FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 2/10/2013
Sunday, February 10, 2013
RUTH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 2/10/2013
Ruth: Pursued By Grace
THREE TOMBSTONES IN A WASHPOT, Lesson 2c
V. 3-5 A TIME OF DEADLY CONSEQUENCES
Sin always carries with it harsh consequences. This was the case in the life of Elimelech and his family as well.
V. 2 There Was Discipline In That Home - Before Elimelech loaded up his family to move to Moab, it is likely that he had already moved away from God in his heart. You see, no one just wakes up one morning and decides to leave God behind! It is a slow subtle process that builds until the believer has moved farther away from the Lord than he could have ever anticipated.
The reason I say there was discipline in that home lies in the names of Elimelech's sons. There names were Mahlon which means "Sick" and Chilion which means "Pining, or Wasting Away." It may be that these two boys were just the victims of circumstance. But, if you believe that, then you don't believe in a God of providence! I think God was trying to get Elimelech's attention long before he ever left for Moab.
Friend, He will do the same in your life as well. When a backslidden spirit begins to manifest itself in your life, God will begin the process of speaking to your heart. He may do it in a still small voice like He did with Elijah, (1 Kings 19:12). Or, He may do with the thundering voice of a prophet as He did with David, (2 Sam 12:7). He may use subtle means, or He may use direct means, but if you are His, He will reach out to you to bring you home again, (Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:6-11).
V. 3-5 There Was Death In That Home - In spite of his relationship to the Lord, in spite of the blessings of God, in spite of the intervention of the Lord in his family, Elimelech moved to Moab. What was a reality in his heart became a reality in his life! After he was there for some time, he died. After a while, his sons were also taken in death. It is my opinion that God used the ultimate form of discipline in the lives of Elimelech and his family in order to bring the remainder of the family back to God. You see, the famine in Bethlehem was a call to repent. Those sick sons were a call to repent. God gave this family ten years of rope, but time finally ran out and they paid the ultimate price for their disobedience.
It is sad, but it is also true, God will use whatever means that He deems necessary to bring you home again! If you are His, you will not run from Him forever. He will discipline your life and if you do not repent, He will take your life, (1 John 5:16; 1 Cor. 5:5).
V. 5 There Was Defeat In That Home - Naomi and her two daughters-in-law were left desolate. In that society, the poorest of the poor were widows with no children to care for them. These women were left with nothing but desolation, discouragement and defeat. It didn't have to be, but because of the sin in their hearts and the choices they made in life, they were forced to pay a horrible price. All Naomi had to show for her disobedience and backsliding were three tombstones in the land of Moab. All she had left were her daughters-in-law and she couldn't even provide for them. These women were in a desperate condition.
Such is the nature of sin! It never brings anything good into our lives. While it may give those who wander off into it some pleasure in the flesh in the short term, (Heb. 11:25), all it can produce in the long term is death, defeat and discouragement. If you want to destroy your family, devastate your life and doom those you love, just wander off to your Moab and stay there. There is a price to pay! You see, sin brings its own club, (Pro. 13:15; Rom. 6:21). So, put the things of God last in your life and see how your children treat them when they grow up. Go ahead and indulge your flesh and its sinful appetites and see what good comes of it. When sickness, when chastisement, when defeat, disillusionment and discouragement come, just remember, you are reaping the harvest you foolishly sowed, (Gal. 6:9). Brother, the time to repent is now!
Galatians 5:5 (New King James Version (NKJV)
5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
“Sweet, Sweet Spirit” By: Doris Akers (1962)
There's a sweet, sweet spirit in this place
And I know that it's the spirit of the Lord
There are sweet expressions on each face
And I know that it's the presence of the Lord.
Sweet Holy Spirit
Sweet Heavenly Dove
Stay right here with us
Filling us with your love
And for these blessings
We lift our hearts in praise (hearts in praise)
Without a doubt we'll know that we have been revived
When we shall leave this place.
There are blessings you cannot receive ‘Til you know Him in His fullness and believe You’re the one to profit when you say “I am going to walk with Jesus all the way.”
Heavenly Father, God of Wisdom, Word and Way! It is a privilege to be able to approach Your throne of Grace knowing that You hear our prayers and that You answer our prayer, because sometimes we do not know where we are. We need Jesus so we may follow Him. Make our steps firm so we cannot stray. Light the path to our feet so we may follow the way. If we must suffer, then let us suffer for following Jesus and doing good. Enable us to endure like He did, that we may follow the trail of His footprints which leads us to You. We thank You for Jesus, for our spiritual redemption, and for the peace we experience while still in this world. Teach us to walk by faith to Your glory and honor. We ask these things in His glorious name. Amen!
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