The Then & There And The Here & Now – An Analogy Of Ruth: Sermon By Professor Ozoemena Tobias
And they took wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They dwelt there about ten years.Ruth 1:4 (AMPC)
The peculiarity of a people is in their ability to define themselves.
Out of this infinite but qualitative element will rise individuals who will rise in the place of the Government of Kenya.
Life is about complex metamorphosis that we try to interpret. It has some fate and providence. We realize that we cannot rationalize everything.
Three things are needed to succeed: wisdom, knowledge and understanding. If there is anything to get, we are to get understanding. You need to know how to apply, when to apply it and where to apply it.
The vision of Infinite Fellowship Ministries can be summarized as a finite person having the ability to interact with an infinite being to understand abstract things.
The book of Ruth was written in the time of the judges. The people would cry to God when they were in iniquity and would then return back to their sin once they have been saved from judgment.
The story was to declare that God has a universal relationship with the people such as in Acts 10.
It was not Israel who discovered who God is. In Genesis 1:1-11, God was revealed in other cultures before Israel knew about Him.
Where you are from is organized in a manner to prepare you for where you are going.
We can be slaves of religion that has no proper power but we run with it. The book of Ruth declared that God was not just a God for Israel. Israel tried to monopolize God.
Moab was considered a product of incest and carried the stigma of rejection – Genesis 19. We are a product of five generational infusions. God did not care how they were treated. He was still active in their lives.
Beth means house. Bethlehem– a noun conjugation that means House of Bread.
There is a time when bread can be scarce in the House of Bread.
Elimelech means God is King. The meaning of this was a revelation of what the king knew in his transaction with God.
“In the name of Jesus” is not a signature that God is there. We need to understand the deeper meaning of what Jesus’ name is.
Prayers of self-pity rather than faith will not work. In Jesus’ name, means we are to submit prayer to the litmus test of the mission and vision of Christ and toss it if it is not viable or take it when it is found to be in God’s will.
Beauty and glory are not formed in the womb of convenience.
In Jesus’ name means I have submitted my wants but He knows what I need. Prayers that are made in the place of surrender are those that God answers.
Some of our prayers are unanswered because God is preparing us for an eternal glory. God can use destitute situations to elevate us to places we never would have thought of or imagined.
Using the name of Jesus means you are emptying of yourself just as God emptied of Himself. It means your prayers are measured by the standard of Jesus.
God is not your errand boy but a Father.
There is a time when bread can be scarce in the House of Bread. Eli-Melech moved out of the House of Bread because there was a famine. Fate has a way of making you think you are progressing but you are landing in eternal failure.
As soon as Eli-Melech moved to Moab, he progressed but there is a difference between success and good success.
This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.Joshua 1:8 (AMPC)
He got involved with Ruth but it was not what he thought it would be. Ruth was basking in the euphoria of relationship but later found herself as a widow.
There is the breaking point of an era. We may be a product of hurt and failure, which is not our fault. We are to understand the end of an era.
There are times when we find ourselves in difficult times because God will cause certain things to manifest in us later. When things are not working, we need to see how God is operating in that season.
Not all jobs are for you. There are some gifts which when you accept you make yourself a slave.
People are happy with God when things are working well. There are the things that will not manifest unless the bad thing that happens to us occurs. Pressure from your life can cause people to go to your past.
Pay the price when it is time to do so.
What do we do when our era seems to come to an end of an era? When we think God has forsaken us and we cry out to God and instead of a response from heaven darkness comes?
Naomi decided to retrace her steps. The beginning of an era starts from the end of an era.
Where you are will take you to where you should be and what God is doing is beyond your rationale.
The place of departure from one era to another is a prayerful moment and there is pain involved such the case of a woman in labor. Ruth is dynamic and she saw that Naomi carried what she wanted and did not leave even if she wanted to. We need to understand when an opening is coming.
Do not weep about a closed door because there are several others open. In the spirit, when a door closes others open. God is always working. It is not over.
Naomi’s limitation was not going to be Ruth’s limitation. What limited others will not limit you. We shouldn’t be bound by the mistakes that our fathers found themselves in.
We are distinct people and we should not be jealous of people succeeding in life. Everyone has their time.
A man of faith is a man of now. We are to delink from people who live in the past.
For every place God is taking you, may it lead to wealth.
A journey of faith is a deliberate journey. Take responsibility for every move you make. Faith is a resource material for the future.
Echoes of the past can cloud the sensitivity of the future.
By Ruth’s decision, she walked into a field that she did not know before.
And when she got up to glean, Boaz ordered his young men, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. And let fall some handfuls for her on purpose and let them lie there for her to glean, and do not rebuke her. So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned. It was about an ephah of barley. And she took it up and went into the town; she showed her mother-in-law what she had gleaned, and she also brought forth and gave her the food she had reserved after she was satisfied. And her mother-in-law said to her, Where have you gleaned today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who noticed you. So [Ruth] told [her], The name of him with whom I worked today is Boaz.Ruth 2:15-19 (AMPC)
You cannot get what you cannot attract.
Ruth was graduated from a collector of dropped seed to packing the collected seed. Ruth is a type of the Church and though you came from a difficult background, God is moving you to the next level.
While Ruth was labouring, someone noticed her. Boaz saw beyond her past, shame and foundation of her being.
May Boaz notice you in every facet of your life: family, school and work. May we notice opportunities with Boaz. We are to avoid the tendency to treat Boaz as a commoner.
When opportunity comes:
1. Define Who You Are
Who you are has definite answers. Our past, imperialism and some level of religion can make us to be never who we should be.
What we study should give us fulfillment. It should come from the belly of our being.
Slavery in the education system is when you regurgitate what you have been given – Educe. The other system of education is about drawing out – Educa. It looks to who you are and models you. That way everyone is useful.
2. Wash Yourself
Favour is not just with humanity but with Divinity. We are not to disconnect from the source and start to honour the vessel that is showing us favour.
Watch your social circle and perceptions you have. Failure is contagious, watch your company. Break camp from lazy people that talk about things and people.
3. Anoint Yourself
Upgrade. Yesterday you are fine but today, upgrade. Put on the best of your garments. Your best is yet to be seen.
Stepping into now to walk into the future. You were there yesterday, where are you being moved to here and now?
The there and then should not cloud the here and now. If you can capture the now, you can be celebrated tomorrow.
Lot means luggage. It was at that point that Abraham dropped Lot that God gave the revelation in Genesis 13:14. Before then, the revelation was shut up.
The Lord said to Abram after Lot had left him, Lift up now your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward.Genesis 13:14 (AMPC)
We are being called to drop excess baggage.
May God break the connections we have with Lot. May your end be better than the beginning.