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There and Back Again

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
September 29, 2019 7:00 pm

There and Back Again

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew

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Here the reading of God's holy word and may it be a lamp unto our feet and a light path in the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man from Bethlehem and from Judah, together with his wife and his two sons went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man's name was a little like his wife's name Naomi. The names of his two sons were mainline killing on their E for sites from Bethlehem. Judah and they went to Moab and lived there now little like Naomi's husband died. She was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named or bind the other named Ruth after they had lived there about 10 years both mainline and killing on also died and name Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband when she heard in Moab the Lord come to the aid of his people by providing food for them.

Naomi and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there with her two daughters in law.

She left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah. Then Naomi said to her two daughters in law go back each of you to your mother's home may Lord show kindness to you as you have shown to your dad and to me. May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband and she kissed them and they wept aloud and said to her, we will go back with you to your people, but Naomi said return home. My daughters why would you come with me and my going to have any more sons who could become your husbands return home.

I daughters I'm too old to have another husband even if I fault thought there was still hope for me even if I had a husband tonight and gave birth to sons, would you wait until they grew up. Would you remain unmarried for them know my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord's hand has gone out against me at this, they wept again. Then ORPA kissed her mother-in-law goodbye Ruth clung to her looks at Naomi, your sister-in-law's going back to her people and her God's go back with her, but Ruth replied don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you, where you go I will go and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God, where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely if anything but death separates you and me when Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her. She stopped urging her so the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem when they arrived in Bethlehem. The whole town was stirred because of them and the women exclaimed. Can this be Naomi don't call me Naomi. She told him call me Mara because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord is brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi. The Lord is afflicted me. The Almighty has brought misfortune upon me. So Naomi returned for Moab, accompanied by Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law arriving in Bethlehem is the barley harvest was beginning.

Let's pray dear. My father pray that you would clear my throat in my chest that I would build speak clearly. I do pray father that you would calm my nerves and speak with power and with confidence. Pray father that you would work in all of our hearts and draws close to you that in that day of trial, when we have to endure trials that are seemingly too great to stand under father you would provide a way out for us or cause us to stand show us father yourself and your love for us and build us up and encourages for that day.

Father just bless your people.

We pray in Jesus name, amen little background for myself. I have only been attending with my family here for the past couple months I was once a pastor here in Concorde resigned from that charge and have been working on my own. God has blessed my family with the business and he's use that to take care of us. In the meanwhile, I guess you could say we haven't found the right church, and so on. Still, a minister in good standing preach and fill pulpits to supply our denomination. Another assisted on churches like the PCA serving faithfully and I look forward this evening to hopefully bring you a perspective that you might not have heard before about the book of Ruth as well. I went to Gordon Conwell on good reformed theological seminary in Charlotte and Gordon Conwell up in Boston. We learn things a little bit different. For example, there is such a thing as an exegetical idea and homiletical idea the exegetical idea is that big ideas, some of you might've heard before.

It's the main thrust of what the author is trying to relay to you in a particular text. It could be a small prick be like a paragraph to be a single verse.

It could be a whole chapter such as what I'm going to tackle tonight. Homiletical idea is a little bit different because it translates that that that rough hewn idea into a hump appreciable idea. Something that you can take home what was John talking about tonight so that the homiletical idea why Ashley was exegetical idea. If you want to write it down. That's fine. God uses Naomi's tragedy to bring Ruth into the family of God. If I was to summarize the chapter 1 in one sentence. I worked at it. That's what I would write it down to be God uses Naomi's tragedy to bring Ruth into the family of God. See you got you got put Ruth chapter 1 and isolated from the rest of the book and that's what we oftentimes do is we we see it in the whole context of the whole book but in this case it's important that we just see it for what it's worth, so would you take home from this was the homiletical idea is interesting. That is been preached. Last week I heard it today as well. From J's Romans 828 it says and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.

So that's the practical idea what you're going to take home from from the book of Ruth chapter 1 why Ruth chapter 1, I guess you could say, primarily because it's minister to my heart and some of the darkest days that I've been through. We've all had lots of circumstances dire circumstances that bring us very low. I'll never forget the depth that I went through and made me feel like how low can I go and Lord showed me that I could go lower and then lower and then lower that point I was looking I was scrambling in the word of God to find comfort for why these things were happening to me. I'm on the mailing list for the church.

