Three Tombs in Moab (Ruth #1)

Ruth 1:1-5

A Jewish family moves out of the promised land into Moab to get some relief from the famine in the land.  Elimelech has in mind to weather the storm briefly and move back to Bethlehem when the famine passes.  But that all changes.  Elimelech takes his family to Moab not knowing that this family will never return to Bethlehem Judah.  All of them will die outside of the will of God except his wife Naomi who will return home a widow.

They set out to find greener pastures, but weren’t planning on burying the family in a foreign a land outside the will of God.  Three tombs in Moab: Elimelech, Mahlon, and Chilion.  Those were the three people who died, but those three tombs represented three spiritual tombs.

Tomb of Good Intentions

  • sojourn, continue, hardened by dad’s death, took them wives, dwelled
  • Good intentions are common.  Most of us start out with good intentions.  In fact, I’d go so far to say that most of the evil in the world is done and justified with good intentions.
    • “My heart is in the right place.”  The philosophy of I can do anything I want to as long as my heart is in the right place.
    • Good intentions don’t mean anything if they don’t lead to good actions.
  • Proverbs 20:11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
    • No participation trophy.  We’re just glad you played the game.  Here is your 17th place trophy.  Remember watching an awards ceremony that went through 12th place.
  • Bargain with God – Use our good intentions to bargain with God’s instruction.
    • Holy Spirit of God says witness to that person and we say Lord, they really look busy and I don’t want to bother them.
    • Holy Spirit of God says I want you to stop that sin.  Go and sin no more.  We say, yea but what’s happening makes more sense financially.
  • Saul was a master at bargaining with God based on his good intentions.  Told to destroy the Amalekites out of the land and the animals.  Samuel comes to Saul what meaneth this bleating of the sheep?  Saul said that he disobeyed because he wanted to keep the best animals alive to offer as a sacrifice.

 

Tomb of a Godly Heritage

  • Elimelech is the reason his family is out of the will of God
  • If you were to die, what will your children think of Jesus Christ? The Bible? The church?
    • As a result of your influence on your family’s lives, what would they think about these things?
    • Have you given them any influence that would benefit their relationship with the Lord in your absence?
  • Elimelech is the reason his children miss the blessing of God
    • This man is the reason his family is in the bad shape it is in
  • Parenting is creating an environment suitable for growth because there is no “silver bullet” guarantee.  Jacob and Esau were raised in the same home.  These are things you do to create a godly heritage in no particular order.  It’s like planting a garden.
    • Establish real boundaries.  God had set Elimelech in the promised land and his portion was in Bethlehem Judah.
      • Ignoring your child is NOT clear communication.  Be clear.
      • Address things with grace and truth.
      • Let your child know their role as a child.
      • Set apart – highlights purpose.  Children are happiest when they know they’re being raised for early emancipation.
      • People are happy when they know what the expectations are
      • Boundaries are good things
    • Remove obstacles that will impede growth.
      • We are much more influenced than we think.  God told Israel to remove every remnant of the previous culture out of the land.
      • Take down the pictures.  Burn the groves and the idol.  Kids in front of a screen all day WILL have an affect on them.  It has an affect on adults.  Can you imagine growing up and that’s all you know?
      • Israel was to possess the land, not the land possess Israel.  But that’s what happened is Israel became possessed by the culture.
      • Your example will either excuse sin for your children.  What they watch you do in moderation, they will do in excess.  Elimelech sets the pace and the boys follow his example and more when they marry Moabite women.
    • Plant what needs to grow
      • Help them develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through devotions and private prayer.
      • Help them understand service to the Lord and to others.
      • Help them do the one thing God tells children to do: Obey your parents.
      • Help them understand responsibility, hard work, and good character.
      • We don’t plant because we’re lazy.  Every parent has a desire to see their children grow up to do more and be more than they are.  But showing up to church for prayer meeting in the middle of the week, that’s too much to ask.
    • Water it – Prune it – Spend time with it
      • Keeping watch to preserve what’s been done already.
      • This can range from scheduling time together
      • Prayer
    • Prepare to enjoy the fruit
      • Come apart before you come apart.  Don’t schedule burnout.
      • Joy is always the expected end of some pursuit.
      • God made the sabbath for a reason.

Tomb of God’s Blessing

  • Quit being surprised when you’re faced with a conflict that takes you out of the will of God
  • tempted to do something good like feed his family
    • James 1:14, drawn away of HIS OWN LUSTS
    • good man is tempted to do good
    • bad man is tempted to do bad
    • intellectual man is tempted intellectually
    • you can’t be tempted with something you don’t care for
  • it works by intimidation
    • you’ll starve and everyone else will starve if you don’t go
    • don’t you want to make more money for your family
    • take this job offer
    • you need God’s word on it—He told them to inherit the land, Stay there!!
  • it works by pressure
    • Elimelech is ready to leave this promise land to head back to the wilderness—the pressure is put on him w/o the promise of God in Job 5:20 being set before him as well
  • it works by convenience
    • Elimelech was only planning on staying until the famine passed, but he continued there
    • Moab is CLOSE to the promise land, I can go back when I want to… why should I uproot my family again and move back
  • Boast not thyself of tomorrow for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.  We’ll schedule to be out of the will of God for a season and then once we get our head above water we’ll get right back into it.
    • Elimelech had no idea this temporary move out of the will of God would be permanent and would start a series of disasters that would leave his family wrecked.
    • If you’ve taken some steps out of the will of God, there is no guarantee you’ll ever get back.  Getting back in the will of God is not a momentum or a predetermined outcome.  Getting back in the will of God will be a decision you make.