Intro: Ruth begins with a tragedy and concludes with victory. This is the account of how God saved Ruth, a Moabite girl, from death and darkness and added her to the Israel covenant people. It is the tale of how this lady was changed from a lost delinquent to a predecessor of the Master Jesus Christ. The story is about a sinner who is pursued by grace.

This section opens with three widows, Naomi and her two little girls in-regulation, Orpah and Ruth. These three widows have recently lost their spouses. They are now homeless in Moab, Utah, with little or no hope for the future. Moab was home to Ruth and Orpah, but Judah was home to Naomi. She was a Jew and she knew the Ruler. Additionally, she had no right to be in Moab, also known as "God's washpot.", Psa. 60:8. Moreover, the term "washpot" is utterly demeaning! God says that by referring to Moab as this, he means that they are not only lower than the lowest slave, but also comparable to the pot that slaves use to wash the feet of superiors. Verses 6-7 now reveal that she is determined to return to the location where the Lord was blessing His people after her husband's death.

In this passage, the Bible shows us three women. Three women who are widows because they are paying the price for sin are in a terrible situation. Three tombstones in a pot called Moab are all that Naomi has left to show for her time in Moab. We can learn a lot from their response to their situation about how we should respond when we are separated from the Lord and in trouble as a result of our sin. As we consider the idea of "Three Widows in a Washpot," let's take some time this morning to look at these three women.

I. V. 8, 13, "ONE WIDOW IN PLACE OF DEFEAT" (Naomi is a representation of a child of God who has become clod and abandoned the Lord!)

A. V. 13b: The reason why she lost: verses 1 through 5. Sin always comes with a steep price! Gal. Ill. 6:9; Pro. 13:15) A child of God returning to the world will never accomplish anything good!

B. V. 8-13a The Totality of Her Despair - As you listen to Naomi's words, it is clear that she is completely defeated and without hope.

1. V. 8-9: There's No Hope for the Present: She doesn't have anything to care for her or her daughters-in-law. She does not have a home or income. She can only rely on the Lord. She is unaware of it now, but He is always sufficient!

2. V. 11-13a, "No Hope for Tomorrow" - Even her prospects are dim. She doesn't have a husband, she won't have any sons, and the only things she can look forward to in her life are sorrow and pain at the price she paid for her sin! She is referring to the Levirate marriage law, Deut., when she describes her future. 25:5. ( Note: Naomi prioritizes the material over the spiritual in her life. Your order of priorities and notions of right and wrong are always distorted by sin, Isa. 5:20.)

C. V. v. 8–9, 15 The Effects of Her Loss: Ruth and Orpah were actually encouraged by Naomi to return to their sinful ways and pagan gods. She reprimands them that they will be better in Moab. In Israel, they might not be accepted. They will track down spouses of "their own sort." She has completely lost her capacity to be an effective witness for God's glory. Naomi is evidence of reality that a miserable and sin debilitated devotee is an unfortunate notice for the Gospel, Phil. 1:27; Matt. 5:13-16. ( Note: It is against the law for any child of God to prevent others from coming to Jesus Christ. We are supposed to try to get them in, not keep them out!)

II. One widow in the place of departure, verses 14–15 (Ill. Orpah is a representation of a lost person who looks into the things of God but returns to a life of sin without believing in them or accepting them.)

A. She Came Back to Her Family—Family ties and affections frequently prevent some people from receiving the Lord.

B. She Returned to Her Religion: It is clear that, despite everything she had seen and heard about the God of Israel, she continued to worship her own gods.

C. She Got back To Her World - Orpah couldn't ever have been blissful in Israel. In her heart, she was still completely attached to Moab! The tragedy of a church member who died!)

(Note: The person who is a "mere professor" of faith in the Lord is represented by Orpah. She left the light and hasn't been heard from since. Psa, it's not hard to figure out her eternal fate. 9:17. John 14:6 says, "Friend, don't turn your back on Jesus; He is your only hope.")

III. V. 15-18 ONE WIDOW IN THE PLACE OF DECISION (Ill.) Ruth is a representation of a lost sinner who examines the things of God and accepts them by faith. She is a genuine owner. She becomes a member of God's family and vows to abide in Him forever!

A. V. 16a Ruth Decides to Follow - Ruth decides to follow Naomi no matter what, even though Naomi has nothing to offer her. It was clear that something had worked in her heart! She demonstrates without a doubt that God will speak to the hearts of sinners regardless of what His people do. Note: People who love God even when He doesn't give them anything, praise God! Note: How significant was this choice? It decided that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of Jesus.)

What have you chosen concerning Jesus?

B. V. 16b Ruth Chooses With a supernatural conviction - She takes on another family and another Ruler with conviction. Because she had faith, she got a new Lord and a new life! Note: At Calvary, everything changes! 2 Cor. 5:17; Luke 4:18; Rom. 6:6 - We are new and free in Jesus!)

C. V. 17: Ruth Makes Her Decision: She makes a total commitment that lasts until death. She walks with the Lord every second of every day that she has left. There would be no turning back for her! Note: At any rate, what's back there? Demise, Rout, Haziness and doom!)(Note: Matt, genuine Christianity necessitates total devotion. 16:24; Luke 14:26-27, 33.) Is all of you His? Are all of you His?)

Conc: Which of these poor widows most accurately reflects your current situation? Are you like Naomi, a person who knows the Lord but needs to go back to the blessing place? Could you be an Orpah if you've investigated the things of the Lord and decided not to follow them—rather, you've prioritized your own life and sin over the will of God? Or, like Ruth, would you have decided to follow the Lord no matter what until He brings you home? Which of these ladies best addresses the everyday routine you are experiencing at present?

Assuming you are saved and away from the Master, I welcome you to return home. I invite you to receive Jesus today if you are lost and considering a life of faith. I invite you to worship, praise, and express gratitude to Him for His grace if you are saved, secure, and settled.