Thursday Night Bible Study | When Trouble Comes
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When Trouble Comes
When Trouble Comes
~The Story Of Ruth Is Truly An Amazing Look At The Love And Mercy And The Grace Of God.
~Ruth 1:1-5 (The Voice) “A Long Time Ago, When Judges Still Ruled Over Israel And The Land Was Dried Up With Famine, A Man From Bethlehem, Which Ironically Means “Place Of Bread,” Left His Home In Judah To Live As A Foreigner In The Land Of Moab. He Traveled With His Wife And Their Two Sons. 2 His Name Was Elimelech, And His Wife Was Naomi; Their Two Sons Were Called Mahlon And Chilion. They Were Descendants Of Ephraim’s Tribe From Bethlehem In Judah. They Had Settled And Made Lives For Themselves In Moab, 3 But Soon After, Elimelech Died Leaving Naomi In The Care Of Her Sons. 4 Each Son Married A Woman From Moab—One Was Named Orpah, The Other Ruth—And They Lived Together For 10 Years 5 Before Mahlon And Chilion Died Also. Naomi Was Left Alone, Without Her Husband And Two Sons.”
~When Hard Times Come, We Must Decide Whether We Will Be A Student... Or A Victim.
~A Victim Says, “Why Did This Happen To Me?” ~A Student Says, “What Can I Learn From This?”
~A Victim Complains He Is Being Treated Unfairly. ~A Student Thanks God He Is Not Being Treated As He Deserves.
~A Victim Tries To Get Even With Those Who Have Hurt Him. ~A Student Seeks To Serve Others In The Midst Of His Difficulty.
~A Victim Says The Game Of Life Is Stacked Against Him. ~A Student Believes God Is At Work Even In The Worst Situations. ~We Rarely Control What Happens To Us, But We Can Always Choose How We Will Respond.
~1. Hard Times Can Happen At Any Time. ~This Story Took Place After Joshua’s Death And Before Saul Became King. ~The Book Of Judges, Was Not A Godless Time, But A Time When Every Man Did What “He” Thought Was Right. ~Judges 21:25 (NKJ) “In Those Days There Was No King In Israel; Everyone Did What Was Right In His Own Eyes.”
~As Long As The Judges Ruled, The People Served The Lord. ~But When A Judge Died, The Jews Turned To Idolatry.
~It Was A Recurring Cycle Of Obedience, Disobedience, Judgment, Suffering, Desperation, And Returning To The Lord. ~Deuteronomy 28:24 (NKJ) “The Lord Will Turn The Rain Of Your Land Into Falling Dust; It Will Descend On You From The Sky Until You Are Destroyed.”
~2. Hard Times Force Us To Make Hard Choices. ~If You Are Elimelech, What Do You Do When A Famine Impacts Your Family? ~He Took His Family And Moved To Moab Because It Was A Land Of Good Soil And Adequate Rainfall. ~They Settled In The “Fields Of Moab” And Found Plenty To Eat. ~But Soon Elimelech Dies. ~Eventually The Boys Marry Moabite Women, One Named Orpah And The Other Named Ruth. ~But Then, The Two Sons Die And Are Buried In Moab.
~Remember, Verse 1 Says That Elimelech Intended To Emigrate To Moab “Only For A While”. ~But God Was Very Clear That The Israelites Were To Have Nothing To Do With The Moabites. (Read Genesis 19:30-38) ~Deuteronomy 23:3&6 (HSCB) “No Ammonite Or Moabite May Enter The Lord’s Assembly; None Of Their Descendants, Even To The Tenth Generation, May Ever Enter The Lord’s Assembly . . . Never Pursue Their Welfare Or Prosperity As Long As You Live.” ~Elimelech made A Reckless Decision. ~When You Think You Are Smart Enough To Go Against The Word Of God And Still Have The Blessing Of God, You Are A Fool! ~Elimelech Understood The Risk But Thought This Move Was A Temporary Necessity For The Sake Of His Family. ~Remember... Good Motives Do Not Cancel The Impact Of Bad Decisions.
~There Is Real Lesson Here For The People Of God Today... ~The Problem In Israel Was Not The Lack Of Bread.
~The Problem Was The Lack Of Obedience To Jehovah God. ~You Are Free To Have Your Own Opinion, But You Are Not Free To Disobey Without Suffering The Consequences Of Your Disobedience.
~Elimelech Thought He Would Go To Moab, Stay Until The Famine Passed, And Then Come Back Home.
~But Check Out Those Three Graves In Moab. ~That’s Where He’s Buried Along With His Two Sons.
~One Wrong Decision Meant He Never Made It Back Home. ~Elimelech Lost His Life While Seeking A Livelihood, But Instead He Found A Grave In A Place That Was Not His Home.
~3. Hard Times Prepare Us For A Great Work Of Grace. ~Naomi Has Buried The Three Men In The Mountains Of Moab. ~When She Discusses Her Situation With Orpah And Ruth, Naomi Declares That God Has Turned Against Her. ~Ruth 1:13 (NKJ) “...It Grieves Me Very Much For Your Sakes That The Hand Of The Lord Has Gone Out Against Me!”
~1. Naomi Was Bitter: ~2. Naomi Was Disappointed With God: ~Disappointment Occurs When The Actual Experience Of Something Falls Short Of What We Anticipate. ~We Anticipate That A Life With God At The Center Will Be Devoid Of Problems... Or At Least That The Problems We Face Will Be Small And Menial. ~We Don’t Anticipate That Life That Hardships Will Come. ~And So, We Become Disappointed With God.
~Without Knowing That God Has Grace For Us In Every Situation... You Could Write Over Naomi’s Story In Big Letters The Word HOPELESS. ~She Is A Bruised Believer, Brokenhearted At What She Has Lost.
~But God Has Not Given Up On Naomi. ~He Has Big Plans That Are About To Unfold. ~Little Does She Know That One Day She Will Hold A Baby In Her Lap Who Will Be The Grandfather Of King David. ~She Couldn’t Imagine That Her Daughter-In-Law Ruth (A Moabite Maiden!) Will End Up In The Line Of The Messiah. ~Her Sadness Will Be Turned To Joy!
~Give God Time To Work. ~He Knows What He Is Doing Even When We Don’t Have A Clue.
Pastor Gary McSpaddenPastor
Gary McSpadden has been a leader in spreading the Word of God throughout the world through teaching, singing, writing and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ for over 50 years. He and his wife Carol founded Faith and Wisdom Church in April of 2010 with a group of 24 loving, wonderful people in Branson, MO. They continue to lead this growing and thriving group of believers today.
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