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Ruth 1

A Long Line Of Love

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ruth 1:1-22

 

We're told that Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas was a country music fan. He delighted in recounting the titles of his favorite songs. Among them were, "When the Phone Don't Ring, You'll Know It's Me,"

 

"Walk Out Backwards, So I'll Think You're Coming In," and "My Wife Ran Off with My Best Friend, and I Sure Do Miss Him." These gems were found in an album titled "Songs I Learned at My Mother's Knee, and at Other Joints."


One sentimental Country song popular a short time back was titled, "A Long Line of Love." It tells of a young man who is getting married. His sweetheart asks him if he thinks they can make it.

 

His answer is "I come from a long line of love." Then he talks about his parents' marriage and his grandparents' and at the end of each refrain he sings, "Forever's in my heart and in my blood...I come from a long line of love."

Would you think me frivolous this morning if I said to you that Jesus came from a long line of love?

Our message this morning begins with a family of four ” the husband, Elimelech; the wife, Naomi; and their two sons. Like many families today this family was experiencing some economic difficulties.

 

A famine had spread throughout their land, and food was scarce. So Elimelech and Naomi packed up a small U-Haul, if you will, and moved to Moab, where there was more food.


One day, not too long after, Elimelech died unexpectedly.

By this time both sons had met local women and were married. Then both sons died.

All this happened within a relatively short span of time. Naomi was devastated. Opportunities for women in that day and time were practically non-existent.

 

Naomi was left all alone in a foreign country. All she had left were two daughters-in-law. How would she survive?
The only viable option was for her to return to her hometown and hope there would be a place for her somewhere among her relatives.

 

And thus she and her two daughters-in-law set out for the land of Judah. As the three widows began their journey, it occurred to Naomi that it might be better for her daughters-in-law to remain in their own country.

 

So she encouraged them to go back to their mothers' house. They were still young; they could find new husbands and have the security she could not give them. Naomi loved her daughters-in-law, and she wanted to see them happy. Naomi kissed them and the three women wept.

However, Ruth and Orpah, her daughters-in-law, wanted to stay with Naomi. They protested, but Naomi knew that these women would not be accepted by her relatives in her home country because they were foreigners. The law was very clear about such things.

 

No Moabite could enter the household of faith even after ten generations. If her daughters-in-law remained with her, they would never be accepted among her people. So Naomi once again encouraged them to stay in their homeland.

 

She told them that it was absurd for them to follow her, "Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands?" she asked them.

 

Finally, Orpah decided that her mother-in-law was right. It would be best for her to remain in her own country. Ruth, however, still wanted to remain with Naomi.

 

Ruth loved Naomi deeply. It was in this context that Ruth spoke some of the most famous words in all of literature: "Where you go, I will go," she told Naomi, "your people shall be my people, and your God my God."

THE STORY OF RUTH AND NAOMI IS WHAT LOVE IS ABOUT. It is about loyalty and faithfulness and mutual devotion.
it reminds me of my sister and mother when my sisters baby came down with LEUKEMIA she lived to be about three.

she became very ill. She was so critically ill that she had to stay in the hospital for many months. In all those months, her mother ever hardly left her hospital bed.

 

she stayed right with her daughter day and night, displaying an amazing strength which inspired the family and friends.

Eventually she died and i always wondered how she had the strength to hold on like she did…

 

betty was a  young mother but she showed her love by saying without words, "She's my child. I love her more than breathing. She needed me. She needed me as never before. I had to do it. I had to be there for her!"

That's love, isn't it? It's NOT; "I love you for what you can do for me." Or "I'll love you as long as it is convenient." No. It's, "I'll love you no matter what. I'll always be there."

we all know people who have done extra-ordinary things in life that only love could have made them do it….

lindas mother is one of them…. she hung on to linda until she had they victory…after 32 operations on lindas hip…

 

we see mothers hanging on to memory because of sons and daughters having to go to jail…things that makes people question them and their stares are hurtful but yet through it all… mothers never quit loving that child…..