I miss Beth since us.

Those prayer requests and we see that there are a lot of great needs constantly within the church. Even this week to know who the people are not have a I'm not very good at names and faces yet, but people are passing away family members and maybe you're in that position you lost someone that you love and you're trying to stand under that because you you dearly loved that person is hard to stand when you lose a loved one. It's hard stand when what you have loved is been taken away from you and your left without it leaves a big void in your heart Ruth comfort me as well by reminding me that I wasn't alone. The God never leaves us. He doesn't abandon us these in control and guiding everything according to his will and for our good. Which reminded me of his love for me and gave me a peace that transcends all understanding, over and over and over again. For me it could've been hourly. When I was brought low. Not that it will be the last time. Sometimes God raises the bar every time we go through difficult circumstance to prepares for another circumstance that might even be harder. He's training us and teaching us to endure that we might be bright lights in a dark world for him. Sometimes we have to rehearse and reminder cells with the Scripture say every hour just to make it through the day. Secondly, I love the book of Ruth because you can so clearly see the handiwork of God guiding and directing all events and Ruth you can see it clearly how God not only brought in Ruth to the family of God.

As a result of Naomi's tragedy, but he orchestrates later in the book Boaz to Mary Ruth, of which she becomes the great-grandmother of King David.

So you can see in the whole book, God's orchestrating all the events, not just in the particulars in the my new show of our day-to-day lives. But sometimes it causes us to step back, see how God's handiwork in the big picture of the universals how he is tying everything together. He's waving it together like a picture so that we can see he is orchestrating all events according to his will and other lot other stories in the Bible like Ruth that might be inspiring to you.

Esther is a likewise one of those books that stood out in my heart you think of how God had her married. The king need a broader to him and put them in such a place that she would petition the great King I the cost, even of her life for such a time as this. He prepared all the events for such a time as this story of Joseph. God preserved his life for such a time as that that during a famine, a seven year famine that he would preserve Israel. God orchestrated his brothers to beat them up, throw minute cistern thrown in prison and all the trial that he had to go through with poppers wife, only to be Pharaoh's right-hand man to preserve his people love the story of Daniel in the lion's den. The story of Job, the story of Jonah greatest story of all, the story of Jesus, the Lamb of God who God orchestrated his life. Jesus was faithful even into his father's will offer himself up for the sin of the world so love all the stories and there are real encouragement to me because they give me a picture of God's directing everything that comes to pass another word. This been using. It was even mentioned tonight by Mr. Eugene was the word Providence God's providence God's working everything out according to his will. God's providence. Scholars use the word students use the word pastors use the word in the user in a cursory fashion that they use it in passing.

Sometimes I teach a Bible study at my house and and we have people who come derived are our little Bible study who don't know these theological terms. And sometimes we take it for granted when we throw these big words out there that everybody's following what were saying in the end Providence God's providence is like that that sometimes we assume everybody knows what were talking about the shorter catechism. It says in question number 11 God's what is God's providence God works in Providence. Ours was wholly wise and powerful, preserving and governing all of his creatures and all their actions. That means for us and play in everyday language that there are no accidents. There are no chance meetings. There is no such thing as good luck all those people who are rapping on their their their fingers on the on the wood only.

All they're doing is hurting the joints may be causing arthritis or some like that.

God's providence is his invisible hand directing all events in our lives through the course of time. Thus, we can look back and see how God is orchestrated. He's guided and he's been working everything according to his plan. Therefore, in the future if we remember as the Scriptures say if we can remember what he's been doing in the past we might be encouraged even trust them in the future when difficulties do come our way unannounced. I will give a personal example. Not long but just a little bit about myself. I back in 1986. I did walk the Appalachian trail is a through hiker I was before I broke my back and before I broke other bones in the lid on the wearied life, but during that time I right after the act actually walking Appalachian trail I went to go and live on top of Mount Washington, which is the highest peak in New England up in a New Hampshire and there. I did search and rescue, search and rescue is if the people are dead. You haul them off if they are alive to keep them alive, but I did this in the wintertime ice climbers and all sorts of people go up in these conditions to get ready for Mount Everest and it was my position. My job to haul them off. I would use the morning time to pray and had a great devotional time had nothing else to do all day every day suffer to play and so I spent a lot of time reading and praying and I don't know about you, you know that we believe that God speak to us only through his word, but you know though the Holy Spirit can guide us in one day I was praying and I said a spring about what else can do in six months after I finish the trail and said, Lord, what you want me to do and that is my prayer every day. Lord would like to do in six months and it kinda came to me.

