God redeems the seemingly unredeemable
The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
God Redeems the Seemingly Unredeemable
The book of Ruth is a powerful story of loyalty, love and redemption. The transformative message of Christ lives through this Old Testament story. Ruth’s heritage was one of pagan idolatry. The people of Moab were descendants of the incestuous pregnancy between Lott and his daughters. How could anything good or godly come from Moab?
The story of Ruth and her impact on the history of Christianity would never have come to being had there not been a famine in Judea, forcing many Jewish people to leave the country seeking a place to feed their families. One such family was that of a man named Elimelek, his wife, Naomi and their two sons, Mahlon and Kilion. They left their home in a town called Bethlehem in order to find food and work in Moab. While making a life there, the sons married Moabite women. One of those wives was a young woman named Ruth.
More tragedy befell the family as Elimelek died, leaving Naomi a widow. When the family had been in Moab about 10 years both of the sons died, leaving Naomi childless and both of their wives widowed. It was learned that the famine had ended and there was nothing left to keep Naomi from returning to her hometown, so she decided to return. One of her daughters-in-law went back to her parents at the encouragement of Naomi, but Ruth refused to abandon Naomi. She stuck close to her and returned to Bethlehem as well.
The events which follow involved Ruth marrying a man named Boaz who was a part of Naomi’s family. Boaz was attracted to Ruth because of her beauty and her character. She was a hard-working and godly woman. In their marriage the couple gave birth to a son named Obed, who in turn had a son named Jessie. Jessie had 8 sons, one of whom became King of Israel. His name was David. Yes, Ruth was David’s great-grandma. That is only impressive when you realize that this woman from a heritage of immorality, idolatry and a generally pagan culture became part of the ancestry of Jesus the Christ.
How does that happen? It’s called grace! The coming of Jesus Christ was all about reclaiming evil and transforming it to holiness. Perhaps, when you look at your life and heritage you find yourself far away from God. You wonder how God could ever use a sinner like you. Ruth’s life tells us that anyone willing to the grace of God can experience the transformative work of Christ in their lives. You are never too far away. The Apostle Paul lists the immoral and unchristian lifestyles that had once been part of the culture and lives of the Ephesian Christ followers in Ephesians 2:1-3. They had been dead in their transgressions. In verse 4 he says, BUT because of God’s great love for us, he turned what was dead to life; ultimately seating them in the heavenly realm in Christ.
God specializes in taking damaged, broken and even spiritually dead sinners and creating new, restored, and vibrantly alive followers of Christ.
Never think you are too far away. He is right there to bring you close and to keep you there in Jesus.
This Sunday we will look at our 4th and final February message from the series, PASSION AND PROMISE. It will be called Ruth and Boaz; A Redemption Love Story, based on the book of Ruth. Plan to come and experience the drama, the passion, the romance and the fulfilled promise that God has for you.
Living the redeemed life,