Summary: One of the basic themes of the book of Ruth is God's watch care over His children. His watch care is shown in Ruth 2 in 1) God's providence; 2) God's provision; 3) and God's promotion.
God’s Watch Care Over His Children
August 5, 2013
TEXT: Please turn to Ruth 2
Illus. – Brenda was a young woman who wanted to learn rock climbing. She went with a group to climb a tremendous cliff of rock. During the ascent, the climber above her snapped a rope against Brenda’s eye and knocked out her contact lens.
Now, you know how tiny contact lenses are and how difficult they are to find. Here she was: very far from home, with everything around her blurry in one eye, and no place close by to replace her lost contact lens. Her only hope was that it might be in the corner of her eye, but when she got to the top and a friend examined her eye, it wasn’t to be found.
She looked out across range after range of mountains with her one good eye, thinking of that Bible verse that says, “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.” She thought, Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every single stone and leaf on those mountains and You know exactly where my contact lens is.
Finally, the time came to hike down the trail to the bottom of the mountain. When they arrived, there was a new party of rock climbers coming up the trail. One of them shouted, “Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?” In astonishment Brenda looked down at a contact lens that looked like hers. The only way to know for sure was to put it in, and sure enough, she could see clearly: It WAS her lost contact lens!
Well, that would be an amazing coincidence in itself, wouldn’t it? But the rest of the story is even more startling. When Brenda asked the young lady where she found her lens, she said an ant was slowly carrying that contact lens across the face of a rock!
That story illustrates the main focus of Ruth 2—The truth that God is not a God who is way out there, uninvolved in the lives of His children. No, He is very near—intimately involved in the details of our lives.
Jesus said “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31) God watches over even the sparrows and even knows the number of hairs on our heads. But Jesus said that we are of more value than many sparrows. The implication that God knows what is going on in each of our lives and is intimately involved in everything we do.
Today I’d like for us to examine three aspects of God’s watch care from Ruth 2.
I. THE FIRST ASPECT OF GOD’S WATCH CARE WE OBSERVE IN RUTH 2 IS THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD – Verses 1-3
The very first verse is a clue to the theme of this chapter, and indeed the whole book.
Naomi returned to Bethlehem-judah pennyless, husband-less, and cynical. Her only asset was her Moabitess daughter-in-law who was in the same state as she.
Yet all along, the solution to their dilemma was known to God – verse 1 – “And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.”
This man Boaz was the one who would be the answer to their problems. But, at this point Naomi and Ruth did not have a clue that God was working behind the scenes in their behalf.
Once they settled into their new home, the first concern was food. Here Ruth shows herself to be a woman of initiative. Rather than sitting around to see what would happen or bemoaning their bad situation, she immediately decides to go out and find some food. – verse 2 – “And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn [lit. “grain”] after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.”
Now what is “gleaning”? Gleaning was an interesting practice unknown outside Israel. Let’s see two scriptures in Leviticus to help us understand the custom of gleaning:
Leviticus 19:9-10 – “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. 10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger (i.e., foreigners living in Israel or foreign sojourners traveling through Israel.)…” – Ruth qualified as both poor and a foreigner.