Summary: This message is part of a series through the book of Ruth. It shows how the events that happened in Ruth’s life were a part of God’s favor and not just happen chance.
Review- Naomi and Ruth have returned to Bethlehem. Naomi has grown bitter about the events that have happened in her life. She has lost her husband and her two sons, suffered through a famine. Last week we looked at how she blamed God for her situation. She said “The Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. The Lord has brought me back empty. The Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me.
Naomi didn’t believe that her situation was going to get any better she even changed her name to Mara which means “bitter”
What Naomi did not know at the time was that God still had a a plan for her and Ruth. Chapter one ended with those words “they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.” Naomi was so busy looking back at her troubles that she missed the blessing of God right in front of her- the famine was over and there was a crop ready to be harvested- God is GOOD
Today I want to talk to you about God’s favor. Sometimes when good things happen to us we make comments like “I got lucky” or “What a coincidence.” But there is no way of reading the book of Ruth and being able to say that everything that happened to them happened by chance. God had a plan for Naomi and Ruth. Just like he has a plan for us today- to conform us to the image of His Son Christ Jesus. Naomi and Ruth would have probably said they had a streak of bad luck considering their circumstances but the truth was that they were in God’s Favor and things were just about to turn around for them. I believe today that God favors his children.
There are some belief systems in the world today that believe that God is no longer involved on a personal basis in his creation. That he just created it, set some laws in order and now it operates on its own Thats a belief I just can’t accept, I see too much evidence all around me in my life, the life of this church and in the world that says that God is still involved in His creation and that certain events that happen in our life are a direct result of God showing his favor towards us.
In 1858 a Sunday School teacher, Mr. Kimball, led a Boston shoe clerk to give his life to Jesus Christ. The clerk was Dwight L. Moody who became an evangelist. In 1879 while preaching in England the heart of a pastor named F.B. Meyer was set on fire, who later came to an American college campus to preach. Under his preaching a student by the name of Wilbur Chapman was saved. He engaged in YMCA work and employed a former baseball player named Billy Sunday, to do evangelistic work. Billy Sunday held a revival in Charlotte, North Carolina. Because the revival stirred the hearts of many, some 30 business men wanted to devote a day of prayer for Charlotte. In May of 1934 a farmer lent the men some land to use for their prayer meeting. The leader of the business men, Vernon Patterson prayed, "Out of Charlotte the Lord would raise up someone to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth." The business men then called for another evangelistic meeting asking Mordecai Ham, a fiery Southern evangelist who shattered the complacency of church-going Charlotte. The farmer who lent his land for the prayer meeting was Franklin Graham and his son Billy became a Christian during the meeting.
Its impossible to say that everything just happens by chance.
Ruth and Naomi have returned during the barley harvest time. Under the Law God had a way to support the poor during harvest time called gleaning
Lev 19:9 "When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest.
Lev 19:10 And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.
God cares about the poor and the people he gives a harvest to are not to be greedy but are to use that harvest to help others. It’s the same concept that Paul taught to the New Testament church
Eph 4:28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.
Ruth and Naomi find themselves back home but still in need. Ruth staying true to her commitment to Naomi is going to go find them some food. And look at how this reads. It says in verse 3, “she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz.”