Thursday, May 09, 2013

God can use anyone

This week I’m working on a sermon from the Book of Ruth. It’s such a powerful story and worth taking the time to read.

Probably the most famous words in the book are found in chapter 1, when Ruth refuses to leave her mother-in-law, who is about to travel back home. Ruth is urged to stay put, but she won’t.

"Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."

These words take me back to my wedding, nearly 30 years ago. They were a key part of our ceremony and a key part of our marriage still.

The larger picture of Ruth, for me, is God’s redemptive work, where he makes good come from bad. Ruth, who is a Moabite, becomes a believer in the God of Israel.

Moabites were pagans and the enemies of God’s people, yet God brings Ruth into a relationship with Him, using painful and difficult circumstances to do it. In the end, Ruth gives birth to Obed, who fathers Jesse, who fathers King David.

When Matthew, in his first chapter, records the genealogy of Jesus, guess who is there? Ruth the Moabite. She is an important part in the plan of God, which may be surprising.

It shouldn’t be really, though, because God always uses flawed people to accomplish his will.

He can use anyone who will turn his/heart to him, including you and me.

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