Now I'm not saying this in the Holy Spirit about San. It was divine but it came to me Outward Bound. What other that day.

This is an example of providence of a crazy positive Providence that day I went up on top of the mountain ice climbing up the gully thousand feet high. When I got to the top to walk across. There was a train of people who get ready go down Tuchman's ravine and it was covered in ice and they would've surely died had not somebody gone and guided them in the in the right path so to speak.

By the time it was a mile to where they were at by the time I got there to them. They had already committed and crossed a nice path and they were wearing surreal's rubber boots. They did that instead crampons and they were were potentially they had no ropes. There are potentially going to slide 800 feet down into the rocks at the bottom and die for what it's worth, I carried a rope with me I carry the proper gear and they were saved they were North Carolina Outward Bound instructors all 13 of them before the day was over with a sad man you handle that like a professional. Would you come and work for us. There was a did I need a going and working but it's all to point out that God's providence can work in Mysterious Way, God just like him were going to sing here God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform. We don't always know how he's going to work. Sometimes it's a complete surprise. Sometimes it's positive, sometimes it's negative so it's a big word Providence and most people in our culture today are either ignorant of what it means they don't care they disbelieve that God is actively directing all events according to his plan on planet Earth. Let me take just one step closer or deeper. Providence is the action word of God's sovereignty. Think about that. There's another big word God's sovereignty is raining control over all that is, was, and shall be he's the King of Kings and Lord of lords. He rains he rules, but it is in his or even according to the catechism.

Here it is.

His governing actions. His direction of his will. That is, is Providence so maybe that'll help put it in perspective. He rains he has a plan for everything but is the active part of his guiding and leading events on this earth. According to his will that it is Providence think it's an proverb that says the Lord guides the of the heart of the king like a watercourse he's guiding all of our lives according to his plans and his purpose. Proverbs 69 says many plans does a man making his heart, but the Lord determines his steps. So for me, having been down the road and back Bento some low points in my life. Having read the book of Ruth. At that time is like it. It came alive for me Providence what I was going through God's providence in my life. I didn't understand what he was doing in the future. I was reminded that he was in control and that I was not alone is a there's a phrase up on my window in my office.

It says and this too shall pass as a reminder that what were going through his short-term. The famine lasted 10 years. Joseph's famine seven years know how it might hello I'm up might last, but were called to trust God and it right front front that was her introduction for the further points. What we can talk about is Naomi's loss support number one Naomi's loss point number two is Naomi's gain point number three is Naomi's heart. Why must the speaking so much about Naomi is important that we realize. I did the numbers here accounted Naomi was mentioned 22 times in the book of Ruth. Boaz is mentioned 21 times. Ruth is only mentioned 12 times refocusing on Naomi because the tragedy the disc the trial that is happening is affecting her which we can learn from this trial that she's having to endure is the foundation of the whole rest of the book is the ground because it's the cause and the rest of the book of the effect is the means that God is directing that we might understand what his purposes are to chapter 1 doesn't focus on the rest of the book, like the kinsman redeemer.

A lot of people focus on Boaz.

It sets the stage for the wreck of the rest of the book. It's the ground and the foundation of God's weaving. The relationship of Ruth and Boaz, through whom the genealogy follows me on a point this out if you want to you can turn to Matthew chapter 1 and in the genealogy year. In verse five.

Luke doesn't have this in his genealogy, but in Matthew's genealogy.

He points out in verse five Sam and the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab Boaz, the father of Oved, whose mother was Ruth so point that out just to make the point that while the whole book points towards chapter 4 God revealing that he is orchestrating all these events to essentially save his people and Ruth chapter 1. It's the cut this tragedy that were gonna see is setting the stage for the rest of the book.

Let me when he had back into the into the text here and let's talk a little bit about the setting of the stage for the rest of the book that were talking about.

It says that in the day of the judges that came about in the days when the judge is governed. There was a famine in the land and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to dwell in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons we see God's providence initially in the fact that there was a famine in the land and that and that fact.

