1. Drought and famine in the Promised Land. God withheld the rain and famine was the result. Baal had no power. 9-12-10 The Israelites had begun to worship Baal , trusting in him instead of God.
2. A man named Elimelech took his wife, Naomi , and his two sons, Mahlon and Chilion , And moved from Bethlehem in Judah across the Dead Sea to Moab . Elimelech soon died in Moab. Mahlon and Chilion both married Moabite women , And died childless ten years later.
3. Ruth 1:6 Then Naomi arose with her daughters-in-law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited His people in giving them bread. 7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was , and her two daughters-in- law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah. We talked about this last week : it is a picture of repentance . Return from the land of sin. Return unto the Land of Promise.
4. 8 And Naomi said unto her two daughters-in-law, Go, return each to her mother's house: the Lord deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me. Naomi was making it easy for them to choose to stay in Moab with their families . She loved them and they loved her.
5. There must be a free-will choice to serve the Lord. To love the Lord with one's whole heart, mind, soul, and strength is a choice freely made , Or it's not really a choice made at all. Nobody truly comes to know and love and serve the Lord at sword point.
6. They had dealt kindly with their husbands. Hesed -- Merciful kindness. Ephesians 4 31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 2 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. "Let all bitterness be put away from you." According to Strong's Greek Dictionary , bitterness is poison .
7. "Let all wrath be put away from you." Fierce indignation; passionate; highly emotional "Let all anger be put away from you." Burning, lasting desire to punish; vengeance. "Let all clamor be put away from you." Anger expressed in outcry; crying, screaming. "Let all evil speaking be put away from you." Hurtful words, insults, smears, defamation "Let all malice be put away from you." Intense ill will; wishing evil to others.
8. If these commands were obeyed from the heart by husbands and wives, It would help all troubled marriages. If the following were obeyed it would heal them all. 2 And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
9. "Be ye kind one to another." Gracious, easy, useful, good "Be tender-hearted one to another." Compassionate, sympathetic, showing pity "Forgiving one another -- even as God, for Christ's sake has forgiven you." In kindness, freely, generously grant forgiveness. Forgiveness grudgingly granted is no forgiveness at all .
10. "But what if?" Matthew 5 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others ? do not even the publicans so?
11. Living our lives in this manner would not only heal marriages, but all relationships . Kind and tender-hearted Easy-going and forgiving Only through submission to God's Holy Spirit can people have these traits .
12. 9 The Lord grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept. 10 And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people. They had become family in the ten years. Family love is strong.
13. 11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 Turn again, my daughters, go your way ; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also tonight, and should also bear sons; 13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord is gone out against me.
14. Having a husband in that time and place was vastly more important than it is today. Women had few rights, and most of them were to be granted through a husband. We need to see the lengths to which God is going to give these women an opportunity to choose Him. She had every opportunity to make a different choice , and she chose the Lord.
15. 14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law; but Ruth clave unto her. Orpah kissed Ruth goodbye, And returned to her family.
16. 15 And Naomi said, Behold, thy sister-in-law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister-in-law. Naomi encouraged Ruth to return to her city, her family, and her gods. Considering the cost , and being willing to suffer the loss of all things, to gain Christ . To serve the True and Living God must be -- Whole