 

and it’s by their sacrificial love that they hold on and hope sometimes against hope…love never quits….

some mother whose child has been diagnosed with a ailment that will be life ending….. a mother will never leave the bed side of her child if at all possible…..

 

they have a clinging love, much like naomi had.love never quits…no matter the circumstances..

faith and values and undying loyalty. that is what love is.

That is what real love is.

I wonder, as young couples stand before the altar and light the Ruth candle in their wedding ceremonies, if they understand the love of Ruth for Naomi?

where you go i go…where you live i live….your god is my god.

Ruth was committed to her mother-in-law even when there was nothing for her to gain and everything to lose.

 

So these two women set out for Bethlehem, Naomi's home town. Naomi's relatives greeted her fondly as they entered the city. But she told them, "Don't call me Naomi. Call me Mara," which means bitter, "for my life has been a bitter one."

The only food Naomi and Ruth had to eat after that was what was left in the farmers' fields after harvest. This system was known as "gleaning." Farmers were not permitted to go over their fields a second time. Whatever was left from the first harvest was to remain for the widows and poor to collect.


One day a relative of Naomi's named Boaz noticed Ruth gathering grain. She was different from the other women, more graceful. Naomi played match-maker and fixed her daughter-in-law up with Boaz.

 

After the wedding, Ruth bore a son in Bethlehem, named Obed, and Obed was the father of Jesse, and Jesse was the father of King David, and David was eventually an ancestor of another baby boy born in Bethlehem many years later named Jesus.

 

Isn't it interesting that in the lineage of Jesus there is a Moabite woman named Ruth? She is there because of her loyalty to her mother-in-law. Do you see now why I say that Jesus came from a long line of love?

AND SO DO WE. That is the heart of our message today. So do we. THAT KIND OF LOVE IS WHAT THE CROSS IS ABOUT. It is about a love that never quits, never gives up, never fails. It is agape love ”

love from the heart of God.

 

It's not, "I love you for what you can do for me;" or "I'll love you as long as it is convenient." It's, "I'll love you no matter what. I'll always be there for you." And you and I are the recipients of that love.

 

There is a red ribbon that extends from our lives all the way back to Calvary. Over the past two thousand years folks just like us have believed in that love, and they've passed that love on.

Through plagues and famines, oftentimes under barbaric oppression, they did not let go of it. And we are the recipients of that love.

We come from a long line of love.
Virginia Duran was born in a migrant worker camp in central California. Her father was in jail, and her mother could not afford her. There was a doctor in the area, also named Virginia, who made sure that there was enough food for the young girl and her mother.

 

That's why her mother named her Virginia: after the doctor who helped feed, clothe and pay the rent for them. As Virginia grew and her family moved, she eventually lost contact with that caring doctor.

Years later, when Virginia was grown, she was visiting Mexico when she saw a picture of a poor girl in the newspaper. At that moment Virginia realized that, if it hadn't been for that one doctor many years before, she could have ended up like the girl in that picture.

 

When Virginia went home she told her sister about the picture. She had decided that she wanted to do something to help poor children. The two sisters traveled to Mexico and found a dusty village filled with migrant children.

 

Many of the children's parents were unwed teenagers or alcoholics. Many of the children were also malnourished and sick. Virginia and her sister helped as many of these children as they could. Today they have 35 children in their care.


As Virginia was taking care of the children one day she suddenly remembered something she had long forgotten.

Doctor Virginia once told her that she, the doctor, had been rescued by a wealthy woman herself.

 

love is in a long line…and

i see that kind of love here in our church..

the naomi kind of love… i see you praying for your children…i see you loving your children.. i see the hopes and dreams you have for them…

 

i see your eyes when you look at your children and state that you’ll always be there…without saying a word…. your children know it and so does your heart…

 

It is the Love that says, "I love you ” not because I need you but because you are you. I will always be there no matter what." That, my friend, is God's love. "Forever's in our heart and in our blood; we come from a long line of love."

 

jesus loves us unconditionally….can we get away with anything less?

 

Verse of the Day

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” -Romans 12:4-5 Listen to chapter Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica

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