The God who was judging his people through the judges Ruth was written during the time of Samuel was before there was a king established, it was during a period when Israel was in a cycle of sin, then they would be oppressed by people by God's love and his grace, they would call out for help and he would send the judge.

This cycle of oppression in the book of Judges was the circumstances of the background of the event of the book of Ruth.

There was a famine in the land because the people were had been in sin in Deuteronomy chapter 11 verse 17 it says that God will shut up the heavens and it will not rain, and Luke Leviticus chapter 26 verse 18 through 20.

The Gallup the ground will not produce as a result of the of the curse and then another. Deuteronomy 28 the people will be cursed. It will not rain in the ground will harden when the famine was over God is and then ultimately at the end there. God is credited with reviving Bethlehem by providing more food and bread, so the stage is in the chapter 1 is important for us because this was the motivation for Lynn elect to take his family and head across the river into greener pastures.

And so here we have to ask ourselves a question we consider a Lynn elect's decision. What should Lynn elect do is his name means Eli my God may elect his king, so my God is King. This man whose named my God is King's and out in a bind. What does he do when the pressure is on to provide for his family. Many of us would face the same kind of question you've been brought low.

How do you provide for your family when you have no money and you have no job. What does the future look like for you.

How are you gonna feed your family if you don't have work today we have credit cards. A lot of people live in debt. Back then they didn't have that when I look had to make a decision. Moab, the grass look greener in Moab. Moab was the land of lots two daughters. If you remember that back in Genesis 19. Lots daughters slept with with him to have children and the oldest son was named Moab.

As a result of that forever.

Thereafter there was in the stigma given to Moab for sexual immorality. How does a Lynn elect make his decision. What is he base it on. How do you determine God's will in your life is important.

We asked that question. Just as in a side note here how do you determine the will of God and ask chapter 16 Paul was kept by the Holy Spirit. Then he was the spirit of Jesus prevented him from entering Macedonia and then he had a vision we have those type of events in our lives these days to prevent us. We have God's word.

God speaks to us that way. We had the fellowship of the church. The Council of the leadership of the church to guide and direct us when we don't know what the future holds and difficult decisions that we need to make. We have the civil law to tell us that maybe what were wanting to do is against the law, then we have our reason, our common sense reasonable capabilities to decide what is best, but who's to say the Scripture say delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of his heart, so that if you truly love the Lord and your desire to honor him in everything that you say and do, then surely he's gonna guide and direct you will shut doors that you should be going down a certain path the same way you're gonna make good decisions because your desires to honor and glorify him. It was Oswald Chambers who said that we should not be amateur providences. Sometimes when we have to make a pragmatic decision like that for our well-being of our families or for someone else trying to determine God's will in our lives or in someone else's life we intervene to try prevent these people or save them from some harm, but in fact what we probably should have done was to stay put and let God work it out in their lives.

Maybe a little leg should have done that.

But the Scripture say that is a result of his loss and the two sons took for themselves ladies from women from Moab and after 10 years they passed away the Scripture say in Deuteronomy chapter 7 verse three when the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives you out before many nations, Hittites, the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, parasites and headlights in Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you when the Lord is drink delivered you over to them and you have defeated them and you must destroy them totally make no treaty with them and show them no mercy do not intermarry with them to not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons for they will turn your sons away from following me to service other gods in the Lord's anger will burn against you and he will quickly destroy you.

This is what you are to do them break down their altars, smash their sacred stones cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire, for you are a people holy to the Lord your God, the Lord your God's chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people's treasured possession.

So they do, the sons intermarried with them. Push came to shove, dad was gone.

Moms here.

We've moved to this land. We gotta make ends meet.

We've gotta build our family. We gotta grow, but instead they were committing the same sin that God will bring judgment upon Bethlehem and upon Israel new a numbers 25.

