A Wrong View

Ruth 1:20-21 KJV And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. [21] I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
 
The name Naomi means pleasantness. Naomi had a different view of herself. She asked to be called Mara, bitter. She felt as though God had changed His view of her. While there were some difficult circumstances that were the result of choices made by her husband, God had not changed His view of her. Even though she asked to be called Mara, she was called Naomi throughout the book. We are the unconditional object of God’s eternal love. Throughout the Bible, we are given God’s view of us. This view does not change when bad things happen in our life. God loves us and He always will. He will always wait for us to come back to Him when we wander away.

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Godly Influence

Ruth 1:16-17 KJV And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after 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: [17] Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
 
After the death of her husband and sons, Naomi decides to return home. Both of her daughters-in-law decide to go with her. When the reach the border of Judah, Orpah changes her mind and goes home to her family. Naomi encourages Ruth to do the same. In today’s verses, Ruth states her desire to stay with Naomi. Why did Ruth make such a decision? Naomi was a godly influence in Ruth’s life. Through that influence, Ruth came to believe in God and wanted to stay in that path of belief. Who are we influencing to believe in God and stay on the path of belief?

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Going Home

Ruth 1:6-7 KJV 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 how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread. [7] Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah.
 
Naomi went into Moab with her husband and two sons, now they are dead. God has visited the children of Israel and the famine is over. Naomi decides it is time to god home. She has two daughter-in-laws that love her and will take care of her. All of her possession at home are gone. But she is going home. Praise God for His grace. No matter how bad things are, God always provides a way home to Him. He loves each of us greatly and is waiting for us to simply turn to Him (James 4:8). It’s time to come home.

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A Wrong Example

Ruth 1:4-5 KJV And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. [5] And Mahlon and Chilion died also both of them; and the woman was left of her two sons and her husband.
 
Elimelech made a wrong decision and moved to Moab. He made this decision out of fear instead of faith. He died in Moab. Elimelech’s two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, followed their dad’s example and made the wrong decision to marry women from Moab. They also died in Moab. Our decisions never affect just us. Our decisions often affect those who follow us. Our wrong decisions set a wrong example for them. We must learn to follow Christ, not only for our life, but for the lives of those who are following us.

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The Consequence of a Decision

Ruth 1:2-3 KJV And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Beth–lehem–judah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. [3] And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons.
 
Now we know the name of the man who went down into Moab instead of trusting God in the famine. Elimelach led his entire family down to Moab. During a time of testing, he led his family away from the protection of God. This decision, as all decisions do, had consequences. The first consequence we see is that Elimelech died in the land of Moab. His decision to follow his understanding not only consequences for him, but this decision also had consequences for his wife and sons. We need to lean on God and His understanding rather than ours (Proverbs 3:5-6).

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Be Still

Ruth 1:1 KJV Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Beth–lehem–judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
 
A famine is a time where there is no food or crops. This could be due to a drought or some other natural disaster. In the Bible, a time of famine also speaks of a time of testing. Each of us will go through testing from time to time. Testing is common to all of us (1 Corinthians 10:13). The issue is not the testing itself, the issue is what do we do when we are tested. The man mentioned in today’s verse decided to down into Moab. The Jews were told not to go into Moab, but this man disobeyed God and went to where he was not to go. He tried to handle the testing by himself. In a time of testing, let’s trust the Lord instead of ourselves.

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Our Shepherd

1 Peter 2:24-25 KJV Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. [25] For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
 
What a great reminder for us about our Savior. He bore our sins in His own body. He dod not just bear some of our sins or even most of our sins, He bore all of our sins in His body on the cross. Because He did that for us, we can live a righteous life no longer under the penalty of sin. We were as sheep scattered without a shepherd. Now we have a Shepherd that cares for our souls and watches out for us at all times. We should live life witha heart of gratitude that our problem of sin has been completely dealt with by His death on the cross.

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Revile Not

1 Peter 2:22-23 KJV Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: [23] Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
 
As Peter closes this second chapter of his epistle, he takes some time to share some key truths about Jesus Christ. We have been talking about our testimony and these key truths can be applied to our testimony. Here we find that when Jesus was reviled, He did not return the same behavior to those who reviled Him. It is never good for us to seek to get even with others or to get revenge on those who would mistreat us. We must learn to commit these offences to God, the righteous Judge.

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Persecution

1 Peter 2:20-21 KJV For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. [21] For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
 
It should not surprise us that the world will persecute us as Christians. Jesus suffered at the hands of the world. It cannot be surprising if we suffer at the hands of the world. This world is not friend of grace. The world wants to live as if there is no God to be accountable to. When you and I live for God, it reminds them that God exists and they are accountable to Him. God has called to follow the example of Christ and live for Him. This calling will bring the persecution of the world. Let’s keep our eyes on the Lord and serve Him.

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Guard Your Testimony

1 Peter 2:18-19 KJV Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. [19] For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
 
There will times when people will mistreat us. There will times when we may be mistreated at work. No one likes to be mistreated. As Christians, however, we must handle these times of mistreatment differently that the world. How we respond to being mistreated and how we respond to those who mistreat us goes a long way to either pointing people to Jesus or driving them away. We must remember that our testimony before the world is of the utmost importance. Let’s make sure that we care for our testimony in the proper manner.

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