Friday, June 17, 2005

Studies in Ruth (3)

God's rescue is much more than a rescue
When God rescues a person he does things in their life far beyond what they could ever imagine. When you turn to God for forgiveness and for rescue there is no knowing what he will do with our lives.

He doesn't make us perfect instantly. We're going to see that over the next few studies. But when you place your life in God's hands you never know what's he will do with you.

Right at the very heart of this book stands an outcast, an enemy. The Moabites were far beyond the covenant. They were about as unlikely a group of people to turn to God as there could be.

But right at the very centre of this book is a Moabite. And the writer wants us to know it. Seven times he refers to her as the Moabitess.

Here we see the wonderful breadth of God's redemption. There is no-one beyond the pale. No-one too bad. No-one who deserves it less than anyone else. None of us deserve salvation. We are all utterly equal on that point.

But it goes much further than that. Not only is she redeemed, rescued. But God has a part for her in his great plan of salvation. That's why the book ends the way it does. It isn't a list of credits at he end. But a family tree. And Ruth is the great-granny of King David. But more than that when you look at Matthew ch 1 she is one of four women mentioned in the family line of David's greater son - Jesus, the Messiah.

Ruth the outcast, Ruth the nobody is used by God in the salvation of many.

Here is something to stir our hearts. We may be ordinary people living ordinary lives, but we have an extraordinary God who can work through us in ways that we can't even begin to imagine.

When Ruth left Moab, she had no notion where it would lead to. Even in this life when she gave birth to Obed, she had no concept of his grandson David becoming King. And she certainly had no idea that 1100 years later the Messiah would be born to the line of David. But she does now. And who knows what mysteries Heaven will reveal to us

Here is what the book of Ruth teaches us. God's plan of redemption is immense in its scope. Not only does it over all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds, but God uses those same people in the most magnificent of ways.

The simple lesson is this - when God redeems anyone - he has a task for them to do. And their past is irrelevant when it comes to being used by God.

But how can we be part of this great rescue plan?

Naomi returns with not even the faintest shred of hope in her. Her only hope was that someone would marry her. And who is going to want to marry an elderly destitute pauper? She hasn't a hope.

She has no notion what God will do.

But she returned. She threw herself back on God. This return isn't just a return to home. It is a return to God. A throwing of herself on the mercy of God. And some of you have made choices, and they have had an impact on yourselves and your families spiritually. Is it too late? Come with Naomi and Ruth and throw yourself on the vast mercy of God. Who knows what he will do.

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