Faith That Cleaved To The Least Option

Scripture Passage: Ruth 1
•One of the only two books named after women in the Bible, the only one named after a non-Jewish woman
•The place of the book in the Canon of Scripture…Hebrew and Greek
•It is scheduled to be read at the Jewish Festival of Pentecost
•Somewhere around 1100 BC…Samuel or Tamar??...written during or after David’s reign
Names That Matter
•Bethlehem- House of Bread
•Elimelek- My God is King
•Naomi- Sweetness/Pleasant
•Mahlon- Sickness
•Kilion- Failing
•Ruth- Friendship or Female Companionship
•Orpah- She who turns back
•Boaz- we’ll wait to introduce him!
3 Couples
•Famine forces them to a country with a history of incest and seduction (Gen 19 & Num 25)…your own place is no great place either (Jdgs 21:25)
•The god of the Moabites was Chemosh (1 Kgs 11:7)
•You loose your husband, the children marry pagan women, 10 years of barrenness of the womb and death of your children…helpless
•There is a glimmer of hope in Ephratha, grain has returned…atleast food is available (Deut 11:10-17)…God is behind it
3 Widows
•Naomi, Ruth and Orpah had something in common…widows and helpless
•Naomi does not want her daughter in-laws to share a plight like hers…which is but the need to survive, find food
•The relationship between the 3 of them was intense, it could not be easily broken…they had all seen pain, disappointment and misery
•Naomi attempts to use a reasonable rationale for Ruth and Orpah to go on with life…acceptance and rejection in Judah??
Who Is Behind The Affliction & Hope?
•Naomi sees YHWH behind her affliction…no husband, no lineage, no savings… only wait for death in its due time
•Ruth contrasts Orpah in ‘cleaving’ and not leaving (Gen 2:24)
•In contrast to a nation that has lost sense of YHWH, Ruth speaks a covenantal faith
•Naomi is recognized back home but she wants a change of name…‘Shaddai’ the Almighty has afflicted me
•But God was in the barley fields and God was beside her in Ruth
•The Gospel of Jesus Christ begins in in an insignificant town when there was no glimmer of hope-El-Shaddai is active! (Micah 5:2,4; Matt 2:6)
•The Gospel calls onto every believer to cleave to Christ, a faith that sees hope in the least of options. (Phil 2:12-14)
Take Away: Cleave to the Lord Jesus Christ and see that all of your days are crafted into the Triune God’s perfect plan