Ruth 1 – THE TIMES OF DECISION – RUTH – THE TIMES OF A WOMAN OF FAITH #1
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 affect 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 Time of Decision” The time 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 Times 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 TIME 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 TIME 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 newfound 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 TIME 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!