God’s blessings by man’s choice
Scripture: Ruth 1:1-22
Aim: To help the pupil understand that many of the blessings of the Lord in the life come by the choices the individual person makes.
Golden Text: “And Ruth said, ‘Intreat me not to leave thee … for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.'” (Ruth 1:16).
Each individual family makes choices that determine the kind of family they will become. Each individual member of the family makes choices that determine the kind of person he or she will be regardless of the choices of the other family members.
Let me explain.
The parents choose many things that will effect each member of the family. They set the pattern as to how each family member will act, where each will live, whether each member attends church, the patterns of pleasure and the work ethic. Each individual member has to accept and follow the patterns or make choices in setting their own patterns of living.
The same is true in regards to God and man. God has set the patterns for man’s life. That pattern is given to man by the revelation of God (Bible). An individual must choose whether he will follow God’s pattern or not. To follow God’s pattern ensures great blessings for the person. To choose to follow a different pattern of life will ensure that God’s best blessings will be lost. The blessedness of a person’s life is directly related to the choices that person makes.
I. Jehovah had forbidden that the Israelites have friendly relationships with the Moabites because they had chosen to fight against the Israelites when Israel come out of Egypt. From the time of their father, Lot, the Moabites followed a pattern of rebellion against Jehovah and Israel. The Moabites were idol worshippers. Jehovah wanted to help the Israelites not be tempted to follow their pattern of rebellious behavior (Deuteronomy 7:1-5).
II. Elimelech and Naomi chose to move from Bethlehem to Moab to live during a famine in Bethlehem (Ruth 1:1-5). In disobedience to Jehovah’s plan for them, this family of four (husband, wife and two sons) moved to Moab (vs. 2). Elimelech made choices that led the family to disobey the Word of the Lord. They moved from God’s place of blessing for them to the place of trouble and death. They moved to “the country of Moab, and continued there” for 10 years (vs. 2b, 4b). Elimelech died and left Naomi and two sons alone among the Moabites.
The two sons married Moabite women (in disobedience to God’s instructions, vs. 3-4). Mahlon married Orpah and Chilion married Ruth (vs. 4). After some time of marriage, both brothers died leaving three widow women in the land of Moab alone.
III. The three widows made life choices (Ruth 1:6-18). Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem in Israel (vs. 6). Then Ruth and Orpah went with her on the way to Judah (vs. 7). Naomi asked the two to return to their own people (vs. 8-9). Orpah returned to her family and their pagan gods, but Ruth refused to do so. She made a definite choice to follow Naomi and Naomi’s God, Jehovah. Look at the Golden Text above. Ruth made the choice to always be with Naomi and always worship Jehovah (vs. 17-18).
The choice Naomi and Ruth made to go to Bethlehem opened the door for Jehovah to bless them greatly. Ruth was to be a mother in the line of David and Jesus Christ our Savior.
Yes, the choices we make will either place us in the position for God’s blessings, or they will place us in a position where God’s blessings cannot be given. The choice is ours.