Introduction: Someone said about Christopher Columbus that when he started out he did not know where he was going; and when he returned he did not know where he had been. All the same, he discovered America.
1. Real Faith . . Contrast Professions. 1:6-10 & 14
A. Naomi Profession Focused On . . Hearing.
6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law that she might
return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited His people by giving them bread. 7 Therefore she went out from the place where she was, and her two daughters-in-law with her; and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. 8 And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go, return each to her mother's house. The Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me.
1. Faith Comes by hearing. Rom. 10:17
B. Orpah Profession Focused On . . Emotion.
9 The Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of
her husband." So she kissed them, and they lifted up their voices and wept. 10 And they said to her, "Surely we will return with you to your people."
1. ORPAH wept-Tears showing emotion. (She kissed) v 14
a. So did Judas kiss the Lord.
14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law,
But the tragedy was that Orpah was not a changed person. It is very possible for a sinner to shed Orpah tears. Indeed, it is all too possible for a man or a woman or a boy or a girl to do exactly what Orpah did. Orpah started out well.
Lk 9:62 But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." NKJV
The Apostle Paul said it this way: Gal 2:20
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. NKJV
Stephen Olford said, “The Christian life is nothing less that the OUTLIVING of the INDWELLING Christ!”
Orpah was not willing to just Let God live in her and make a way for her.
I am told that in the Yellowstone National Park you will find a tree called the lodge pole pine. Every year many of these trees fall to the ground. When a storm of some severity hits the area, the lodge pole pine topples over. Why? Because the roots spread out close to the surface and do not go down deep.
May I contrast the lodge pole pine with some of the sturdy trees of this area. The winds blow and the storms descend, but the trees stand. Why? The roots have gone down deep. The faith that stands is the faith that lays hold upon the promises of God. We must have a deep-rooted faith in order to stand when the storms of doubt, fear and persecution sweep over us. LEE ROBERSON p. 65
C. Ruth Profession Focused On . . Commitment. 1:15-16
15 And she said, "Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law." 16 But Ruth said: "Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.
1. Ruth Showed Emotion.
2. Ruth Showed Love Etc..
Three elements of personality are involved in making a decision to become a Christian, or in making any significant decision for that matter. They are the emotions, the intellect, and the will.
Illustration Testimony Of Pete Maravich
Basketball Player Pete Maravich attained all kinds of college records when he was at LSU. And, of course, he went on to play professional basketball, and was with the Atlanta Hawks for a period of time. On a video about his life he told about his search for reality. He said, "I tried everything." "I tried transcendental meditation." "I tried Yoga, reincarnation, life extending drugs." "I became a vegetarian." "I tried alcohol." "At one point I fasted for 25 days straight. I even got tired of basketball." He said, "After a spring game with the Boston Celtics in which I scored 38 points, I just decided to quit." I became a recluse for two years." Then he gave his life to Jesus Christ, and he said, "I wouldn't trade what I have now for a thousand NBA championships." He realized that the hunger of his heart could only be satisfied in Jesus Christ.
Real Faith . . Contrast Professions.
How does Your Profession relate to Real Faith?
2. Real Faith Is More Than . . Carnal Faith. 1:11-12
A. The Carnal Faith Focuses On physical conditions. 1:11-12a
11 But Naomi said, "Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? 12 Turn back, my daughters, go — for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope,. . .”
B. The Carnal Faith Doesn’t Allow For Miracles. 1:12b-13
“. . . if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear
sons, 13 would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me!"
A minister named Steve Waggers states in this way: “the greatest discoveries that I have ever made is that of the Christian life. I have found that the Christian life is nothing more, nothing less than Jesus Christ Himself.
It is not denomination.
It is not affiliation. It is not participation.
It is Jesus Christ Himself.
It is all what Christ has done for us, to us, and in us.
Through my discovery of the Christian life, I came to realize that God expects nothing more, and nothing less of me that utter, complete and total FAILURE!
He doesn’t expect me to succeed, but to sink.
He doesn’t expect me to climb, but to crash.
He doesn’t expect me to flourish, but to flounder.
