A Mother’s Heart

How God Mold’s a Mother’s Heart

Ruth 1, 4

DATE: 14 March, 1999   AM                  Mother’s Day         PLACE: BBC Blarney


I.         Introduction (Eph 6:2)


A.      We all need to honour our Moms, and to do this, we need to understand them

B.       When people read the Book of Ruth, the focus is usually on Ruth herself, and the miraculous events that transformed her life

C.       But there is a another woman there, a mother, whose life is also transformed. Her name is Naomi. Her life is used by the Lord to show us a Mother’s heart


II.       Background


A.      There was famine in land of Israel - wheat, barley, and other crops died out

B.       Lots of people were very hungry - worried about where to get food!

C.       A man named Elimelech, newly married to Naomi decides to go to a nearby country called Moab where there is the promise of food – so he takes his young wife with him - forgets to pray and see what God wants him to do.

D.      They end up living in Moab for a long time – over 10 years!

E.       Everything seems OK at first - but then things began to change – things that only God can use to mould and fashion Naomi’s heart into a Mother’s heart!


III.     Message - A Mother’s Heart (Ruth 1, 4)


A.      A Mother’s Heart Collects a Lot of Trouble (Ruth 1:1-5) – Part of Life. This occurs even when we do right, and believe God, and obey His word (which is less times than we think)! Not talking about a hobby, but a series of events that seemed to just accumulate in her heart (Luke 2:19; 2:51)


1.        Naomi collected Financial Troubles – Famines mean:


a.       No work for people – agriculture was the backbone of the economy

b.       No food – in famines people spent everything just to buy bread

c.       No where to turn – no government programs – just God! Just hard to keep our focus on Him when our stomach is growling (Matt 4:4)


2.        Naomi collected Family Troubles. She wasn’t collecting these as a hobby – it was just happening, and it was filling her heart all along (same with Job’s wife) – I think this affects a Mother the hardest!


a.       Husband got out of will of God – leaves Israel for something better

b.       Husband then dies

c.       Her two sons have now married women of the area, who were not even believers in God, but were idolatrous


3.        Naomi collected Faith Troubles. Troubles with confidence in the Lord.


a.       She wanted to believe God, and be strong in her faith – just struggled

b.       It got hard for her to believe God was still on her side

c.       It was even harder for her to see her way back to God


4.        Naomi collected Future Troubles


a.       Her two sons die (1:5)

b.       Everything she could have relied upon now was gone


5.        Her heart was accumulating a lot of troubles for sure – it is the same with most every woman still today, and especially every Mom!


B.       A Mother’s Heart Protects Others from Trials (1:6-8)


1.        She still has two young ladies relying on her – her daughters-law: Orpah, and Ruth

2.        A mother’s heart is programmed to protect, and so she sets out to help these two girls learn from her mistakes


a.       Tried to protect them from ignorance


1)       Naomi learned some things along the trail – some the hard way

2)       She takes the time to pass on the lessons of life – didn’t leave it to the schools, or the church, or the neighbourhood kids!

3)       Naomi had a close, communicative relationship with these girls


b.       Tried to protect them from pride – pride keeps people out of heaven


1)       Pride keeps people from doing anything because of stubbornness, and protecting their image – would have kept them trapped there in Moab – many a man gets immobile because of pride!

2)       She decides to set the example, and humble herself. She decides to head back home – as humiliating as that will be

3)       Do you know why most of our kids are so stubborn and proud? Because they see it in their parents – no godly examples!

4)       Parents MUST get back to conquering pride (1 Pet 5:5)


c.       Tried to protect from false hopes - grass not greener on other side


1)       Like the land of Moab had been – followed their eyes and heads

2)       Naomi wishes these two daughters-in-law the best, and encourages them both to go back home


a)       Naomi is not the person to hang around – she was not the one to trust in! She had learned that, by having trusted her husband before, and trusting in Moab!

b)       Naomi wanted these two girls to lean on the Lord! That is the greatest protection you can provide people!


C.       A Mother’s Heart Affects Her Family for God (1:8-18). There is no greater mission field than our family first!


1.        Naomi had instructed even these daughters-in-law about her Lord (1:8)


a.       These two girls were Gentiles – not Jews – so were idolators

b.       Talked to these two girls as though they knew about the Lord – should not be a crash course in Bible studies (2 Tim 1:5; 3:15)

c.       Evidently, her home was not like all the other homes, where God, and Jesus, and hell were not curse words, but serious words!


