Calvary Baptist Church
June 6th Sunday Morning Service
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        April 7, 2021 - 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
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        Prayer Meeting

        April 7, 2021 - 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
      • Bible Trivia
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        Praise Team Practice

        April 28, 2021 - 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Friend Of God
  • Lost in our Sorrow

    During the times in our lives when distress causes us to lose our way, God often places people in our lives to ensure we know He is continually there for us.
    We often are only looking out for the things that we need. We work daily to provide for our families and then when our families are taken from us, we begin to search out what we are to do. Often, we blame God for the place where we are in our distress.
    It is during these times, that the love of another poured out in our lives lifts us up when we see no other way.

    Returning to Family

    There have been times in my own life when great distress has been a catalyst in my returning to God. During those times, having people we know who are familiar to us gives us great comfort and a sense of belonging while we sort out our losses.
    Having family to confide in and people surrounding me during those times is uplifting.

    An Outside Comfort

    However, there are times when family is not close and we have the aid of friends who become closer to us than our family should be. We may have grown believing that family should be the ones that are there for us no matter what.
    When a person outside our family group responds in such a way to show us the kindness we need, it gives us a chance to see God working through others to guide us and direct us to see His providential hand working through all things.
    Whether we like it or not, we learn more when we get something wrong the first time than we do when we are right from the beginning. [E. Randolph Richards (2013). Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes. InterVarsity Press. Retrieved from]
    Ruth 1:14 NASB95
    And they lifted up their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
    Ruth 1:15 NASB95
    Then she said, “Behold, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods; return after your sister-in-law.”
    Ruth 1:16 NASB95
    But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.
    Ruth 1:17 NASB95
    “Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the Lord do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.”
    Ruth 1:18 NASB95
    When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.
    Ruth 1:19 NASB95
    So they both went until they came to Bethlehem. And when they had come to Bethlehem, all the city was stirred because of them, and the women said, “Is this Naomi?”
    Ruth 1:20 NASB95
    She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
    Naomi in Hebrew means pleasantness, kindness, lovely. However, Naomi asks that people call her Mara, meaning bitter.
    Ruth 1:21 NASB95
    “I went out full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has witnessed against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?”
    Ruth 1:22 NASB95
    So Naomi returned, and with her Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in-law, who returned from the land of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.

    Naomi gives Ruth a chance to leave

    After the deaths of the men, Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth are trying to figure out what to do with their lives. Earlier, Naomi had explained there would be too long of a period of time for her daughter-in-laws to wait for other husbands to come along.
    Naomi was under great duress after the loss of her husband. We should also recognize that the familial ties within the Jewish culture of the Old Testament are very different than our culture today.
    There are many times that a generation is considered to have a son and daughter where we would add many greats to the name to indicate exactly where in the genealogy a person is located.

    Naomi’s family had left Bethlehem

    One of the overarching themes within Ruth is the fact that Naomi’s family had left Bethlehem because of a famine. Bethlehem means house of bread yet there was no food to be eaten so the family left.
    While away, Naomi’s sons married foreigners, which was always a point of contest for the Israelites.
    Fulfillment is found when Naomi and Ruth return back towards Bethlehem. Naomi expressed she had left full and returned empty, placing blame upon God in the process.
    Hawk and Baker insist the contrast between famine and harvest must be realized here as well.
    Often, when we believe in our minds that there is something occuring in our life in the immediate present period, we let our feelings override what God has in store for us.
    Yes, there will be times of sorrow, and Naomi’s sorrow should not be discounted. Ruth’s presence with her during her travels proves to be much more than just a traveling friend.