In fact, He expects absolutely NOTHING of Steve Wagers.
Illustration: Flowers On The Other Side, Others See What We Don’t
A lady who was a great lover of flowers had set out a rare vine at the base of a stone wall. It grew vigorously, yet she saw no blooms. Day after day she cultivated and watered it to coax it into bloom. One morning as she stood disappointedly before it her invalid neighbor, whose back lot adjoined hers, called over and said, “You can’t imagine how much I have been enjoying the blooms of that vine you planted!” The lady who owned the plant looked, and on the other side of the wall was a mass of blooms. The vine had crept through the crevices and flowered luxuriantly on the other side.
So often we think our efforts are thrown away because we do not see their fruits. We need to learn that in the service of God our prayers, our toils and our crosses are never in vain. Somewhere they bear fruit and hearts will receive blessings and joy from our efforts.
11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. NKJV
Real Faith Is More Than . . Carnal Faith.
3. Real Faith . . Clarifies The Choices. 1:14-15
14 Then they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her. 15 And she said, "Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law."
A. ORPAH with Ruth Had four choices to make.
1. Go Away From Her Family and god.
2. Go to another Land
3. Go to another God
4. Go to another Family
B. ORPAH made a choice.
1. Separated from Naomi
2. Separated from Ruth
On more than one occasion I explained the plan of salvation to a person and then asked does this make sense? The person responded, “it is clearer than I have ever heard it explained.”
I then asked, “are you willing to make a decision for Christ?”
The person answered, “No!” Shocked I asked, “Why not?” They responded, “I am not willing to recognize Jesus as my Lord.”
In Mt 10:32-33, Jesus said: 32 "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. NKJV
Without a sincere confession of Christ as Lord of Your Life
Your on your way to Hell.
4. Real Faith . . Congeals. 1:16-18
Congeal: means to solidify or bring together.
A. Ruth’s Faith Congealed with Naomi’s Faith. 1:16-17
16 But Ruth said: "Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me."
1. Her Person, 2. Her Country
3. Her People, 4. Her God.
B. Ruth’s Faith Congealed with Naomi’s Decision of Faith.
1:18 When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her. NKJV
One ship sails East
And another West.
By the selfsame winds that blow;
‘Tis the set of the sails,
And not the gales,
That tells them the way to go!
Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of Time,
As we voyage along through life;
‘Tis the set of the soul
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife!
Real Faith . . Congeals. 1:16-18
5. Real Faith . . Conquers. 1:19-22
A. Naomi Had Faith To Conquer During . . Hard Times. 1:19-21
19 Now the two of them went until they came to Bethlehem. And it happened, when they had come to Bethlehem, that all the city was excited because of them; and the women said, "Is this Naomi?" 20 But she said to them, "Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. 21 I went out full, and the Lord has brought me home again empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?"
1. Lost Her Husband, 2. Lost Two Sons
3. Lost One Daughter In Law, She was returning HOME.
Don’t call me sweetness--call me bitterness
Look at 4:14-16---Faith Restored Sweetness
B. Naomi Had Faith To Conquer During . . Harvest. v 22
22 So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter -in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. Now they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest. NKJV
Illustration: I MET THE MASTER
I had walked life's path with an easy tread, Had followed where comfort and pleasure led; And one day in a quiet place -- I met my Master face to face.
With station and rank and wealth for goal, Much thought for body but none for soul, I had entered to win this life's mad race --
When I met my Master face to face.
I had built my castles, reared them high, Their towers had pierced the blue of the sky; I had sworn to rule with an iron mace --
When I met my Master face to face.
I met Him and knew Him, and blushed to see, That His eyes full of sorrow were fixed on me; And I faltered, and fell at His feet that day, My castles vanished and melted away.
Melted and vanished; and in their place, I saw naught else but my Master's face; And I cried: "Oh, make me meek,
To follow the path of Thy wounded feet."
My thought is now for the souls of men; I have lost my life to find it again Ever since alone in that holy place,
My Master and I stood face to face.
Real Faith . . Conquers because it has been conquered.