1. The principle revealed in Romans 8:28 is illustrated many times in the Bible. 2. We have seen how all things worked together for good in the lives of: a. Esther b. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego c. Daniel. 3. This lesson is the first of two in which we are examining how all things worked together for good in the life of Naomi, one of the main characters in the book of Ruth. Discussion: I. LET US FIRST EXAMINE THE SETTING FOR THE EVENTS RECORDED IN RUTH
A. (Ruth 1:1a) The events recorded in Ruth took place "when the judges ruled." 1. According to Judges 2:16-19, this was a very unsettled period in Israel's history. 2. It began after Joshua died and lasted until Saul was anointed as king. 3. We learn from Judges 21:25 that Israel lacked a strong central leader. B. (Ruth 1:1b-2) Because of a famine, Elimelech took his family to Moab. 1. Elimelech's wife was Naomi. 2. His sons were Mahlon and Chilion. C. (Ruth 1:3-5) In Moab, Elimelech and his sons died. D. (Ruth 1:19-21) Because of her losses, Naomi was "bitter" when she returned to her home. E. Even though she suffered greatly, . . . II. ALL THINGS WORKED TOGETHER FOR GOOD IN THE LIVES OF NAOMI AND MANY OTHER PEOPLE
A. (Ruth 1:6) God "had visited his people in giving them bread." B. (Ruth 1:7-18) God had blessed Naomi with a devoted daughter-in-law, Ruth. C. (Ruth 1:22b) Naomi returned to Bethlehem "in the beginning of barley harvest." 1. Ruth was able to "glean" in the field of Boaz (Ruth 2:1-3). 2. Naomi was blessed with food to eat (Ruth 2:17-18). D. (Ruth 4:1-9) Eventually, Boaz redeemed everything that had belonged to Elimelech and his sons. E. (Ruth 4:13-22) Boaz married Ruth, and they had a son who carried on a very special bloodline (Matthew 1:5). F. Naomi endured great hardship; however, all things did work together for good in her life as well as the lives of many other people (Romans 8:28).