    Turning towards God

    Ruth insists that she is not going to go back to her gods. Her insistence on following Naomi is an indication that she is turning away from her old life and towards a new one.
    Was there a person in your life you turned towards and found God along the way?
    Not only does Ruth insist on following Naomi but she makes a vow. Her certainty in following Naomi is made with the insistence that death would be the only thing which would separate them. Even though both women had lost their husbands, Ruth’s vow that death would be the only separating factor for them is a claim that Naomi is her family now.
    She has no plans on returning to the Moabites. This proclamation for her means that she is giving up everything she knows to be there for her friend no matter what. If it means that she changes her mind to follow the LORD, then she will do so.
    Only when Naomi recognizes that Ruth’s determination will not be swayed does she give in to traveling together back to Bethlehem.
    Hawk and Baker mention “Naomi’s ‘returning’ and Ruth’s ‘turning’ therefore carry deep symbolic resonances. As Naomi returns to Bethlehem, she returns to the land Yahweh has given to her people and to the place of his visitation (v. 6). Ruth’s journey, on the other hand, marks a turning towards a new life, a new community and a new God.”
    Hawk, L. Daniel, and David W. Baker. Ruth, edited by Gordon J. Wenham, InterVarsity Press, 2015. ProQuest Ebook Central, Created from liberty on 2021-06-02 12:23:40.
    Elimelech means God is my king

    Foreshadowing Hope

    At the conclusion of the first chapter of Ruth, we see that there is hope offered in the return of Naomi to Bethlehem. Even though she cannot see it for herself, as she declares that she is Mara, or bitter, the author declares that she has returned from famine to harvest.
    Where she had claimed before that she was empty, Bethlehem, the house of bread, is now full with barley grain as evidenced throughout the rest of Ruth.
    The term daughter-in-law here in the end of Ruth is only used one other time in reference to the custom of kinsman redeemer listed in Deuteronomy.

    Your Circumstances are not Dire

    Wherever you may be now is not the end of your travels. If you have felt that there are times where your journey has left you empty, know that God is drawing you back to Himself. While there are times where you have looked at your situation and thought that you have been afflicted just as Naomi and called yourself bitter due to your circumstances, you should look to the filling of prophecy throughout Ruth.
    Not only are you capable of redirecting your outlook to recognize that God is not the cause of all your trouble, but you can open your eyes to see the friend we have in God along the way.
    Many times, He places the right person alongside us to help us see the good in the world. Just as Ruth clung to Naomi, in times of trouble look for those who are loyal to you.
    Perhaps you find that you are Naomi at times, torn because of the situations you find yourself in. You have journeyed through life surviving and looking out for what you need to sustain yourself.
    However, you may identify with Ruth at times. You were an outsider to the family but connected somehow. Someone you loved dearly needs a friend to be there to travel with. Just as Naomi needed someone to travel with her back towards God, being there for someone often opens up the door for us to recognize true faith.

    Supporting those who Return

    Bethlehem was full with harvest upon the return of Naomi and Ruth. So the church should be upon the return of those who are journeying in their lives. Whether they have gone astray searching for sustenance elsewhere or are just now turning to God, this is where the church provides the food of the harvest.
    As people journey in, we must receive them and fill them with the bread of Life, Jesus.
    Ruth was an outsider from Moab, a country who often fought with the Israelites. Her declaration to follow the God of Naomi is indicative of one who has changed their mind about who God is and dedicating their life to Him.
    The church today must be ready to hand out the bread of life to those who are weary in their journeys. We must also show hospitality to those who are just turning towards God. Later, the hospitality, protection, and guidance from those who truly stood for the love of God in Ruth are a testament to the same affection we should show to those who are struggling to understand the world today.
      • Ruth 1:14NASB95

      • Ruth 1:15NASB95

      • Ruth 1:16NASB95

      • Ruth 1:17NASB95

      • Ruth 1:18NASB95

      • Ruth 1:19NASB95

      • Ruth 1:20NASB95

      • Ruth 1:21NASB95

      • Ruth 1:22NASB95

  • My Savior My God
      • Download

        Prayer Meeting

        April 7, 2021 - 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
      • Download

        Prayer Meeting

        April 7, 2021 - 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
      • Download

        Praise Team Practice

        April 28, 2021 - 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

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