RUTH 1

5 Outlines

 

Ruth 1:1

THE HOUR OF DECISION

#1 of 4 in a Series on Ruth

(The other parts of the series are found in Chapters 2,3,&4.)

                

We go through life making decisions.  Every day is a day of decision. Today you decided what you were going to eat for breakfast, what clothes you would wear, and with whom you would spend time. This week you will make decisions that will effect where you go, what you do, and how you use the abilities that God has given you.

 

There are times in our lives when major decisions must be made.  These decisions, being major, cause us to stop and think before we make a decision.  When we come to the point of making such a serious choice, I think of it as "The Hour of Decision" (with apologies to Billy Graham!) The hour of decision is a time in my life where I will end up being blessed or not so blessed based on the choice I make.  Such major hours of decision include, choosing a marriage partner, making a career move, selecting a church to join, or choosing a standard of morals by which I will conduct my life.

 

In Ruth 1 we meet four people who came to "The Hour of Decision".  Two of them made wise decisions. Two of them made unwise decisions.  Their choices are important to us because we will be forced to make the same types of decisions today.

 

BACKGROUND TO THE BOOK OF RUTH

Probably written in the days of David.

Events of this book might have taken place during the time of Gideon.

Ruth 1:1 tells us that it was during the days that the Judges ruled that these events took place. These were not good days, as Judges 2:11-19 indicates.

 

THE HOUR OF DECISION FOR ELIMELECH - HE CHOSE TO RETREAT - Vss. 1-5

Vs. 1 - It was a time of famine. It was a time of judgment from God. The land was dry and not producing. People were hungry. Elimelech had a decision to make. He was in the land that God had given the Jewish people. He could stay in the land and endure God's discipline, or he could leave and seek blessing elsewhere.  Abraham faced a similar decision in Genesis 12:10-20 and made the same wrong choice.

 

I feel Elimelech was wrong to leave Israel. The Israelites had been commanded to have nothing to do with Children of Moab.

 

Elimelech reminds me of what I would call a backsliding Christian. There was a time when they were on fire, in the right place, excited, and enthused about the work of Jesus Christ. Then, they chose to stop walking with the Lord and serving Him the way they once did. Those who backslide should not be surprised when they receive God's discipline as described in Hebrews 12:5.  In Ruth 1:3-5 we find God's judgment on Elimelech and his family.

 

THE HOUR OF DECISION FOR NAOMI - SHE CHOSE TO RETURN - Vss. 6-7

Here is the story of a backslider who did all the things that her husband did, but came back to the Lord. She heard that God's people were being blessed, and decided to return to Israel.  It is a good thing when a backsliding Christian hears how God is blessing His people. It might influence him to repent.  The backsliding Christian needs to confess sin and return to the service of the King!

 

THE HOUR OF DECISION FOR ORPAH - Vss. 8-14 - SHE CHOSE TO REJECT

Orpah looked good. She was following her mother-in-law back to Israel. Instead of staying to worship false Gods, she was going to come into the land of Israel and worship the God of Israel.

Orpah reminds me of many a person I have met who claims to have trusted Jesus Christ as Savior.

They start out right by making a profession of faith, but go no further. Their lives showed no change. 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Vss. 8-13 - Naomi explains the truth. She gives the cold, hard facts. Orpah decided that the cost of following Naomi was too high.  When professing Christians who never truly trusted Christ lean of the required commitment to Christ, they reject their new found faith (If not in word, they do it by deed.)  Matthew 13:20-21

 

Vs. 14 - Orpah kissed her mother-in-law and left. She rejected Naomi and her God.

 

THE HOUR OF DECISION FOR RUTH - Vss. 14-18 - SHE CHOSE TO RELY

When Orpah left Naomi, Ruth clung to her.  Ruth gives us an example of a person who is truly born again. She would not be dissuaded from her faith and made a total commitment to Naomi and her God.  Seeing her sincerity, Naomi stopped trying to dissuade Ruth. Ruth chose to rely on God.  The true Christian chooses to rely by faith on Christ!

 

 

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Ruth 1:1-18

KISS OR CLING?

 

Naomi had two daughters in-law.  The big difference between them was that Orpah was a “kisser” and Ruth was a “clinger”.  Orpah showed some affection for her mother in-law and then left her.

Ruth clung to her mother in-law and went with her as Naomi returned to the Land of Israel.

 

In Christian circles there are two groups. 

There are the “kissers” of our Lord Jesus Christ.

There are the “clingers” to our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

(You will need to read and explain verses 1-7 for background information.)

 

THE KISSER

 

Vss. 8-10 – Naomi released her daughter in-laws from any obligation to her.  Both, for the moment, said they would still stick with Naomi.

 

Vss. 11-13 – Naomi makes it clear exactly how dire the situation is and encourages them to go back home.

 

Vs. 14 – Having heard more information, Orpah kisses Naomi, cries some more, and leaves.

 

There are many “kissers” like Orpah in Christianity.

They make a commitment of sorts, but their pattern is to kiss and leave.

They kiss Jesus on Sunday and leave Him for a commitment to the World and their own pleasures and interests during the week. 1 John 2:15-17

 

THE CLINGER

 

Vs. 14 – Oprah kissed, Ruth clung.

