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February 25, 2021 6:00 am
They had named this little book. The book of Naomi. I would not object, and that they did name of the book of Ruth. I have no objection but you can if you start digging into the character of Naomi come up with some treasures and of course being the outside of the stranger, the person in great need. She represents the church. That's who we are as individuals is within the body of Christ. This is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville.
Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Ruth.
Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, but for now, here's Pastor Rick in the book of Ruth chapter 1 as he begins a brand-new message called Naomi and Ruth. Ruth chapter 1 Naomi and Ruth, of course, we finished judges with those two awful stories. It took up four chapters and we're still really in the book of Judges.
That's where the story of Ruth takes place in this story is promising and is filled with hope it's a beautiful story. I'm not so ready to say it's a love story.
In fact, the word love only shows up one time and in the short short little book. It may have taken place in the days of Eli came before Samuel was the last of the judges. Josephus, the Jewish historian says that this was an appendix to the book of Judges, which is kind of weird because the last four chapters of Judges are an appendix to judges but give an idea of how it was received by the Jews story of kindness. No question about that and I think Christians can always use some help with kindness that does not automatically something you kindness not everyone is something we have to many of us have to fight for sure many of you have to fight and there are two books in the Bible that are named after women out, Ruth, and of course Esther at one. It is this Jewish girl that marries, of course, the king has URS and that is the story of of Esther and the other is a Gentile woman who marries a Jewish, a prominent Jewish man named Boaz this theme as I've mentioned the with kindness concerned itself with redemption now looking at her from a Jewish perspective. I mean, it's not the same as looking at it from a Christian perspective. We have a lot more of pixels than they do when we look at our picture of redemption. They have the Old Testament sacrifices and of course the love expressed through the prophets, but not like we haven't through the cross of Christ in the redoubt of the resurrection of Christ, and we what we really have is New Testament leaders are Jesus things on the father which are in themselves magnificent so hard beginning of course to the story, but it opens up and has a happy ending. The family facing famine lot said about this little book of Judges that I think is goes back and forth and I'll say this again. Probably this evening in my own life as a pastor teaching from judges.
I used to be pretty hard on Naomi. Naomi is the star and Ruth is not the stock to me. Now I've changed FSC a holder rely take Naomi out of it. You don't have Ruth and I will get to that in some of you might say AutoCAD like you anymore because says Ruth on my coffee cup and and hear you, your little theory and maybe I should say it this way if if if they had named this little book. The book of Naomi. I would not have objected and that they did name of the book of Ruth. I have no objection but you can't.
If you start digging into the character of Naomi come upwards some treasures.
And of course Ruth being the outside of the stranger, the person in great need. She represents the church that's that's who we are as individuals is within the body of Christ first Corinthians 6, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's which belongs to God, that is.
And of course in this story of Ruth, she is redeemed by Boaz Hayes for her, according to the liver write laws that the they were subject to in those days and it is a beautiful picture of redemption in that it also tells us that outsiders are allowed into the kingdom. I will try not to deal with too much of the history this time as we go through up. In fact, out of the 85 verses end in Ruth 55 of them are dialogue. It's a people book the people talking to each other and of course the Holy Spirit has preserved it because he has authored Scripture and in our favor, to our benefit, but Yahweh covenant name of the Lord. And again, some can say Jehovah as opposed to Yahweh, the though there's no "j" in the Hebrew the end and that the whole Jehovah witnesses are wrong again, but we won't go into that will have plenty of time to do that in the New Testament just looking over if there's anything to draw out that you find interesting salvation. Salvation includes love. We understand and it includes need those two should not be separated. We have no right to sin and we do anyway because of our flesh, but there should always be this sustained war in the Christian heart against those things that are foul and a question that the Lord asked all of us is do you love me, do you need me as they go together.
They do is our salvation goes, but when it comes to salvation. He's not asking us. Are you faithful to me. He doesn't ask us when it comes to salvation. Are you going to the mission field does not ask us how much do we tie does not ask what are your views on Calvinism. He wants to know if you love him and that love is based on knowledge of him.
It's based on a relationship personal with him. As historian Ruth is based on personal relationships.
A personal relationship between Naomi and Ruth one between Naomi and Boaz and then Boaz and Ruth and Naomi and the than the people of Bethlehem, is a story of of people when Jesus was rebuilding Peter after Peter of course that disaster in his life where he boasted of his loyalty to the Lord and then collapsed completely under the pressure and God builds him back up.
And of course the Lord Jesus builds him up and just this part from John's Gospel 21 he said to him 1/3 time. You see, the emphasis put on that this the third time that the Lord is asking him in a short period of time and the question Eddie. He said that that he yet says a Simon son of Jonah, do you love me and music Christian music is supposed to help us love the Lord of stay in touch with that love, I put it that way especially when you're drying up.
That is one of the beauties that belongs to the songs and so they hear this book of redemption.