While Israel was staying in should team the men began to indulge in sexual immorality with Moabite women who invited them to the sacrifices of their gods. The people ate and bowed down before these gods so Israel joined in worshiping the bailiff your and the Lord's anger burned against them. You can see by the general gist of the setting here. The setting of the stage. The tragedy that Naomi is beginning to face because after 10 years, the sons died and she was left without that means not only abandoned, but she had no children. She was abandoned in a foreign land where the grass was no longer greener. She had no loved ones to take care of her and she had the responsibility of two daughters in law. So what we see in verses one through six were neigh of Naomi's tragedy, we see it's quite a tragedy is a series of unfortunate events that could bring any of us really low. There was a lady I think in back in the movie saving Pvt. Ryan. The whole purpose behind the movie was they were trying to save one son at a five because of the weight of burden and the pain that one mother which I showed her collapsing on the floor what she would have to bear by losing 4/5 of her sons quite a burden for anyone to care less what it did elect to Naomi. She lost her husband's are two sons is neutral with no children had to Moabite daughters under her care, living in a foreign land. No hope of a fury future inheritance, so to speak, shoot that everything looked bleak. There was nothing to offer us the situation for Naomi, but we see God's providence turn in the events. Looking at verses 17 through 18 we see Naomi's gain. She first lost her loved ones.

She was without. Now she's going to gain what is she going again. She's going again. Ruth Ruth is God's secret providence for her. She doesn't know it yet. Naomi, as she departs from Moab to walk to Bethlehem. It's a journey of about 30 to 60 miles. It's very mountainous, have never been there but I saw topographical maps of it drop down into the Jordan. And you call crawl back out in 60+ miles in that type of heat with all your possessions and whatever they might have be caring is a lot for a woman who 10 years later is not the spring chicken that she used to be. She's probably sucking wind. She's probably carrying a lot of her baggage emotionally and physically. And she's asking yourself questions like what went wrong what happened.

How is not responsible for this.

What could I have done differently. Lord, what do you have for us. I'm heading back with nothing, with no inheritance. I don't have anyone to take care of us. What are we going to do with that in mind, in verses 11 through 14.

She tries to plead levirate marriage argument to her daughter-in-law by saying to them, return my daughters. Why should you go with me. What is little levirate marriage levirate marriage is from the Old Testament. Deuteronomy where that if the brothers are living together in one of them dies without a son. His widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband's brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of the brother-in-law to her first son she bears show carry on the name of the dead brothers so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.

She's contemplating this this possibility but is it really a possibility, even if she was to get married right then and there would be potentially years before these these daughters-in-law would have anyone to to Mary and to provide a family, so she encouraged her her daughters-in-law to leave her. She said go return my daughters. Why should you go with me but in response. You have a negative and a positive or plus says but will they.

Together, they say no will stick with you but did or believes and returns home to her family and her gods but Ruth clung to her. And herein is the is Naomi's gain. It's in this leaving and cleaving Jonathan Edwards put it this is called Ruth's resolution Roussell resolution to sweat a self male dickory oath may God curse me if I don't uphold my end of the deal to be faithful to you with the text says there tonight.

Verse 16 do not urge me to leave you or to turn back from following you for where you go I will go and where you lodge, I will lodge your people will be my people and your God my God there you die I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus, may the Lord do to me. And worse, if anything but death parts you and me that oath is what Jesus was referring to in the sermon on the Mount when he says we should be swearing knows let your yes be yes and you know me know. Only times that we as Christians should be swearing to God is when we join the church to be faithful and we get married.

May God is up in a covenant relationship, not a not a contract but may God hold me accountable to love my wife as Christ loved the church. See as a heavy weight of responsibility, but as well. It shows the conviction in fact they were. It was so can evincing that Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her and she had nothing else to say. I guess it's a done deal, you're with me so we can see God's handiwork in Providence and how he is remarkably brought out Ruth, who was a Moabitess to be an answer to Naomi's predicament is interesting that in Romans chapter 9 verse 25 quoting Hosea, it says I will call them my people who are not my people and I will call her my loved one who is not my loved one God is introducing and he's been doing. He did even with Boaz's mother, Rahab, who was spared because she helped the Israelites jump the wall God is using and bringing in Ruth, who was a Moabitess to be an instrument of someone who is not one of the Israelites, one who is not my people to be my people to be engrafted in and God would use her to Mary Boaz that he might be the great-grandfather of David that she would be the great-grandmother of King David, ultimately leading to Christ is interesting how God works through the genealogies. How he brings people who are without into the family of God, even that we ourselves were once without might be incorporated in might be embraced by God's love and his grace and Ruth. Here we see in Naomi's gain just a glimmer into her character.

The word and in the text is has said said has said his lovingkindness, you see that she had a loving kindness. Even Naomi pointed out to her that she had shown that that that commitment to her earlier, but now in this commitment and leaving and cleaving to her.

