Sermon 17: FAITH AND BLESSING-THE WOMAN RUTH THE BABY OBED

By Douglas E. Amobi

Famine made residents of Bethlehem-Judah Elimelech, his wife Naomi and their two sons Mahlon and Chilion to migrate to Moab, Ruth 1:2-3. With time Naomi's husband died in a strange land. Naomi's two sons took them wives of the women of Moab. After ten years Naomi's two sons died. Naomi was left alone with her daughters' in-law. She had no choice but to return to Judah because in Moab she had no relatives and she was now old. More important, she had that the Lord had visited his people Israel in giving them bread after the famine.

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In verse 8, Naomi encouraged her daughter s' in law to return to their mother's houses, since their husbands were dead. She also confirmed how they were good to her and her children. But they said in verse 10, "surely we will return with thee unto thy people," but Naomi discouraged them from coming with her to Judah. Orpah one of the daughter's in-law kissed Naomi and returned to her people. In verse 15 Naomi said unto Ruth, "BEHOLD, THY SISTER IN LAW IS GONE BACK UNTO HER PEOPLE, AND UNTO HER gods: return thou after thy sister in law." Now for sure the hand of destiny is at work, Orpah has returned to her gods, in Moab. Remember that Moab is one of the sons of Lot by his daughter after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 19:30-38.

But Ruth decided to exercise her faith by staying with Naomi and her destiny changed by that action. In Ruth 1:16-17, RUTH spoke her FAITH AND CHANGED HER DESTINY; so can any of us, in such a situation. Ruth declared boldly and in faith , "FOR WHITHER THOU GOEST, I WIL GO; AND WHERE THOU LODGEST I WILL LODGE: THY PEOPLE SHALL BE MY PEOPLE AND THY GOD MY GOD: WHERE THOU DIEST, WILL I DIE, AND THERE WILL I BE BURIED: THE LORD DO SO TO ME, AND MORE ALSO IF AUGHT BUT DEATH PART THEE AND ME." These are no ordinary words but a person speaking their faith in the name of the Lord. She capped it by saying THY GOD SHALL BE MY GOD AND THY PEOPLE SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. AMEN. This is how a marriage vow is supposed to sound like; and you can say Ruth was married to Israel and Naomi and Boaz. She showed commitment to the God of Israel and to his people, destiny.

So Naomi and Ruth returned to Judah. Naomi said to her people call me no more Naomi but Mara for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty,--seeing the Lord hath testified against me and the Almighty hath afflicted me. Naomi had a wealthy kinsman of her husband, the man Boaz, with large farms. Naomi told Ruth about it, and Ruth suggested if she could go and glean (picking up left over after the harvesters had passed by) in his farm. In Ruth 2:2 Ruth spoke another word of FAITH, "and glean ears of corn after him in whose SIGHT I SHALL FIND GRACE." This is Faith; remember Hebrews 11:1 now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Ruth was speaking faith and God will honor her because God now sees her as his own, a believer in the God of Israel and not a Moabitess with different gods. Naomi said unto her, go my daughter. They needed food to eat, they came back to Judah empty and poor, only confidence and hope in God was left: but Ruth was like a new believer in Jesus Christ with NEW FAITH WHICH SHE ALWAYS DECLARED.

Ruth gleaned alongside the servants of Boaz, putting her FAITH to work. James 2:20, "FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD."Ruth believed she would find GRACE in the sight of Boaz as she declared to Naomi. If you believe a thing then declare it. Boaz's men loved him and respected him, the reapers when they saw him said, "the Lord be with you; and he in turn said the Lord bless thee." He loved his men and they loved him; both sides remember there is the LORD.

Psalm 11:7

Boaz noticed the damsel and inquired about her and the servant who was over his men told him it was Ruth of Naomi. She made her request to the head servant to glean alongside them, and she had remained with them, works hard and with little or no rest. This testimony pleased Boaz and he said to her, Ruth2:8-9 "go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here----, let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap---,I have charged them not to touch you,--and when thou art athirst, --drink of that which the young men have drawn."

The wheel of FAITH AND DESTINY, have started to roll, FAITH was now beginning to unfold the future and Ruth was going to be part of this. The first blessing is Ruth finding favor in the eyes of the servant of Boaz to allow her glean, now Boaz stepped up the blessing by allowing Ruth to authoritatively glean alongside his men, and commanded her not to glean any other place. He blessed her further by saying when you are thirsty drink the water the servants fetched. Then Boaz said I have heard all about your goodness (what kind of testimonies do you have?) to Naomi since the death of her son, Ruth's husband. How she left her people, father, mother and native land, to a land and people she knewest not. Then Boaz blessed her again and said, "THE LORD RECOMPENSE THY WORK, AND A FULL REWARD BE GIVEN THEE OF THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL UNDER WHOSE WINGS THOU ART COME TO TRUST." What a prayer, what a blessing on Ruth. God has a plan for whosoever walks in FAITH, LOVE AND TRUTH.