Titus chapter 2 Paul speaking of Christ who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for himself his own special people zealous for good works, and any time you feel lazy when it comes to righteousness. You know that's not the Holy Spirit that's your own and those things are supposed to be resisted. The author of this little book. This is incidentally an introduction to Ruth we get blown in a minute but these are the important things in this is that what's important about Ruth.
We don't know who you is we know it comes around. After David, it's likely we would like to say will Samuel this is the one who did Samuel anointed David to be king as he did with Saul also. But providing the book at the right time to show the pedigree of David. That's a good theory, but it's not backed up by Scripture. So here's a brief brief outline to this little book in chapter 1, of course, we have God's people in the land of Moab outside the promised land. In chapter 2. Two. We find him back in the promised land in the fields of Boaz and then in chapter 3 at the threshing floor of Boaz. That's where the action is taking place and then in chapter 4.
It is the heart and the home of Boaz and story will close their so we look now in verse one. 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.
What I said I was going to hold back door tone down historical info so not going to really lean into Moab just sort of release little bit at a time who they were, but it starts off in verse one hour came to pass in the days of the judges and that is of course from about the time of Joshua's death or shortly after Joshua's death until the time the king Saul is incarnated by Samuel and in those days, we know that there was no king in Israel. Everyone did according to the dictates of his own heart.
What was right in his own eyes. These the days of the story of Ruth takes place this phrase it came to pass. While it's a frequent phrase in the Old Testament.
It's God's way of saying that we know we're marching towards eternity and you know what you're doing now what will it matter thousand years from now because it's going to pass this moment but maybe not entirely six Old Testament books at least start off with this. It came to pass right in the first sentence Joshua Judges Ruth second Samuel, Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah all use that phrase.
It should be an encouragement if you specify struggling it's going to come to pass, things will move on. This is phrase this way because as it is in the other parts of the continuing story of the human experience.
Everything in life comes to pass.
There was a famine in the land of famines in Israel were the outcome of disobedience because God in us in chapters like the Leviticus 26 had emphasized to them that there were blessings and they were curses in the part of the blessings where if you keep your act together as a people. I will bless land there be no famine, famines were frequent in the promised land. Even before the Jews as a people entered in the days of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob find Abraham running from the family we find Isaac running from the famine. In both cases they got in trouble. Jacob was beckoned out of the famine into Israel and that was an exception amongst patriarchs and so there isn't this famine and again the disobedience in the promised land. So they're looking to where is the food they going to go 70 miles around the Dead Sea to get away from the struggle. There ask ourselves, what if our leaders were devout men of God. I mean all what if all of the scientists. What if all of the University professors and this is get ready for this one, but if journalists were people of God. What what kind of history. What would happen how different things would be well than hot.
And so the battle is for souls and not for a life in paradise on earth could be. There was a famine because of invaders because that's part of the story of judges, but either way they're looking to get away from the pressure and the rabbis in their writings, a slam his family for that and they don't let up into the sons marrying these Moabite women. He says they are in verse one and a certain man of Bethlehem. Judah went to dwell in the country of Moab, so this this decision is questionable. Should he have stayed in the promised land with the famine was like. Like so many of the other or not all of the others that we know about. I'm sure he wasn't the only Jewish man to take his family out of their but it's an easy question to ask when you know is you considering this chapter and you start feeling hungry, just go get something to eat is no pressure on this very serious business and where and how my going to feed myself and this is something that he felt well you know the patriarchs, they did.
As I mentioned before Ali can point to Jacob. Not good example in Abraham and Isaac and so he abandons the promised land with his family and trekking this long distance. The sad part of the story is that there will be three grades dog and Moab for Jewish men. These three Jewish men of the father and Ahimelech by name and his two boys and that opens up the story for us and so perhaps the fact remains that without this move of this man. Ruth never would've joined herself to this family, we wouldn't have the story as it is I don't like that kind of approach, but it's something that you have to grapple with a little bit because in life sometimes is a Christian to just are no answers not no answers.
Looking back, you just can't. Why was this and why was that it makes no sense is just get on this.
He had just that we look for your answers going forward. You have a choice. That's what Paul was saying. When he said, forgetting those things which are behind, reaching forward to the things which are ahead, I press on toward the mark for the prize high calling of God in Christ Jesus also not caught up in the past and you find when people look at the past all the time with regret that they become bitter difficult to deal with. But when the pressing forward blazing new trails looking to provide solutions. Then they become of course are gallant and in the faith, and so when trouble comes into our lives we can do a couple of things we can endure it.
Try to escape it.
We try to use it. Probably an element of all those belong to it, but trying to use the pressure that comes in Alaska's it's a law of physics. That pressure makes things contract and so you know that the pressures on squeezing US going to come out and of course that's why we like Paul and and and Jeremiah because we see these men being pressed and what comes out of them is beneficial to us. I want that their honesty their perseverance verse two continues in the name of the man was Ahimelech in the name of his wife, Naomi, the names of his two sons were Mao on kill Jan effort sites of Bethlehem.
