Monday, October 11, 2010

Don't Waste Your Sorrows (Book of Ruth)

This is a blog entry that would summarize the message that was preached on our church this Sunday by Pastor Dave Darwin. We looked into the story of Naomi and Ruth in the book of Ruth and from there we tried to answer the question most people ask when they're in the gutter.

"Why me?"
There are times that we feel that life is just putting everything on us and everything's just not fair. We feel, and we even go as far as blaming God, for the trials and demise that we're getting in life. We feel that God, and everybody else, is just picking on us. We then ask what have I done to deserve all of these, I've been good all my life... Why Me? Why is every weight of the world on my shoulders why did everything that could go wrong just went wrong? Why? Why me?

Now we looked into the book of Ruth and homed in on Naomi. Now Naomi is a woman who, in the first chapter, we'll see that she has lost everything. Lost her husband and her two sons. She's left with nothing but her two daughter-in-laws, the Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. Now if I'm not mistaken, during their culture, when you're a widow and not have anyone with you, you'll be considered nothing and could be left with nothing since they, during their times, are pretty much chauvanistic in nature. So when Naomi went back to her home town she didn't want to be regarded as Naomi but Mara, a name that is of significance with bitterness. She didn't want to be regarded as someone else but bitter. She embraced the bitterness, due from the loss of everything that she had, and made an identity out of it. She even blamed God for her loss as she said For the Almighty has dealt very bitterly against me.

Clearly, Naomi has forgotten what kind of God the God of the Bible is. And that's what trials and despair leads us to, we tend to home in on what we're dealing with and lose focus to the one who holds everything together (Col 1:17) and makes everything work for the good (Rom 8:28). We tend to lose focus on who God is and we focus on what we're dealing with, making us feel like everything is just against us, which in turn would make us feel bitter. So bitter that we even blame God for what we're having. The God of the Bible, the Almighty and Holy God, who has no shade of evil in Him, where we find no shade of darkness or bad intentions for His people. I believe that the God who is Holy doesn't even think of anything bad, or evil, or anything just to spite his people in him.

Trials push us that way, and in turn we forget who God is, and we push our own carts. We just leave everything behind and forget and not see every little blessing that would eventually lead to something greater around us. Due to Naomi's bitterness, she forgot what great gift she has in Ruth, who earlier has pledged her loyalty to Naomi after everything has been said and done (Ruth 1:16-17). We don't see the little seeds that God has planted during our times of despair. We just focus on our bitterness.

To cut the story short, Naomi dealt with her bitterness and not see the blessing she had in Ruth. Ruth, the woman who pledged her loyalty to Naomi, would be the person who would help bring everything back to Naomi as Boaz claimed his kinsman-redeemership and marries Ruth. This would then return everything to Naomi's family as through Ruth marrying Boaz, they retained their family name. Not only that, Ruth then would give birth to a son and name him Obed. Obed would then be the father of Jesse, who's the father of David, the greatest king in Israel. And we all know who came from the line of David a thousand years later, Jesus.

Don't waste your sorrows. Let's not lose focus on who God is. Let's not tuck down and succumb on our trials and forget what kind of God is. God has promises to us and a few would be he'll work things together for good (Rom 8:28) and in him all things work together (Col 1:17). And we can hold our heads up high in confidence that God is someone who is faithful to his promises (Joshua 21:45, 23:14). Let us not waste our trials and despair and let us look for opportunities where God would be glorified in these gaps in our lives.

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