C.A.C SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON.
UNIT II: MAN’S LOVE TOWARD MAN.
October 28, 2018.
WOMEN ALSO SHOWED LOVE.
Ruth put aside her own pains to comfort her likewise bereaved mother-in-law, Naomi. True love puts others first in such matters.
But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you; For whenever you go, I will go; And whenever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16).
As godly and sincere love seeks for the good, comfort and well-being of others (Jude 21). This type of agape love was portrayed and seen in the life of Ruth the Moabitess, a woman who determined to faithfully and sincerely love and stick to her mother-in-law, who found herself in a frustrated and hopeless situation. Ruth quickly laid aside her own pain and unpleasant moment to re-assure Naomi. Esther did not rely only on fasting and prayer but she also rose to action by approaching the king. She defiled the protocol that dictated that one should not appear before the king without his invitation. All for love’s sake.
DAILY BIBLE READINGS
Mon. 22: Abigail Knew, but Still Loved Nabal (1 Sam. 25:2-3a)
Tue. 23: Abigail’s Husband was Callous (1 Sam. 25:3b)
Wed. 24: Abigail’s Husband Enjoyed David’s Magnanimity (1 Sam. 25:4-8)
Thur. 25: Husband was Tested by God (1 Sam. 25:9)
Fri. 26: Abigail’s Unloving Husband Failed (1 Sam. 25:9-13)
Sat. 27: Abigail’s Love Saved the Situation (1 Sam. 25:14-26)
1. God has given women a very tender heart that can be harnessed to demonstrated God’s love in significant ways.
2. A godly love looks forward to the ultimate triumph of truth and shows a steadfast endurance.
BACKGROUND SCRIPTURES: 2 King 4:8-17
AIM AND OBJECTIVES
AIM: To reveal to the learners that God demands everyone to love sincerely and wholeheartedly, women inclusive.
OBJECTIVES: At the end of the lesson, learners are expected to:
i. love, regardless of hurt, pain or discomfort;
ii. learn how to take risk for the survival of others; and
iii. show Christly love in season and out of season.
TEXTUAL SOURCE: RUTH 1:6-19; 2:2,3,11; ESTHER 4;5;7;8
We give God all the glory for the ways He has revealed Himself to us through the previous lessons. In this series, God has been using the lessons to unveil the unconditional, genuine agape love, which God expects, and demands from every believers called by His name, to possess and demonstrate.
In lesson seven, LOVE ACTIONS WITH RESPECT TO DAVID, we were able to see how Jonathan rightly loved David, and how David, in turn, demonstrated love to both his friends and the foes who sought to take his life. Lesson Eight is here as an eye opener on the fact that women also demonstrated love in some very significant, unforgettable ways, in the Scriptures. Among others, we shall be discussing the remarkable charity of Ruth, and then, Esther, both in their different relationships, in their different times.
Despite the sorrowful situation Ruth found herself as touching the untimely serial deaths of her husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law, she refused to forsake her mother-in-law who, was unlike manner, depressed and frustrated. She stood by her till the end.
. Also, Esther was not left out in her love for the Jews who were in a humanly hopeless situation of slavery. She determined to lay down, even her life, for them, and ended up risking beyond expectations to cooperate with Yahweh to deliver the people from the clutches of Haman and his cohorts.
As we study this lesson, may we be accorded a better understanding of the love God expects of us, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
INTRODUCTION TO EACH DIVISION
This lesson is divided into two sections 1 and 2, and each is further divided into A and B respectively;
DIVISION I: RUTH LOVED NAOMI
This section aims at revealing agape — unconditional, godly, pain free and sincere love that Ruth showed toward her mother-in-law, Naomi. She portrayed love wholeheartedly even when it appeared glaring that she was in the same condition (being bereaved) with Naomi, she set aside her feelings to comfort Naomi. That is the height of true love.
DIVISION II: ESTHER RISKED MUCH FOR THE JEWS
This section show-cases how Esther preferred the life of the Jews to her own life. Despite the fact that she knew the danger, implications and the consequence (death) that awaits anyone who appeared before the king in such a delicate time, but she went ahead for the sake of other people’s life.
