It Is Decision That Determines Destiny

Ruth 1

Adrian Rogers

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Ruth 1

In the midst of some of the darkest days recorded in Scripture, we are given a love story: Ruth’s love story, one which counts for all of eternity. The Book of Ruth is a beautiful example of how decisions determine destiny.

First, this story reveals the principle of willing choice.

Ruth 1:1-2 states that in the midst of a famine in Bethlehem, Elimelech led his family (including Ruth) into the pagan land Moab, which proved to be a deadly decision. We are the sum total of our decisions: we are free to choose, but we are not free not to choose; nor are we free to choose the consequences of our choices.

Adrian Rogers says, “First you make your choice, and then your choice chooses for you.”

Second, this story reveals the problems of a wrong choice.

Elimelech made the wrong choice because he had the wrong motive. He was physically motivated rather than spiritually motivated: seeking refuge from famine in a cursed land.

He also chose the wrong method: walking by sight and not by faith. And to his demise, he served the wrong master by dwelling in enemy territory. This wrong choice resulted in tragic consequences, as Elimelech and his two sons died, leaving Naomi, Orpha, and Ruth as vulnerable widows.

But this story also reveals the power of a wise choice.

After Naomi urged her daughters-in-law to return to their homelands, Ruth’s decision changed the entire trajectory of her life.

“But Ruth said: ‘Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God’” (Ruth 1:16).

Ruth was a cursed, crushed, and condemned woman. But she was given a new hope because she decided to hold onto the God of her late husband’s family—even in their disobedience and their doubt. She was given new direction, dependence, and desires. Her wise choice brought on new devotion to God, a new dedication to Naomi, and a new destiny.

As a result, the maid of Moab married the bachelor of Bethlehem and became an ancestress of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Apply it to your life

There is life and death in every decision we make; choose to hold onto Him, live by faith, and make wise decisions.