She showing a lovingkindness that is truly from the Lord doesn't say what when she got saved her how she got saved, but it does point out that she has sworn allegiance to Yahweh and she swore to him to honor her promise to take care for Naomi third of all we see God's providence and working in Naomi's heart. After going there and back again.

Makes you wonder or make her wonder what's the point of all this.

How far can we go return to Bethlehem the land of bread is funny the Bethlehem means the land of bread and now at the end or the beginning of barley season. 10 years later they returned Nate Naomi whose name meant pleasant's calls herself Mara in verse 20 says do not call me Naomi, call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi. Since the Lord is witnessed against me and Almighty has afflicted me after all that she's been through.

Do you think that she has a good reason to be bitter. But one thing she recognizes that the Lord has been orchestrating all the events the Lord has been directing her life.

The Lord has brought her back empty. The Lord is witnessed against me. The Lord has afflicted me. The Lord is in control even though these are difficult circumstances that I'm in God is truly guiding our lives does is so is she blaming him. She complaining Harris Langford in a book called hope in the hard times wrote Naomi is been knocked down many times, and is risen only to be knocked down again. This constant humbling activity can get them the best Christian down even strong faith can be overwhelmed at times. At first we lose connection between God's nature and circumstances in our lives.

How could a good God heavenly father allow such things in our lives.

Then all of a sudden the trial seem to be too great compared to what we deserve what we handle and health and wealth gospel jewels being there is mention of him today as well. There is this concept that we deserve to be blessed and that we deserve all these riches and financial blessings, so to speak, but God is a promise that our lives is a question that some people would ask when bad things happen to them why bad things happen to God unto good people or the assumption it is the error. The assumption is that that were good people, but were not because no one is righteous, no not one. Paul said there is no one who understands and no one is seeks God.

All of turned away and altogether become worthless. There's no one who does good, not even one for all of sin and fall short of the glory of God. Why bad things happen to bad things happen because God is using these events to direct his purposes. Well, if were if were bad people and none of us deserve his favor for all deserving of God's wrath isn't God just don't we deserve is righteous indignation, indignation, don't we deserve eternal punishment for sin against a holy God skylight, for these people.

If we don't all this bad stuff, don't we deserve the bad to come back at us. Yes we do but because of the God's grace, except for the grace of God. Our sin was covered by Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

God he made a promise in the very beginning to do to deliver his people. Despite their sin sent Jesus to take that eternal punishment upon himself God who is faithful to his promises to redeem his people sent his son Jesus to bear our sin and to set us free from guilt and that Shane comes with it.

He took on our guilty rag so that we could be clothed in the righteousness of God. One day we can enter that grading wedding banquet of Revelation 19 is a bride dressed in her white adornment for the groom because of God's grace because Jesus's work for us so I'm still trying to answer the question that somebody might ask why do bad things happen to good people, or how could a good heavenly father allow such things in our lives. The key here is that when we become a Christian when we get saved.

He turns everything for our good.

And that's a homiletical point of our text, God turns everything for good. We know that all things God works for the good of those who love and inventor called according to his purpose. So when trials come our way we perceive them as a means of grace.

We don't think it's a ocean wave about to crash upon us. We see it as God working in building us up in sanctifying us.

It's a means to cleanse us to refine us so shouldn't we be like Job, who said, though he slay me, yet I will hope in him if his intentions are to present us to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Should we rather say bring it on, Lord, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven make me holy, sanctify me, change me as the old and the Rocky movies is cutting that company like Jim, we need confidence in God. And because we had that confidence in him that he is going to turn all this for a good do it is necessary in my life to make me shine for you. We need to have that right perspective of frowning providence to see how it benefits us according to God's plan is timing is everything and is working out for our good, so I'll wrap it up here by saying that we need to understand God's providence or to understand God's providence, you first have to be saved.

