Tuesday, February 26, 2013
RUTH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 2/26/2013
Pursued By Grace Series
LOOKING FOR A LITTLE REST, Lesson 9a
When you hear the word "rest" what images come to mind? For me, the word conjures up images of me in my recliner, or of me stealing a few precious minutes on my "meditation sofa" in my study. For others, rest is a walk in the woods, or a few hours with a fishing rod in their hands. Still others rest by working in the garden and yard. For many, however, rest is an elusive thing. They do not know where to find it. Such is the case for the heroine in our text.
Ruth is a hard working widow from the country of Moab. She has been engaged in bone weary activity all through the long harvest season. She needs rest! She has been carrying the load of providing for herself and her mother in law, Naomi. She needs a rest! She has been living with the memories of a time when life was kinder, when there was a husband to love, when there was the hope of children to raise, when she taken care of and when she had the security all women long for. She needs a rest! In this text, she begins the process of obtaining that rest.
Surely, by this time, Ruth has resigned herself to the idea that she will live out her life with Naomi. She must think that she will be required to shoulder the burden of caring for herself and her mother in law for many years to come. Little does she know that she is about to enter into a place of rest. She is about to have her burdens lifted and she is about to enter a relationship that will change everything in her life.
In this passage, we are confronted with the idea of "rest". For Ruth, this rest was that of security and family. For us, it pictures something far more wonderful and precious. The rest is a portrait of that which the lost sinner finds when he enters a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. From this text, I want us to see the benefits that result from our entering into a "rest relationship" with Him.
Today, I would like to teach for a while on the subject, "Looking For A Little Rest." If you are tired and weary, in and of the life you are living, then there will be help offered to you today. Let's observe the truth contained in this text.
THE PROPOSAL FOR REST
The Nature Of This Rest - When Naomi speaks of "rest", she is speaking of a marriage. As a Gentile widow in that Jewish society, Ruth had few prospects. She is in desperate need of someone who will take her as his wife and provide her with the rest she needs. She is talking about a state in which Ruth can enjoy the security and peace that would accompany such a relationship. The word used here is very expressive. It has the following uses in the Bible:
The absence of movement
Wholeness, or a state of well being
A place to settle down; a home (Ruth 3:1)
In other words, Naomi was hoping to provide Ruth with a relationship that would provide all of this for her. This is what the world is after as well! For Ruth this would be found in a marriage relationship. For people in general, this will only be found in a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ! He promises all of this and more!
The Necessity For This Rest - Ruth is in desperate need of such a relationship. You see, the harvest has ended, and with it, she has also seen the end of her supply from, and relationship with, Boaz. As a widow, Ruth has no means of supporting herself and her mother in law Naomi. She is in poverty and she needs help. She needs someone to come alongside of her and to take an interest in her and her need. She literally needs a Savior! Humanity desperately needs a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ! Why? Because of our Condition – (read Rom. 3:23, Eph. 2:1-3). Because of our Condemnation – (read Rom. 6:23, John 3:18, 36). Unless we come to Christ, we are destined to live our lives in the poverty of spiritual darkness. Unless we meet Him by faith we are destined to go to Hell for all of eternity. We need the rest He offers us in Himself, (Matt. 11:28, an invitation, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest).
Luke 17:3 (New King James Version (NKJV)
3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.
“Hark, The Gentle Voice” By: Mary B. C. Slade (1873)
Hark! the gentle voice of Jesus falleth
Tenderly upon your ear
Sweet His cry of love and pity calleth
Turn and listen, stay and hear
Ye that labor and are heavy laden
Lean upon your dear Lord's breast
Ye that labor and are heavy laden
Come, and I will give you rest
Take His yoke, for He is meek and lowly
Bear His burden, to Him turn
He who calleth is the Master holy
He will teach if you will learn
Then, His loving, tender voice obeying
Bear His yoke, His burden take
Find the yoke His hand is on you laying
Light and easy for His sake
Father of all humanity, God of the universe, Lord of our life! We bow down and we worship You; we give You glory, honor and praise, for You are a Holy, wonderful, amazing, and awesome God. Thank You for all You have done for us, for what You are doing, and for what You are going to do. We call upon You to meet all our needs; we call upon You to give us rest; we call upon You to restore us when we fall and fail You. Help us not to waste our lives foolishly, but rather live our lives to Your glory. Redeem the time we have wasted, and restore that which has been lost, wasted and ruined. Forgive us for our weaknesses and sins. This we pray in the name of our Beloved Savior, Jesus Christ! Amen!
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