 

Vs. 15 – I think Naomi is testing Ruth here to make sure that she is sincere.

 

Vss. 16-17 – Ruth’s response is classic and shows us how we should cling to the Lord Jesus.

 

Ruth 1:16-17 - And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: [17] Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

 

A. RUTH CLUNG TO FOLLOW - for whither thou goest, I will go  

To cling to the Lord Jesus we should be able to say, for whither thou goest, I will go.

Luke 9:23-24

 

B. RUTH CLUNG TO DWELL - and where thou lodgest, I will lodge:

We should dwell with the Lord Jesus by abiding in Him. John 15:1-7

 

C. RUTH CLUNG TO FELLOWSHIP - thy people shall be my people,

The people of the Lord Jesus should be our people.  We should have fellowship with fellow believers.

John 13:34-35, Hebrews 10:24-25, Ecclesiastes 4:9-11

 

D. RUTH CLUNG TO WORSHIP - and thy God my God:

When we trust Christ we will recognize the Trinity, and we are to worship. Psalm 100

 

E. RUTH CLUNG TO DIE - Where thou diest, will I die,

Jesus died on the cross.  According to Romans 6, we died with Him.  Also see Galatians 2:20.

 

Vs. 18 – Naomi finally accepted Ruth’s position. They traveled together. Ruth was submissive to Naomi, and eventually Ruth married Boaz and became a descendent of the Lord Jesus.

 

 

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Ruth 1:1-6

THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME

 

RETREAT FROM THE LAND OF PROMISE - Vss. 1-2

REAPING OF SORROW - Vss. 3-5

RETURN TO PLACE OF BLESSING - Vs. 6

 

 

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Ruth 1:1-18

TALE OF THREE WOMEN

 

INTRODUCTION - Vss. 1-6

There are three women in this story.  Naomi had left the promised land with her husband during a time of famine.  He had died.  Naomi's two sons had married Orpah and Ruth.  The sons had died as well.

 

NAOMI CHOSE TO RETURN Vss. 6-7

She once left the promised land and was coming back to the place where she should be.  When we do what is wrong, we should return to the ways of our God by repenting of, and forsaking sin. 1 John 1:9, Revelation 2:5

 

ORPAH CHOSE TO RETREAT Vss. 8-14

Naomi told her daughters-in-law to return home.

There was much trouble ahead for her.  At first, Orpah was going to faithfully follow her mother-in-law.  Finally however she retreated to

her old way of life.  Many people make professions of faith or commitment and then retreat from them when the road gets rough.

 

RUTH CHOSE TO RETAIN Vss. 15-18

Ruth retained her commitment to her mother-in-law, and her commitment to her mother-in-law's God.  In the end, she was the one who was blessed. (She became great grandmother to David. Ruth 4:13-17)

 

 

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Ruth 1:6-18

WOMEN AT THE CROSSROADS

 

A "crossroads" is when a person needs to make an important decision that will affect the rest of their lives.  Three women, a mother in-law and two daughters in-law reached a cross roads at the same time.

 

INTRODUCTION - Explain Naomi's story Vss. 1-5

 

NAOMI WAS REALISTICALLY DESCRIPTIVE - Vss. 6-13

Naomi decided to return home.  It was time to be back in the Promised Land.  Upon deciding to go home, her daughters in-law decided that they would follow her. Naomi was honest about her state and the probable future for the daughters in-law if they followed her.

 

ORPAH WAS READILY DETERRED - Vss. 13-14

 

RUTH WAS REALLY DETERMINED - Vss. 14-18

 

 

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Ruth 1 and 3

MOTHER IN-LAW

 

There have been many jokes about mother in-laws (You may tell one or two, if you feel so led.), however there have been many good and godly mother in-laws.  My mother in-law, Grace Adams, was a Christian woman who quietly worked behind the scenes to help those in need.

 

In the book of Ruth we meet Naomi, who was by no means perfect, but in the end, had a positive witness on her daughter in-law, Ruth.  Here is her story.

 

SHE WANDERED FROM GOD - 1:1-5

In a time of famine Naomi went with her husband Elimelech into the land of Moab.

They should have remained in God's land among God's people.

During this time of wandering her sons married unsaved girls, Moabites.

Her husband died, and so did her sons.

 

SHE WENT HOME - 1:6-7

She was returning to God's land of blessing.  She was coming back to where she once had been.

 

SHE WITNESSED TO HER DAUGHTERS IN-LAW - 1:8-18

This was not traditional witnessing as we would think of it.

However, she must have talked enough about the Lord, that Ruth was willing to follow her and claim her God.

Naomi actually tried to send her daughters in-law back, and Orpah did return to Moab.

Her influence on Ruth was strong enough, however, that she stayed by Naomi and went to Israel with her. She also claimed the God of Israel as her God.

Mother in-laws can have a very strong influence on their daughters and sons in-law for good or bad.

 

SHE WORKED TOWARDS RUTH'S WELL-BEING - 3:1-4

It was Naomi who told Ruth to approach Boaz, seeking that he redeem her as a kinsman-redeemer.

It was her advice that led to the redemption of Ruth, her marriage to Boaz, and the birth of Obed, the grandfather of David. See chapters 3-4 to fill in the details.

 

 

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