in a romantic sense; it is a Real Love Story. It presents love for God; love between a mother in law and her daughter in law; and the love of romance and marriage. Let’s take a look at this story again and learn some lessons for our own lives.
I. Ruth Lived in a Desperate Time.
Ruth did not live in the “glory days” of Israel. She did not live in the days of conquest and victory; the days of blessing and plenty. She lived in the days of the Judges where Israel had no king; no true leadership; no real direction. It was a time when the people of Israel did that which was right in their own eyes.
- This sad state started with Apathy.
When the various tribes of Israel were allotted portions of Canaan land, they were commanded to drive out the enemies in their land and make it secure. However, they found that to be a difficult endeavor and almost every tribe was guilty of Apathy. They were not diligent and determined in conquering their enemies and allowed some of them to remain in the land.
- This Apathy developed into Apostasy.
Soon, (sadly, very soon) Israel had taken on the religion and practices of those they allowed to remain in their land. They were worshiping idols all through the land of Israel. They were practicing immorality, both in connection with their idolatry, and in the normal course of life. The book of Judges does contain some of the most morally disgusting stories of the entire Bible and they are the result of the religious apostasy that had developed in the land.
- The apathy and apostasy Resulted in Anarchy.
It was a lawless time. People did whatever they wanted to do; they were immoral; they were crooked and dishonest; they were cruel and violent. Again, some of the stories in Judges are the most violent in the Bible as well. Ruth’s great story took place in a most desperate time.
Let me remind us all that the story of our life does not depend on the time in which we live.
We too are living in a desperate time. We are living in a time of Apostasy, where people all over America are proclaiming their atheism and infidelity; where people are proclaiming their unbelief and rebellion.
We are living in a time of Anarchy, where violence is rampant and people all over our nation live in constant fear. You and I can still have a wonderful life with God’s blessings, even in this desperate time.
II. Ruth Made a Difficult Choice
Let’s think about this choice Ruth made. Why did she choose to go with Naomi? What compelled her; What was her motive?
- Well, her choice was NOT based on Riches.
- Not based on Romance
- Not based on pressure from someone in her family or from among her friends.
- Not based on personal convenience. She faced all kinds of hardships: national prejudice; religious differences; social and cultural diversities. She faced a life of hard work that would be physically demanding and not financially rewarding. She was going to Israel, a nation in trouble. She was going with Naomi, an older woman with little or no resources. She Made a Difficult Choice- Why?
Because she had Faith in God! She told Naomi Plainly- Your God will be My God.
This was a Choice that Changed Everything for Ruth. Even though she didn’t realize it on That day, she was making a difficult choice that was going to Change Her Life forever and bring God’s Divine Blessings her way.
We are all faced with choices in life. Some are relatively minor; some are significant. When it comes to choices of Faith and Commitment to the Lord; they are Vital to your life. Just about every life will make a Choice that changes everything. Some change their life for the worse; some change it for the best; because they Choose Devotion to the Lord. On that day- Ruth chose devotion to the Lord in spite of the hardships; she chose devotion to the Lord in spite of the national prejudice she faced; in spite of the religious differences; in spite of the social and cultural differences. She lived in a desperate time; She made a difficult choice; and
III. Ruth Received Divine Blessings from the Lord.
Ruth’s life was never the same after this wonderful choice for the Lord.
1) Her Choice led her to God’s People.
She was able to become part of the chosen people of God on the earth. Remember in that day, Israel ALONE had the true presence of God in their midst.
2) Her Choice led her to her Kinsman-Redeemer.
Boaz was a near kinsman who loved her and became her husband, fulfilling his role as kinsman- redeemer. He took her as his wife and Ruth found true Love. Boaz Provided for her and for the first time in her life, she didn’t have to worry about having food, clothing and shelter. Boaz Protected her and she no longer had to be lonely and afraid.
Boaz is a wonderful type of Jesus Christ who becomes the Kinsman-Redeemer for all who will believe in him. He became like us so that he could pay for our sins. He paid the price for sin at Calvary and pays the price for your personal sin when you repent and confess. When you make the choice to love and follow the Lord, you get the blessing of Salvation from our kinsman-redeemer.
3) Her Choice led her into the Lineage of the Messiah.
Ruth, a woman of Moab, who was alienated from the promises of God by birth, Chose her way into the lineage of God’s own Son. She bore a son and named him Obed. Obed later had a son named Jesse. Jesse had a son named David. All of them were in the line of the Messiah. Ruth’s faith led her right into the Messiah’s line.
4) Her Choice led her all the way to Heaven.
There are great rewards for Faith right here on the earth; there are great rewards for Faith right here in life. When we make the choice of Faith and devotion to the Lord, we get wonderful benefits right here in life just like Ruth did.
BUT the greatest and most important blessing we receive is the blessing of Eternal Life; a home in heaven; being forever in the presence of the Lord.
This Choice of Faith is Vital to you and your life here on the earth.
This Choice of Faith is Vital to you and your life After life on this earth.
I know we live in desperate times; I know the choice of faith and devotion is often a difficult one; but I also know the divine blessings are worth it all!