Good morning! I’m glad to welcome you to worship today at Hillcrest Baptist Church.
Today we begin a five-week study through the book of Ruth entitled From Barrenness to Blessing. Ruth 1:1 tells us that it was “in the days when the judges ruled,” which means it was during a time when “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25), and that is what we find the family of Elimelech doing when he goes to Moab during a time of famine.
When we search for provision and answers to needs and issues that we face in life, anyplace but the Lord, we often find ourselves in great distress, heartache, bitterness and barrenness, as we discover in chapter 1 (Ruth 1:20). This is how the short story of Ruth begins, but as we will discover, because of God’s plan, He turns barrenness into great blessing.
As we study the book of Ruth, we will find God speaking to our hearts about many things, and especially to those that find themselves in the midst of suffering, heartache, barrenness and even bitterness, and how He desires to move us into His plan and blessing for our lives. As we will learn, Ruth is a story for those that think that great blessings of God could never come into ordinary lives of faith.
So, if you find yourself wondering where God is amid tragedy and heartache, or when it seems “the Almighty has dealt very bitterly” (Ruth 1:20) with you, open your heart and let God speak to you through His Spirit and this refreshing and encouraging book, and when His direction is clear, follow wherever He leads.
In the first chapter of Ruth we discover Naomi and Ruth moving from barrenness to the blessings of God.