Committed to Follow the Lord
Bible Text: Ruth 1:6-17 | Preacher: Pastor Steve | Series: 40 days of Abiding
Ruth is a lesson that illustrates God’s intervention in daily human life, shows us the lineage of King David and Messiah. It is about friendship, family, God’s heart, life and death, tragedy and victory. It is a reminder that God is faithful. This book reflects down-to-earth living so we can relate. We connect with Naomi’s losses, grief, and battle with life’s circumstances. We connect with Ruth’s courage, commitment and cleverness.
The book can be summed up one word: commitment. As we face loss and tragedy we need to learn to put our attention onto the Lord and the hope of His promises to us.
Key essential principles:
1. Get up and start moving: Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might return from the country of Moab… Naomi did not know where or how she would get help. All she knew was that God was once more moving in Bethlehem of Judah and she needed to get moving towards the Lord. It was time to move from the land of death, loss and false hope, and now it was time to go back home. As long as we are moving with the Lord He will get us where we need to be. Our lives are like a sailboat, the rudder controls our direction and the wind provides force that moves the boat. Without movement we will not find safe harbor but find ourselves stuck in the middle of an ocean of regret, sadness, bitterness, resentment, and disappointment.
2. Move back towards the Lord: …for she had heard in the country of Moab that the LORD had visited His people by giving them bread. Therefore she went out from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah (or praise).
The Lord had visited His people by giving them bread or food. There may be seasons of famine but there will be seasons of blessing. When God’s people cry out to Him the Word of God says He will respond. We need to (pray) call out to our God when we are in need; we need to learn how to ask God for help (pray):
Psalm 132:15 I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread.
In order for the Lord to meet our need(s) we need to humble ourselves and stop trying to be self-sufficient.
3. Our protection and security is best found in the Lord: Ruth 1:8-9 And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each to her mother’s house. The LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The LORD grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept.
We need to be careful to not integrate false gods into our worldview in order to compensate for the losses in our lives!
Deal kindly with you: hesed (1:8) indicates a loyal, constant, protective love which would include the experience of God’s goodness and His acts of deliverance, rescue.
That you may find rest: manoah (1:9) bears the idea of a permanent resting place, security, and blessing especially as would be found in the protection of one’s own home.
Ruth 1:10-14 And they said to her, Surely we will return with you to your people. But Naomi said, Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me?
Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? Turn back, my daughters, go—
for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope,
if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD has gone out against me! Then they lifted up their voices and wept again;
and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
As much as Naomi tried to send her daughters back to their original homes, birth mothers, Orpah pursues the natural, logical course of action whereas Ruth chooses what is an extraordinary commitment.
Ruth 1:15-17 And she said, Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law. But Ruth said: Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go; (follow)
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge (permanently lodge);
Your people shall be my people (total rejection of her ethnic, people, way of life)
And your God, will be my God (commitment)
Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried (total commitment)
Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God (sold out commitment)
Ruth cuts herself off from her Moabite heritage, culture and gods, clearly rejecting her former people. She chooses a new heritage in Judah and a new way of life—whatever it may bring. Ruth confesses her new allegiance and faith to her new Lord, life and love. Ruth stands out as a reminder of that even in the darkest of times God is still at work in the hearts of His faithful children.
When we choose to receive and commit your life to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our life we too must cut ourselves off from our old heritage, culture and gods, clearly rejecting our old way of life. We must start living differently and know that we have made a clear-cut break from the old ways. Ruth breaks away from her heritage, culture and any generational sin by becoming a believer in the one true God that would change her life, attitude, behaviors, thinking process and emotional responses to become one of Israel finest women ever!
The simple but powerful truth is this: When a man or woman decides to commit and follow Christ in holiness the chains of the past are broken.
But Ruth replied, don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!
How would you characterize and explain Ruth’s commitment to her mother-in-law?
In what ways do you identify, connect with Ruth’s story of commitment and leaving her homeland, family of birth?
Why is our protection and security best found in the Lord? Please explain your answer using scripture or personal experience.
As the opportunity to minister to people arises who have experienced loss why is it important to discern the reasons for their hopeless feelings?
When we choose to receive and commit your life to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we too, like Ruth, must cut ourselves off from our old heritage, culture and gods. Please share your testimony of how you have cut yourself off from your old ways, and why or why not?
Are there areas where you continue to struggle in making the cut and breaking away from an old heritage, culture, habit or other gods?
In order for the Lord to meet our need(s) we need to humble ourselves and stop trying to be self-sufficient. Where do you see yourself as being self-sufficient? Why are you struggling with this? What can you or are you willing to do to change?
The statement made by Ruth: Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God is powerful. In what ways might you make application of this statement to your life as a believer in the Lord and as a committed part of the church?
When people face significant loss in their lives they are often tempted to turn to false gods for help and recovery. What are some of the false gods in our culture that might tempt us?
How is it that even in our weaknesses God can still use us to impact others?