There Is No “Them”

November 18, 2023   /   Brian T. Anderson   /   Vineyard Church North Phoenix

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
There Is No “Them”

I. Introduction

A. Ruth 1:1-5 (NLT) 1In the days when the judges ruled in Israel, a severe famine came upon the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah left his home and went to live in the country of Moab, taking his wife and two sons with him. 2The man’s name was Elimelech, and his wife was Naomi. Their two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. And when they reached Moab, they settled there. 3Then Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons. 4The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth. But about ten years later, 5both Mahlon and Kilion died. This left Naomi alone, without her two sons or her husband.


2. Elimelech – – “God is

3. Naomi – – “ or lovely”

B. Ruth 1:6 (NLT) Then Naomi heard in Moab that the LORD had blessed his people in Judah by giving them good crops again. So Naomi and her daughters-in-law got ready to leave Moab to return to her homeland.

1. In our culture, we forget that food really is a .

C. Ruth 1:8-9 (NLT) 8But on the way, Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back to your mothers’ homes. And may the LORD reward you for your kindness to your husbands and to me. 9May the LORD bless you with the security of another marriage.” Then she kissed them good-bye, and they all broke down and wept.

1. “Love” is to will the of another person—as God defines good in their life.

2. The only thing Naomi can give them is freedom from the of having to care for her. So that’s what she gives them.

D. Ruth 1:11-14 (NLT)  11But Naomi replied, “Why should you go on with me? Can I still give birth to other sons who could grow up to be your husbands? 12No, my daughters, return to your parents’ homes, for I am too old to marry again. And even if it were possible, and I were to get married tonight and bear sons, then what? 13Would you wait for them to grow up and refuse to marry someone else? No, of course not, my daughters! Things are far more bitter for me than for you, because the LORD himself has raised his fist against me.” 14And again they wept together, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye. But Ruth clung tightly to Naomi.

E. Ruth 1:15 (NLT) “Look,” Naomi said to her, “your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods. You should do the same.”

F. Ruth 1:16-17 (NLT) 16But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!”

1. Ruth was betting everything on !

2. Ruth does what only an person would do!

G. Ruth 1:18 (NLT) When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more.

H. Ruth 1:22 (NLT) So Naomi returned from Moab, accompanied by her daughter-in-law Ruth, the young Moabite woman. They arrived in Bethlehem in late spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest.

I. Ruth 2:1-2 (NLT) 1Now there was a wealthy and influential man in Bethlehem named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi’s husband, Elimelech. 2One day Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go out into the harvest fields to pick up the stalks of grain left behind by anyone who is kind enough to let me do it.” Naomi replied, “All right, my daughter, go ahead.”

1. When God’s people are at their best—it’s the people who are on the margins—the people without —who get blessed!

2. All of this was to be done in order for the to be able to come along and benefit from that.

J. Ruth 2:8-9 (NLT) 8Boaz went over and said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don’t go to any other fields. Stay right behind the young women working in my field. 9See which part of the field they are harvesting, and then follow them. I have warned the young men not to treat you roughly. And when you are thirsty, help yourself to the water they have drawn from the well.”

1. In our fallen condition as human beings, we’re always sending people signals. “Do I think you’re one of —or do I think you’re one of ?”

2. For God—when He looks at the world—there is no “.”

3. In the ancient world, only the Israelites were told by God to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That was to Israel!

K. Leviticus 19:33-34 (NLT) 33“Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. 34Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”

1. God’s intent is to bring people together in love!

L. Ruth 2:17 (NLT) So Ruth gathered barley there all day, and when she beat out the grain that evening, it filled an entire basket.

1. That might be an entire salary for a normal worker.

M. Ruth 3:10 (NLT) “The LORD bless you, my daughter!” Boaz exclaimed. “You are showing even more family loyalty now than you did before, for you have not gone after a younger man, whether rich or poor.”

1. And part of what was so beautiful about this story is that Ruth and Boaz are drawn to the of one another.

2. “What’s this person’s like?”

N. Ruth 3:16 (NLT) When Ruth went back to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “What happened, my daughter?” Ruth told Naomi everything Boaz had done for her.

O. Ruth 4:21-22 (NLT) 21Boaz was the father of Obed. 22Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David.

1. It turns out that King David—the greatest King of Israel—is not a pure-blooded Israelite! He’s part !

2. It happened because Ruth did something with her life!

3. Jesus was part “.”

II. Conclusion


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