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In Ruth 2:14 Boaz blessed Ruth again; saying "at meal time come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar---and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed and left." The FAITH of Ruth in the God of Israel was now beginning to pour on her favor and blessings. This was a woman looking for gleanings to feed Naomi and herself a short while ago; now eating with the reapers, and with Boaz. Faith has her rewards, if you look unto the Lord and are expectant. Ruth was a stranger in Israel, but now living by Faith; in her new God, the God of Israel. Another blessing was poured on her, Boaz said in verse 15, let her glean even among the sheaves and reproach her not.

Ruth's Faith had turned the barrel of God's blessing open and nothing can stop it now. Boaz by the leading of God stepped up the blessing for Ruth, when in Ruth 2:16 Boaz said to his servant, "and let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not." At the end of the day she had gleaned about an ephah (1.1 bushels) of barley. She took the large gleaning home and she also reserved some food for Naomi after she was sufficed in the field. This is God's blessing beginning to overtake Ruth. Faith has her reward. If you trust the Lord like Ruth God will open your doors of blessing step by step.

Boaz was going to winnow his barley and Naomi was wondering about Ruth and a future for the damsel. Then she told Ruth that Boaz was a kinsman who may decide to marry her. In Ruth 3 Naomi told Ruth how to conduct herself on the evening after the winnowing and dinner time; out at the threshing area. Ruth followed all the instructions of Naomi, also in Ruth 3:10-14 Boaz-----"I will do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth." In verse 16 the blessing of the Lord to Ruth increased and magnified; Boaz himself not his servants measured the barley to Ruth, six measures of pure harvested barley, not gleaning, not pouring on the ground on purpose but from the real harvest barrel. This is God honoring Ruth's FAITH and steadily increasing her level and quality of blessing. Trust the Lord and be not weary, wait on the Lord and doubt not. If a Moabite can have FAITH AND BE BLESSED BY GOD, SO CAN YOU RECEIVE THE SAME BLESSINGS.

Matthew 5:6

Boaz in Ruth 4 went to the gate of the city and met the kinsman who had right before him, in company of ten elders. Like the manner of the time and people, Boaz informed them of Naomi, the plot of land to be redeemed, the kinsman was willing to do it; but when he was further told also of redeeming Ruth, (Ruth 4:5 thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance) he refused. Boaz was now free to redeem all of Naomi's including Ruth. So at the end of the day Boaz married Ruth. This was a wonderful blessing of God. Ruth was no more gleaning, no more picking from the ground things left on purpose, no more eating and drinking with the reapers ,no more carrying on her head measured barley. She was now in the house of blessing, and blessing others. Naomi had rest.

The fullness of the blessing was the birth of OBED.

The FAITH OF RUTH BROUGHT THE BLESSING OBED

Obed was the father of Jesse, who was the father of King David. Jesus came out of the line of OBED OF BOAZ AND RUTH. What a FAITH, what a BLESSING; ONLY DESTINY BY GOD CAN BRING THIS OUT. The Lord blesses our every faith we shall reap if we faint not. Naomi received the blessing of God, if you stay around an atmosphere of faith you cannot be left out of the blessing if you believe. Boaz was an honorable man of God who loved his workers and they loved and obeyed him. He allowed God to work through him to be a source of blessing to others. He was a man of integrity, did not take advantage of Ruth, holy towards her. He was used of God to teach Ruth and every true believer how God blesses in stages and progressively. Your blessings may come slowly but progressively if you stay in FAITH. Ruth a stranger to Israel, repented and believed in the God of Israel and in his people and loved their land. Ruth trusted in the God of Israel and followed the guidance of Naomi (Naomi was an example of what teachers, elder believing women and true believers should be to younger Christians and unbelievers) and was blessed with gleaning alongside the reapers, picked from the ground on purpose, gleaned among the sheaves, gleaned from the hands of Boaz, married Boaz and capped with the blessing of the birth of OBED and today she is in the lineage of JESUS CHRIST. This is the height of blessing; God is still blessing and can bless you too. Make sure you are in that spiritual lineage that is through the BLOOD of JESUS CHRIST; our king's man redeemer.

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Read 1st Peter 1:7-9 "that the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: who having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."