Summary: Ruth acts on the faith she has in Naomi... Naomi instructs Ruth based on her faith in what God is doing!
Date Written: August 5, 2012
Date Taught: August 8, 2012
Church: OPBC (Wed Night)
Series Title: A Study in the Book of Ruth
Sermon Title: Acting On Faith
Text: Ruth 3:1-18 NLT (read ALL passage here)
Now we have seen Naomi and Ruth come through some very difficult times. Both losing their husbands, both anxious over their futures, both wondering if food would be available…
They have seen God bring them safely into Judea…
They have just seen God provide a source of food in a miraculous fashion…
With all of this happening we can see that Naomi no longer believes God has NOT abandoned her. She also can see God’s hand in the life of her daughter in law, RUTH…
When we left the story last week Ruth had gone out to look for food by gleaning in the fields, she had found a field where she had gained permission to glean for food.
The owner of the field, Boaz, as it turns out was a relative of Ruth’s father in law and he took compassion on Ruth and treated her kindly that day… and made arrangements for her to work in his fields for the entire harvest…
So we pick the story up here in chapter 3 where Ruth and Naomi have rec’d this good news about having a food source for the time being… and although Naomi sees God’s hand in her life and the life of Ruth, she begins to act in REACTION to God’s moving!
Now I want to caution how we view this… Naomi is acting out of a faith in God based on what God has done in her life! This action by Naomi here in chptr 3 was based on what she believed God was leading her to do… and let’s look at the focus of her actions… it was focused on helping Ruth!
So often when we see God moving, we also begin to act, but there are times when we act selfishly and try to steer God’s actions to OUR way of thinking or OUR desires… this is NOT what Naomi is doing!
Naomi was a faithful follower of God and she saw God’s hand in this and I believe that she was led by God to act on faith in this instance, even though the methods were a little out of the ordinary… God is not bound by the ordinary or the traditions of man!
Let’s read the story and then we will break it down bit by bit…[Read Ruth Chptr 3 – NLT]
Ok now we know the story… let’s break this down and see what God has for us in this passage!
1One day Naomi said to Ruth, “My daughter, it’s time that I found a permanent home for you, so that you will be provided for.
Looking at v.1 we can see the intent and agenda set forth by Naomi here… this is NOT about herself, but her actions here are for her daughter in law.
We know that she has her daughter in law’s best interest at heart… this sentiment from Naomi here is a direct reflection of her sentiment set forth in chapter 1 when Naomi begged both of her daughters in law to leave her and go back to their families… she wanted what was best for THEM, not her.
So we can see that this act of faith taken by Naomi was an act of faith that God would work things out… but the goal of this act was to provide for RUTH…it was an action on Naomi’s part, done out of love for Ruth!
2Boaz is a close relative of ours, and he’s been very kind by letting you gather grain with his young women. Tonight he will be winnowing barley at the threshing floor.
Now Naomi is wise and knows about her culture. The implication we can see here is that Ruth is simply happy with the current arrangement of her being able to work in Boaz’s fields and provide food for her and Naomi.
But Naomi sees beyond the harvest and into the future. She wants her daughter in law to have provision far beyond this harvest season… so she comes up with a plan! Her plan is quite ingenious and a WHOLE lot out of the ordinary! It was a plan of ACTION and not passivity… which would have been the cultural norm at the time.
You see with no male in their family to go out and arrange a marriage… Ruth was left to waiting on a man to notice her and then seek to marry her, but being a foreign woman in Israel, there were NOT many takers, in fact it doesn’t seem as if there was anyone seeking to win her over…