March 2015 | Grace Reformed Church
In the book of Ruth, chapter 1, there are four main characters whom we can describe from the point of view of their relationship to the church. There is first Elimelech, who, for material reasons, leaves the church, and there are bitter results in his life. Second, you have Orpah. She is a woman who is exposed to the church, and she rejects it by turning back instead to the worship of her gods in Moab.
When we come to this passage of Hebrews Chapter 12, we come to an image of a great athletic competition, fitting for March Madness, I guess. But it’s not the image of a basketball game, we come to the image of a great race. You have the fans and the witnesses. It says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…” And, as Leith read, he was reading about Abraham from Genesis. In Hebrews Chapter 11, Abraham is mentioned, along with many other saints.
Today we begin a series of messages on the beautiful little book of Ruth in the Old Testament. I call it a beautiful book not simply because of its main character, Ruth, who is a wonderful example of faith and commitment, but it is a beautiful book primarily because it is a book of God’s faithfulness to His covenant. It shows us God’s faithfulness to His promises and to His people.