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Sunday School, the Book of Ruth…part 1…

Vs. 1,  This verse starts to tell us one of the saddest family stories contained in the Bible. “Now it came to pass” means because God brought it to pass. Rom. 11:36. “When the Judges ruled” The book of Judges tells a sorry and sordid story of a departure from God. The people served the living and true God, then turned from Him to idols and immoral lifestyles, then crushed by enemies, cried to God and He raised up judges to deliver them. “A famine in the land” In the land of Canaan, a land that had flowed with milk and honey, a land where a cluster of grapes took two men and a pole to carry(Num. 13:23). Even in Bethlehem, which means house of bread and Judah which means praise, there was famine. This was one of the judgements which God had threatened to bring upon Israel if they sinned against Him(Lev. 26:19-20). “And a certain man of Beth-lehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons” Moab is described in Psalm 108:9 as being God’s washpot, or it could be said that Moab was God’s garbage can. This man takes his family from the house of bread and praise to the dump. In the midst of God’s providential judgements our only course of action is obedience and faith, not what the world would do or what we think. Listen to Eccles. 7:14, “In the day of prosperity be joyful, But in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other.” “The day of adversity will either draw us close to our God or drive us to the world. If faith does not cling to Christ, the flesh will drag us from Him.” Vs. 2 Elimelech means ‘my God is king’ or ‘the King is my God’ a great name tha he did not live up to. The name Naomi means ‘pleasant’ She lived up to her name. Their two sons named Mahlon, which means ‘unhealthy’ and Chilion, which means ‘puny.’ “And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there.” Not just going to Moab, but making their home there, in the dump. Vs. 3. The husband, my God is King, dies in the dump. When we get away from God, that is when trouble comes. Vs. 4. What happened here? They broke the law, the Mosaic law( Deut.7:2-3, 2Cor. 6:14). Those believers who choose to marry a man or woman who has no regard for God marry a life of trouble( Duet, 7:3, 23:3, Ezra 9:1-2, Neh. 13:23-27, 2 Cor 6:14). Out of fellowship, away from God in a far country, the next step is apostasy. Orpah means “deer or “fawn.” It means she was an athletic type and why she married one of these sickly boys is a good question. Ruth, has probably ten different meanings for her name, beauty is one and personality is another. Trouble has come and will continue to take this family to task. Vs. 5. Unhealthy and puny died. Naomi has lost her family and all she has left is two little foreign daughters-in-laws. We can learn 3 things from “my God is King” 1. We cannot outrun death. At the appointed time, we shall die. 2. We must never expect to prosper by disobedience. 3. All earthly pleasure and comforts are temporary. Vs.6. When Naomi heard what God had done for His people, she believed the message and arose to return to Bethlehem. Vs.7. There can never be a reconciliation with God without a separation from the world. In the coming verses Naomi is going to talk to her daughter-in-laws like a Dutch uncle. She is going to tell them that things are going to be rough for them in her home country. The Israelites just did not have anything to do with the Moabites, just like the Samaritans in the N.T. Vs. 8. Naomi tells these girls they have been good to her and her boys. They were good wives. She encourages them to return to Moab, if not, the cost to them will be high.

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