The following post, titled 'Making Room', is based on our 'Light of the World Series' across C3 Sydney's 11 locations.
“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 Bethlehem, Judah, went to dwell in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.”
The House of God is the home for every nation, tribe and ethnicity. Christmas is a time when many people come home. As Christians, we have two homes: the one where we reside and church. Christmas is a wonderful opportunity for us to welcome others into the House of God, helping them make it home.
Bethlehem is a special town known as the place where Jesus was born. Bethlehem means “House of Bread” - much like God’s house. There is another significant reference to the town in the Old Testament in the book of Ruth. It’s referenced as early as the first verse in the book as we can see above.
Turn to God in the famine
This verse mentions a famine is in the land. As a result a man, Elimelech, takes his wife and two sons away from the famine to Moab. We’re told in verse 3 that the man dies. He had tried to escape death in Bethlehem but it caught him in Moab. We shouldn’t run from our ‘famine’ as God uses it to build character.
Shortly thereafter, Elimelech’s two sons also died, leaving his wife, Naomi, destitute. In a short period of time she had attended three funerals, uncertain of her future. But she realises there are always consequences to our actions. Moab is not a place where one wants to go.
Whatever situation we are in, the Holy Spirit is able to break all opposition that is trying to destroy our lives. Naomi didn’t blame anybody for her situation, she continued to believe in the Lord and moved with such grace under extremely trying circumstances.
When experiencing a famine in our lives, don’t advertise that you’re experiencing one, as the Lord is doing a work in you while you are in that wilderness. Just like a seed buried in the soil first dies and then begins to bud in the darkness we too should stay rooted in the wilderness until the Lord has finished his work in us.
Ruth, one of Naomi’s daughters-in-law, makes a beautiful statement of commitment to Naomi in V16-17. She is committed to following Naomi wherever she goes.
And so the two ladies return to Bethlehem (v19) at the beginning of the barley harvest (v22). Things begin to work out when we turn around and go back to the place we should never have left in the first place.
There is destiny in the person who decided to return home as evidenced by the fact that Ruth is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus outlined in Matthew 1:5.
Something to talk about:
1. Share amongst each other who you could invite to the Christmas Production on Sunday and/or one of our Christmas Services.
2. Encourage each other, sharing ways you’ve stayed close to the Lord when experiencing a ‘famine’.
3. As we approach the close of Connect Groups for 2018 share amongst each other some of the highlights of the year.