You have to see and believe the God is a wonderful plan for your life which begins with Jesus Christ that we have to be filled with the Holy Spirit and that we have to love the truth and trust God to be able to see. Providence is a positive sanctifying work in our lives. We have to see Jesus sitting upon are the heavenly father sitting upon the throne as it is in Revelation with the glassy waters before his feet and that and the rainbow is warfare is over behind his shoulders. We need to see and believe in our heavenly father to be able to have the right perspective of God's providence we need. Remember, as a result of the end within God's providence who he is and remember what he's done for us. We need to remember that he loves us with an everlasting love and that he forgives us our sins and gives us the Holy Spirit and fellowship in the church. He gives us all we need in Christ Jesus, so that we would stand in the day of trial, says in John 1633 I told you these things so that in me you may have peace in this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world. In acts 1422. We must endure many hardships to enter the kingdom of God in the first text I ever memorized was from James 112 the King James version says blessed is the man who endures temptation when he is tried to receive the crown of life which God's promise to those who love him. See God is using difficulties in our life for our good.

Satan might intended for evil the world. My last status and scorned us for believing in a heavenly father.

But we know that God is working in our lives through his Providence so it encourages us. In fact, draw near to him to trust him says the prophet in Proverbs 3 trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. Read a book in preparation for this by John flat on the mysteries of Providence and he said Providence will dispose of my life, liberty, and labors for a time to come. I know not.

But I cheerfully commit all to him who is hitherto performed all things for me if we know the Lord who is in control of all things, bring it on. We know that he's going to refine us.

He's going to sanctify us, and we know that in all these things we can greatly rejoice there for a little while we may have to suffer all kinds of grief and trials. We know that these have come so that they may prove us genuine in our faith which is greater worth than gold, which pierces even though refined by fire may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. That's what he's accomplishing in our lives. That's what we see in the book of Ruth. The whole book the big picture God is working from and beginning with this tragedy as a means to an end, to bring Ruth to Boaz that they might grandparent King David and ultimately Jesus and ultimately save us.

God is orchestrating all these events for our good. Now you take it home to your own personal life. Yet as civil what is God doing in my life. He's doing the same in your in and through you, says in second Corinthians chapter 2 verse 14 but thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him, for we are to God, the aroma of Christ. Among those were being saved and those were perishing for the one where the smell of death to the other, the fragrance of life and he was equal to such task in triumphal procession during that period in time.

The people were being led to death. It wasn't like God is triumphed in my life is a glorious blessing.

Look what he's doing through me know they captured the general and they let him down the path to this altar where they sacrificed in so we likewise through our trials are being led to death. We are that living sacrifice where the sweet aroma as we go through trials in our personal lives do understand so is very important we take this and apply to our lives so that when those trials come, we will God remember God is using us to be a witness to the people who are watching us and we don't know who is watching us.

You've got to stand strong in God is giving you everything that you need to stand in that hour by his grace.

He's taking through those events. Even right now in building human strength is his first Trinity is never the letters patent beyond what we can handle. Even then, you provide a way out for right now he's building us up and encouraging us that we might be bright lights and salt in a dark world.

He's using us to show everybody out there that there is a sovereign God who has a plan and that he is working in my life and my confidence is in him bringing on and they see through us. What is it about him that makes him smile or causes him to rejoice. That was the hardest lesson for me in my deepest hour was learning to rejoice in everything when I'm not losing it all my finances, my home. I had a job at I can't begin to tell you how low I felt and I did know what was happening in my life and the struggle was every five minutes every hour to rejoice in everything. Can you do that, given the circumstance we been brought. So how did you do got my give you another chance. Hopefully when that time comes, you'll never forget these words from the hymn judge not the Lord by feeble since but trust him for his grace behind a frowning Providence. He hides :-) spring nearly father, we thank you that we can see clearly in Ruth's life.

How you used her to be a blessing to Naomi and the father even in the rest of the book how you used Ruth to be a blessing to us. We thank you father how we have a good example in the Scriptures of standing even in our Lord Jesus who wish that the cup might be taken away from him.

But then he said, your will be done. Oh father we pray for your will be to be done in our lives. We pray father that you be glorified in our lives. We pray father that you would shine your light brightly through our lives into this dark world that has no hope in his despairing so that people would see in our actions and our words. Christ that they would want hope by our witness that they would smell life in us and turn to Christ. Father, I do pray for this church that as you cause it to be a beacon on a hill that it would not be hidden under a bushel, and then as we have learned about evangelism. Realize, father, that is, through us, the church active in our daily lives. The father you reach out to those who are walking in darkness. The father you shed your grace upon those people's lives through us. Use us father to bring glory to your name until you come again. We pray all this Jesus precious name. Amen

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