Judah and they went to the country of Moab and remained there, will help Ahimelech and the names the meanings of the names and in this little book quite interesting. Ahimelech means God is my King, Mao Han's first son and it's pronounced a little differently in the Hebrew but I don't speak Hebrew.
So I'm pronounce it the way I look at it it it. Mao Han means sickly. His brother's name kill Jan means wasting away, or failing not very good names to stick on your kids hi my name is sickly. Naomi's name means joy so mom and dad grabbed the good names God is my King. Enjoy. But the boys get stuck with the there were probably born that way.
One commentator said they were probably named after the times they were born in, and I don't think something of the famine so much in time you were born. I think they were sickly and and just made it through the through birth. Naomi will try to rename herself. You know she gets to just dramatic moment. Don't call me Naomi Pleasant call me Mara. Don't call me pleasant, bitter, but anyway, or who is the Moabite daughter-in-law of Naomi goes back to her people.
Her name means the neck like of an animal, and the implication is stiffnecked, stubborn, and maybe I do know and she was that birth and soon after when the name Thursday just so you know she's a stubborn little thing Ruth friendship is the meaning of her name all as his name sounds a strong strength. That's the thing with Boaz meet spring in our bedroom will be his son name means worshiper. So all the names if if if you know you go over them. The durables look upon the names you find that it does tell a story in and of itself. Well, as I mentioned the children named after the circumstances, so much so rich with history. Is this section here on these characters.
For example, these two boys are sickly and the living in Moab territory. That means they're not and there's no nice Jewish girls around so they marry these Moabite girls who will probably not. I don't want to say that unattractive but did not is like Esther and Abigail and Sarah with her there. Their beauty is pointed out, and that is it just a true part of the story that these two women were more what we would say plain Jane's is just nothing outstanding about them, not necessarily again unattractive because of the Moabite men would not have been, you know, cooperate more about families would not of been cooperating with that with them on this and I think that comes to play some significance in the story when Ruth and Boaz begin when they meet and move will come to that in several chapters from now and I did it I think it also makes the story down-to-earth because you know you just can't put your Hollywood tries to put the best socially appealing faces before us and with it, with no regard to reality and the Bible does not do that. It says they were in Bethlehem for sites that's the ancient name for Bethlehem and they went to the country of Moab following the food again or he commented on that and when they got to the land of the Moabites, to some degree, they would have to assimilate the Moabites worship. Their primary goblets can watch child sacrifice was associated with him very much so that in the book of Kings second Kings come across a group out right but these were enemies of God's people, the Moabites, Moses had a deal with Ballin, who was asked by Ballack, the Moabite king. The gun cursed the Jews yard had to deal with egg on you know he stabbed them in the knife was swallowed up as the yard was generally pretty heavy and there they were Moabites and you say wallet with this history of conflict between the two. Why why are the they moving going to Moab territory witnessing and how enemies were not going there. Well, it is interesting enough people get over things even as nations, from time to time not always put from time to time. For example, just I think yesterday the Israeli Air Force at a joint operation in Germany with the German Air Force while you know you can look back as were just little while ago Nazi Germany Germany was trying to exterminate the Jews. And yet, things change. Here they are, as some allies and and is not been that long of a time so there is another true part of the story. You could say verse three then Ahimelech Naomi's husband died and she was left, and her two sons.
Now they took wives of the women of Moab.
The name of one was ORPA and the name of the other was Ruth and they dwelt there about 10 years. Verse three just passes over and her husband died. It leaves out all the pain, the sorrow that goes with that. And, of course, if you've ever gone through these things. You and you know what's what's involved in verse four.
These are the two wives that married these two Jewish men 10 years and no children. I think because the men were sickly and we get that indication because Ruth does end up having a child with Boaz, but that 10 years away from home was Naomi's life. They were when they left the promised land.
They left the place of worship. When they left the place of worship, behind unique. It's risky we see this today when Christians relocate, for whatever reason and worship is not up primary know is not essential. Trouble is not far behind, but often we see Christians move away for job or school or whatever and they played found they look for place to worship and then they go about it may take a little time to find the ideal place for the know it's very important and and they stay balanced when they don't left by themselves there consequences I think is a little bit of that here when they left the promised land. They left Shiloh behind but we know that there were problems that Shiloh during the days of Eli and will be getting that when we get to Samuel. Now we go in verse five, then both Mao Hahn and Keeley on also died. So the woman survived her two sons and her husband. No surprise, given their names that it seems to be a premature death. Perhaps they died together. Perhaps it was an accident. Perhaps they were doesn't tell us what happened, but the here poor Naomi lost her husband and now her two boys depth of her sorrow. My thing was deeper than the sorrow of Ruth Warburg looking at it that way and it looks like in the these tragedies said these two.
They have been rapid succession, one after the other move. Thanks for tuning in to cross reference radio for this study in the book of Ruth cross reference is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia to learn more about this ministry. Visit our website cross reference radio.com.
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