2.        Naomi was now warning them about straying from God’s word and will


a.       The fear of the Lord is the FIRST thing everyone should learn – that God is GOD – not someone we visit on Sundays

b.       Paul preached to everyone he met WARNING them (Col 1:27)

c.       Many Moms warn their kids about drugs, and bad friends, but do they warn kids about hell, about rebelling against God, or being stubborn?

d.       Many Moms instill the fear of Mom – need to transfer the fear of God

e.       We also need some godly Moms who will take responsibility for teaching their kids right and wrong again (Tit 2:1-4)


3.        Naomi was focusing her attention on the important things again:


a.       Focused on Home and Family – when MOMs stop focusing on the home and building the home, it is LOST! That is where our generation is today!


1)       Naomi had been away from home for a very long time (10 years)

2)       But now she knew its importance – time to make things right

3)       These two girls should go home to their houses and families – the greatest things we have beside the Lord, is our family!


a)       Make things right between them and their parents

b)       Make their homes their ministry – place of service


b.       Focused on Church – being with the people of God


1)       Naomi heard that God had blessed His people with food

2)       Naomi knew she belonged back with them, with her people

3)       The same ought to be true with Christians


a)       This church gets together TWO times on Sunday – we ought to ALL be out!

b)       We get together for prayer on Saturday evening

c)       We go soul-winning on Saturday afternoons

d)       We do a lot of things – let’s all get in on it!


c.       Focused on God Himself – in the midst of an idolatrous people


1)       No longer looked at things from the stomach, or from the head, but from her heart, by faith – hungered more for God (Mt 4:4)

2)       She knew it was the LORD this time that was blessing. Before, she and her husband just thought about food, and looked for it, and not for God!


d.       And Focused on getting right with God


1)       No matter what it was going to take, Naomi was going all the way back

2)       This is the only way to get right – full humility and commitment

3)       So many people get away from God, and want to get right, but only a little – just enough to keep them out of trouble! Wicked!

4)       If I fell-out with my wife, I ought to go to the extreme to get back with her – she would expect no less – neither would God!


4.        Naomi next tests their loyalty to the truth of God (1:8-15) – that is when faith becomes real – when we are loyal to God’s word enough to obey it completely


a.       Naomi forces the two girls to stand and walk by faith on their own

b.       Naomi tries to discourage them from following HER


1)       Orpah finally gives up, and goes back to her own home

2)       But Ruth stays (1:16-18) – after 4 admonitions – Why would Ruth cling (cleave) to Naomi – not a convenient relationship


a)       Ruth continuously learned from Naomi - Submitted

b)       Ruth decided to believe in Naomi’s God - Saved


i)         In spite of Naomi’s failures

ii)       In spite of bleak prospects ahead – no more husbands

iii)      Didn’t wait for miracles – just knew Naomi’s God was GOD indeed


c)       Ruth commits herself until her dying day - Settled! Not just until the bad times come – they already had!


c.       This is the same as Elijah did to Elisha (2 Kings 2:1-4)


D.      A Mother’s Heart Can Expect Good Success (1:19-22; 4:13-22)


1.        God works, even when everything else falls apart


a.       Shown by Abraham and Sarah – everything had fallen apart long ago

b.       Shown by Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead

c.       Shown by God using Naomi, and Ruth in bringing the Messiah here – God was at work all throughout these events – same is true with you


2.        God still needed and greatly used Naomi


a.       To give godly wisdom to Ruth – on how to get the right man

b.       For encouragement to Ruth to stay on course with God – even when it seemed to not go right – to follow God’s way!

c.       For even training the NEXT generation – her grandchildren!


3.        God refers to this in Ps 37:37 – the end of the life will be one of peace, and joy, and success. I think we all would wish for that to be true for us at 60, 70 or 80 years of age! Instead of all the regrets, and remorse!


IV.    Conclusion – How to Have A Fulfilled Heart, Mom


A.      Even when your heart has a large collection of troubles

B.       Set out to protect your family from sin

C.       Begin to affect their hearts and lives

D.      Expect God to bless you, and your whole family