Ruth: A Sermon Series
Ruth is a story of bitterness, brokenness, and emptiness used by God to bring joy, redemption, and fullness; a powerful love-story between a man and a woman, between God and his people.
This Fall we'll discover the Providence of God in the life of Ruth. Unfortunately, the term providence is used as frequently as the terms satchel or nincompoop (both of which should be used all the time). Despite its absence in everyday speech, everyone experiences "God's invisible hand" daily.
The Heidelberg Catechism defines providence as:
[God's] almighty and ever present power, whereby, as with his hand, he still upholds heaven and earth and all creatures, and so governs them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, indeed, all things, come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand.
We like to think half of that statement is true. Most of us believe things like fruitful crops, good food, health and wealth come from God. What about drought, sickness, and poverty? Where do those things come from?
We are not left to wonder. All things come to us not by chance. If the lesson ended there we might have reason to doubt or get angry with God. But, these things come NOT BY CHANCE but by his FATHERLY hand. As a good father in total control of all that's happening, God is directing everything to an intended outcome. This outcome is and can be ONLY what is good and best for his children.
The story of Ruth is one in which "the voice telling the story always knows more than the characters involved in it." Through intense difficulties experienced by Naomi and her daughter-in-law, Ruth, we'll see that God is at work for the good of his children and the glory of his Son.