Straightening Out A Mess Ruth 1-4 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Elimelech’s name means “my God is king.” Naomi’s means “pleasant.” They lived in Bethlehemjudah [the house of bread in Judah]. They got off to a good start. Yet they had run to Moab to get away from a famine. You don’t leave the house of bread to find bread in a country like Moab. This is like backsliding. They had gone down there to live but before they could get back, Elimelech died.
Ruth married Mahlon [4:10]. Orpah married Chilion. They married into a family of backslidden Christians [in type]. Both of their husbands died. 3 out of the 4 people who went to Moab didn’t survive. They would have been better off in Bethlehemjudah trusting Elimelech’s God.
So, Ruth’s life was a mess. She was a widow. She had a bitter mother-in-law [Ruth 1:20]. She had an unfaithful sister-in-law [Ruth 1:10, 14-15 she backed out]. And they were poor [Ruth 2:2; Lev 19:9-10]. Perhaps, to some degree, your life is similar to hers.
So, how was she going to straighten out this mess? She had one option: she trusted the Lord [Ruth 1:16-17]. She followed a woman who was heading in the right direction [toward God]. She separated herself from people who were opposed to God [the Moabites were enemies of God]. She got with God’s people. She got with God. And she made a lifelong commitment.
You get out of your mess when you do just what Ruth did. You follow someone who is going in the right direction. You separate from the wrong people. You get into a good church. You make sure that God is your God and you walk with him. And you sign up for a lifelong commitment. You don’t just stay with him until things improve.
Now watch, when she trusted God [Ruth 2:12], God pulled her out of the mess. He directed her providentially to a good field in which to glean [Ruth 2:3]. Boaz, the owner of the field, had compassion on her [Ruth 2:8-9, 15-16]. God blessed her faithfulness [Ruth 2:23] and her virtue [Ruth 3:10-11]. God blessed her with wealth and a good husband [Ruth 4:9-10]. God blessed her with a son and God completely turned around Naomi’s life to boot [Ruth 4:13-16]. This son became the grandfather of David and, thus, he was in the line of Christ.
Do you have a mess that you need God to straighten out? Then do what Ruth did.