I. RUTH LOVED NAOMI WHOLEHEARTEDLY
A. DIDN’T DESER NAOMI
B. DID ALL FOR LOVE’S SAKE
II. ESTHER RISKED MUCH FOR THE JEWS
A. RISKED HER LIFE FOR THE JEWS
B. ROSE IN THE PEOPLE’S DEFENCE
I. RUTH LOVED NAOMI WHOLEHEARTEDLY (Ruth 1:6-19; 2:2,3,11)
Ruth finally declared her commitment to Naomi by changing her identity and cultural identity for love’s sake to stay with Naomi.
A. DIDN’T DESERT NAOMI (1:6-19)
Now the two of them went until they came to Bethlehem (v. 19a).
i. vv. 6-9: Naomi (‘pleasant’, ‘Delight’, ‘lovely’) had found herself in an unpleasant, frustrating situation in Moab (vv. 1-5), Hence, she decided to return to Bethlehem, but chose not to go with the daughter-in-laws at least, so that they could stay back and restart their lives in other homes (v. 9) concern for the young women (cf. v. 13).
ii. vv. 10-13: Both Ruth and Orpah indicated their into follow the bereaved mother-in-law, as if they both actually loved her (v. 10). But God allowed their sincerity to be tested (vv. 11-13). Are you sure the love you claim to have for your spouse, children, office, church, etc. would not crash like a pack of cards, if and when tested (1 Jn. 3:18,19)?
iii. vv. 14-18: The visionless Orpah failed (v. 14) while the truly loving Ruth passed the test of love, clinging to her mother-in-law. Ruth’s response in vv. 16,17 wasn’t mere lip service, but came from a determined and resolute heart (cf. v18).
iv. v. 19: Her determination not to desert Naomi was seen in her painstakingly journeying with Naomi back to Judah, on the rugged and steep terrain that would have taken them between 7 and 10 days on feet, between 30 and 60 miles, depending on the route taken.
v. Ruth took a powerful decision as a young woman without considering living as a single in a society which valued marriage than being single.
B. DID ALL FOR LOVE’S SAKE (2:2,3,11)
And Boaz answered and said to her, “It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before” (v. 11).
i. vv. 2-3: The Moabite name ‘Ruth’, itself, means ‘friendship’. Was that name not working for her? The friendship is further evident in the fact that Ruth took the initiative to go and work for the survival of both of them.
ii. v. 11: Boaz’s words of commendation are very good summary of the level to which Ruth demonstrated that friendship. Why would she do all these?
iii. Ruth wá overwhelmed with true love for Naomi and her God, just like Abraham chose to love and follow the same Yahweh he had known little or nothing about, because he loved Him (Gen. 12:1ff).
iv. Imagine her countenance when she said the words in 1:16-17. Why would she choose to follow a hopeless Naomi, with no son from her to marry Ruth in the future? And even if there would be one, how long would she have to wait to marry him?
v. Her determination was fuelled by nothing but love for Naomi and her God. If you truly love God, you can’t but love those in distress, despite your own situation (1 Jn. 3:18ff).
vi. You cannot collect spilled water. As for Ruth, the past has gone and she determined to look for a better future for herself and her mother-in-law.
1. Deserting those we should love in times of crisis is a demonstration of not having the love of Christ in us.
2. Only when our deeds are done in Christ’s love that they are accountable to the loving God.
WORK TO DO
Ruth determined to follow Naomi with sincerity of heart and faithfulness. How can you relate Ruth’s demonstration of love with the way Christians relate with God and each other today?
SUGGESTED ANSWER TO WORK TO DO
Christians are not relating with God and others today in the way Ruth related to Naomi because: The love demonstrated by Christians today are:
i. Conditional love (give and take)
ii. Insincere love,
– Men relate with God today so as to obtain: blessings, healing, protection, divine provision, etc.
– And to each other, they love to get money, food, help or assistance, for selfish interest and gain, self-satisfaction and list, etc.