Summary: Exposition of Ruth 3:1-18
Text: Ruth 3:1-18, Title: Discerning God’s Will, Date/Place: LSCC, 5/28/06, AM
A. Opening illustration: an ad was printed in a paper read: SBF seeks male companionship, ethnicity not important, good-looking, I love to play, long walks in the woods, hunting, camping, fishing, riding in your pick-up truck, cozy winter nights by the fire, a candlelight dinner will have me eating out of your hands, rub me the right way and watch me respond, I’ll be at the front door when you get home from work wearing only what nature gave me, kiss me and I am yours, call 404-875-6420, and ask for Daisy. 15,000 men called at talked to the Atlanta Humane Society about a yellow lab named Daisy.
B. Background to passage: There is much to the story that we probably don’t have, being that there was about six or seven weeks to the barley and wheat harvests, and Ruth and Boaz probably saw a lot of each other during those times. But what we see in chapter three, much like our ad for our yellow lab, is charged with sexual overtones that could be the recipe for disaster. Naomi and Ruth take a huge risk in trying to figure out God’s will for their lives. And whether its finding the right spouse, getting the right job, or purchasing the right home or car, sometimes figuring out what God wants us to do is difficult. We will see in ch. 4 that they got it right, so lets look for principles for finding God’s will in ch. 3.
C. Main thought: We will see four principles that help when trying to discern the will of God for our lives.
A. Be Wise (v. 1-5)
1. Naomi hasn’t done so great up to this point in determining the will of God for her own life. So probably every reader is wondering what is going to happen with this crazy plan that Naomi is concocting. But if we examine the plan, it is pretty wise. Naomi is older and native to the culture in which they now live. She and Ruth are at least for now bound to the same set of circumstances. And she tells her to prepare herself to encourage Boaz to fulfill his role as a kinsman-redeemer. EXPLAIN KINSMAN-REDEEMER, LEVERIATE MARRIAGE—DEUT 25:5-10. Make the right preparations (wash, don regular clothes, smell good). Choose the right time.
2. Eph 5:15-18, Pro 28:26, James 1:5,
3. Illustration: Charles Stanley says that the question: what is the wise thing for me to do? Reveals our greed in financial matter, our selfishness in relational matters, our lust in social situations—wisdom shines like a spotlight on the soul. Christians marrying Christians—wisdom in dating. The man named Phil who kept getting into trouble with friends on business trips immediately following dinner. Advice was given to not go to dinner with them, question about rightness of eating with them, not the point. Didn’t follow the advice, left his family some years later, cries like a baby wishing he could do all over again. Ever notice what recent divorcees do when they get divorced—lose weight, clean up more, and start doing nice things for other people…
4. Be careful as to who you take advice from. Older, wiser, godlier, trustworthy, caring people are the best people to hear from. But sometimes their advice is still not right. Ask yourself the question: in light of past situations, current situations, and sinful tendencies, what would be the best thing to do? Many times wisdom seems like common sense, but it is the Spirit of God that guides in wisdom, therefore to refuse to act wisely is to ignore the leading of the Spirit. Do the wise thing at the wise time.
B. Be Biblical (v. 6-12)
1. The basis of Naomi’s plan was a biblical responsibility of the kinsman, and that of a mother-in-law to her daughter-in-law. And both Boaz and Ruth acted in the highest of moral integrity during it all. Not once in the text is there a suggestion of immorality, even though in the culture, the threshing floor was a common place of fornication. Boaz also had enough integrity to acknowledge a closer relative and a biblical precedent.
2. John 16:13-14,
3. Illustration: a noted pastor tells about a time when a woman came to him and announced that God told her to divorce her husband, he also tells about a time when a couple was living together as Christians, David Livingstone threw away every book but the bible as he journeyed into Africa,
4. When determining the will of God for your life, the bible (correctly interpreted) should be your first filter. How many of you men would have been so upright if you woke up alone with a good-looking much younger woman lying at your feet? How many of you ladies would have scorned at opportunity to secure for yourself a future with some loose living? We must allow the word of God to be the judge over our feelings, impressions, and leadings. To use this, you must be in it.