Sundays: 9 & 11am LATEST MESSAGE

Seeing the Unseen God

Charlie Boyd - 5/1/2022

SERMON SUMMARY

Most of us live fairly ordinary lives. We work, raise families, make decisions, and deal with the problems that come into our lives never knowing what is going to happen next. We say we believe that God is in control of all things. We say we believe that God loves us and cares about us, but when tragedy strikes, it can throw our minds into a tailspin—Why is this happening to me? Why is God letting this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this? Is God really any control? Does He really care about me? Where is God in all this?—These unrelenting questions weigh us down and shake us up. The biggest question is—How do we live through our everyday lives, especially when tragedy strikes when we can’t see what God is up to in the circumstances that come our way? How do we “see God” when he cannot be seen? Ruth Chapter 2 will help us with that.

SERMON SCREENSHOTS & KEY POINTS

Most of the time, we cannot know God’s will for our futures.

Most often, we only know God’s will in hindsight.

Circumstances provide the context for life’s important decisions, but it’s unwise to decide God’s will based on circumstances.

The same is true for inner “peace.” Peace is not a reliable indicator to decide if something is God’s will or not.

One of the important lessons we are taught in the book of Ruth is that when you can’t see God at work, it doesn’t mean he’s not working. It just means you can’t see him working.

The Hebrew word hesed is a power word in the Bible and the most important word in Ruth (3X). The idea runs through the whole story and it drives all the action. In our English Bibles sometimes hesed is translated—as “lovingkindness,” “steadfast love,” “loyal love,” “unfailing love.” YHWH is the ultimate hesed giver, but it’s also the kind of love we are called to live out and to put on display. Hebrew scholar Carolyn Custis James says—"Hesed is driven by a loyal, selfless, sacrificial love that motivates a person to do voluntarily what no one has a right to expect or ask them to do. [It’s a love that goes way beyond duty]. It’s actually the kind of love we find most fully expressed in Jesus.”—she says—“Hesed” is the gospel lived out.” Ruth embraced hesed as God’s will for her life and she lived out hesed toward Naomi day-by-day as she looked into an uncertain, unpredictable, unknowable future. And here’s what’s so cool—YHWH’s hesed love will reach Naomi through the selfless and relentless commitment of Ruth to fight for her, and Boaz will join Ruth in this effort.

Naomi returns to faith in YHWH’s hesed because of Ruth’s bold actions that result in an overabundance of grain food for them, and because of the hesed Boaz shows for her and Ruth.

God is actively involved in the ordinary events of our lives, even though, most often, we don’t see him at work. He IS the God of the ordinary—the God of every day—the God of coincidences—the God of “it-just-so-happened.”

The ordinary moments and events of your life have a “sacredness” to them that only time itself will reveal because God orchestrates the ordinary. The God we’ve sung about and to this morning is providentially arranging, directing, and guiding all the events of our lives whether we see Him or not. Remember—When you can’t see God at work, it doesn’t mean he’s not working. It just means you can’t see him working, and you and I need to take that truth deep into our souls.

Do you want to know how you can see the unseen God? Do you want to know how you can “see” God at work in your life when you don’t see him at work in your life? 

We see God when he can’t be seen by seeing him in ________________. And, in your ___________________.

*We are a church located in Greenville, South Carolina. Our vision is to see God transform us into a community of grace passionately pursuing life and mission with Jesus.