God’s Care: Resilience, Part 3 (#949)
Good morning. We’re going to continue our series today on God’s care for use, which we’ve been doing throughout 2018. And the last few sessions we’ve talked about God’s care leading to us having great resilience. Because God cares for us, we can bounce back from difficult situations. We can have comebacks; we can have turnarounds, they are some of the terms used in business and in sports and things. You’ll see a great athlete who has disappeared for a number of years and all of the sudden he’ll have a come-back and start doing well again. Or a company that was really doing poorly, that will re-organize, re-do how they work, and all of the sudden they will being doing well. Well the same with our lives. We can be very resilient and no matter how tough things get, our lives can turn around we can have a great come back and we can be better than ever.
One example I haven’t put in here and we probably won’t cover in this session is Job. Now there are a lot of challenges about reading the book of Job, but the one thing that is very clear is that he was doing well, and then he was doing very, very poorly. But then he came back stronger than ever. And so, we need to keep that in mind when we have a set back in life, that just because we have a set back, it doesn’t mean that it is the end of our lives, it just means that the way life used to be may be done, but it doesn’t mean God’s done with us and it doesn’t mean He won’t have great things ahead. They may just be very different than the way they were before. But they will be wonderful if we keep looking to God.
And this is part 3, in the first two parts we read about Ahab, Hezekiah, and spent a lot of time focusing on the apostle Paul and the challenges he had when he went to Jerusalem. And the great thing about reading about Paul is that he went there against the will of the Lord. God warned him what was going to happen, he went anyway, he got in a big mess, but God still bailed him out and got him out of there. And Paul continued for many, many years to help God’s people and he received the revelation for many of the church epistles that have so many great truths about this age of grace in which we live, and the body of Christ, and the manifestations of holy spirit, and so many great things. Much of that great revelation was given to him while he was imprisoned in Rome. So, the fact that he disobeyed what God had told him and got in a mess, didn’t end his life or didn’t end his ability to help people. He just did it in different ways. Instead of being able to travel around the Mediterranean and visit the Churches in person, God gave him the revelation to write letters, which became the Church Epistles. And he was able to help many believers in his fellowship there in Rome.
So, things happen in life and we all have a rather bad habit, so to speak, of wanting things to stay just as they are. I shouldn’t say it is a bad habit, it is nice when things are the way you want them it is great to want them to stay that way. But they can’t always stay that way because people have freedom of will and as much as God wants to bless us and can bless us, He can’t control people’s freedom of will. So I could be in a wonderful situation, where everything is just the way I want, but if various people, perhaps including me, perhaps not including me chose to change that situation, so I can no longer enjoy it. Nobody can do anything about it, except the person that chose to change it. But that doesn’t mean God stopped, because He’ll come back with something else.
Remember that record of Elijah? I’m not sure we’ll get into it in this series of teachings, but we get into it from time to time, where God went to the prophet Elijah and said: ‘pray that it won’t rain until I say so.’ So he prayed that it wouldn’t rain and it didn’t rain for a couple years. And the king of Israel, probably Ahab at that time, got all mad and sent people around to find him and kill him. But God hid him. God hid him and told him to go live by the brook Cherub, then that the ravens would feed him and the ravens came and fed him and he was fine until the water ran out. And He said: ‘go to Tyre and see this widow woman and she’ll take care of you.’ So he gets there and the widow woman only has enough food for one small snack for her and her son, yet God stretches that food so that the woman, her son, and Elijah eat for many days, until the rains come back. So the point is: things are different. If Elijah has spent all his time saying: ‘Gosh, I wish God hadn’t told me to pray and I wish we never had this drought; I wish things were like they were before,’ that would have been fruitless because things weren’t the way they were before. Or if he got by the brook Cherub and he got all comfy there, made a little campsite and loved it, and then that ended because the brook dried up and he spent all his time saying: ‘Gee, I wish I could stay here by the brook.’ That wouldn’t work. So, he did what God said and went to Tyre and met the widow woman and she took care of him.
So things will change. And rather than spending too much time trying to hold on to what is gone, we have to look to God and look to what is next. Again, I’m not encouraging us to have loss in our lives, I’m encouraging us to hold on to good things that God gives us, but there are time where there are situations beyond our control where the stuff we’ve had we can’t have. Whether its the financial situation, whether it is physical, material stuff you have, whether it is a relationship with a person or a group; these things change. But God will always be there.
And you will find through out your life that people are going to come and go, but God will be there. It is great when people stay with you, I love it, I’m all for it. But I’ve just found in my life and seen that many people are going to come and go; there here today and gone tomorrow. So cherish the ones that stay with you and the situations that continue to work. But the ones that go and are no longer available, just let them go. Be thankful that they were there as long as they were there. Look fondly on the good parts of them, but let the bad parts just go away and pray that God will open new doors for you, with new people and new situations. And God always will.
And the book of Ruth is one of the most extreme examples of a woman who literally lost everything, but came back unbelievably strong because she looked to God. So with that not so brief introduction, let’s go to the book of Ruth, chapter one…
As taught by Bruce Mahone, 20180805. All rights reserved.
Verse Listing and Notes
Ruth 1:1-18; (ch. 2-4) 4:13-22: Ruth chose the true God. Kinsman redeemer. Mat. 1:5.
Understanding eastern customs during this period, often referred to as Orientalisms will greatly aid in understanding. Bishop Pillai’s work can aid here (http://www.biblecustoms.org/bishop-kc-pillai/old-and-new-testament-orientalisms/ruth)
Ruth 3:7 They drink at the end of a meal (coffee or milk), does not necessarily mean liquor. Threshing floors are always on a high, rocky place. Oxen and buffalo walk on the grain to crush it down. The mouth of the ox should not be muzzled. The laborer is worthy of his hire. Work is always done at night by moonlight. No women are allowed at night. The owner comes and sits on a pile of corn in the corner.
Ruth 3:9 She lay down at his feet as a sign of submission, surrender. She was asking him to redeem her, marry her. She asked him to spread his mantle (not skirt) over her. In doing so, he was showing protection, promising to marry her.
God’s Care: Resilience, Part 3 (#949)
God’s Care: Resilience, Part 3 (#949)