Summary: The Providence of God sometimes requires taking a risk in faith
GODS HAND IN OUR RISK
Ruth Part 3
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Do we have any risk takers here?
Any bungee jumpers?
Who’s got a motorcycle?
How many of you ride without a helmet?
How many of you play golf?
That’s a risky sport isn’t it?
Driving that little cart,
that can be dangerous,
you might drive it into a pond or something.
We’ve got at least a few risk-takers here.
We’re in the third week of our series on the book of Ruth.
We’re going to see some risk-taking today.
In case you missed last week,
let me catch you up on the story.
The book starts in chapter 1 saying,
“In the days when the Judges ruled,”
this was a dark season of Israel’s history.
A period of rebellion and wickedness,
You can read about it in the Book of Judges in the Bible,
which is found right before the book of Ruth.
The story of Ruth took place about a 1,000 years before Jesus.
It says that a famine came to Bethlehem,
likely because God was disciplining his people
for their hard-heartedness,
and repeated rejection of him.
The story focuses on a family,
headed by a man named Elimelech,
And he decides rather than staying in Bethlehem
and trusting God during this famine,
that he will move away from Israel to Moab,
about fifty miles away.
Tragically, the thing he was seeking to prevent
by moving to Moab,
happens when they get there.
Elimelech dies, and then his two sons die.
His wife Naomi and the two daughters-in-law,
are left destitute,
So Naomi decides to return to God and his people
One of the daughters-in-law, Ruth decides,
I also want to follow the one true God,
I want to be with God and his people.
so she goes with Naomi to Bethlehem.
The following day Ruth goes out looking for food,
she wants to glean the leftovers in the fields
after the harvesters get done.
This is where we see God’s providence really kick in.
We said last week that Providence means,
God is involved in every detail of our lives,
and if we’re following him,
then he uses it all, even problems and difficulties,
for good in our lives,
and we also talked about last week,
that the word luck is never found in the bible,
To God there’s no such thing as luck,
but God does show favor,
to those who love him and obey him.
And we saw that
God really started to show favor, to Ruth.
“She goes to gather leftover grain in the fields,
and just happened to end up
in the field of a guy named Boaz,”
who the Bible describes as a mighty man of strength,
in other words he’s a man of character,
integrity, loves God, he’s rich.
And it just so happens that he is single.
Boaz sees Ruth,
and because he’s heard about all she’s done
to help her mother-in-law Naomi,
Boaz is impressed by her godly character,
and blesses her, by praying for her,
by ordering his employees to protect
and care for her,
and he also tells his employees
to be extremely generous
with the grain that they leave for her,
so at the end of that first day
she’s collected the equivalent of two weeks wages,
and she got it in one day.
It would be like if you were desperate for work
so you went down to the temp agency,
hoping you could get anything at all,
and then someone hired you
and paid you 1000 bucks for one day.
You’d be going, whoh, how did that happen?
This guy is unbelievably generous.
So Boaz honors Ruth,
treats her with kindness.
and he blesses her financially,
by giving her a lot of grain.
18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.
Naomi looks at the amount of food she brought home,
and she is stunned.
19 Her mother-in-law asked her, "Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!"
Naomi is the woman who the day before
renames herself Mara,
which means bitter
because she’s mad at God,
she’s bitter at God,
she thinks God has ruined her life.
But now a day later,
she sees God’s favor on Ruth,
and she’s back to blessing again.
Verse 19 continues:
Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. "The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz," she said.
"The Lord bless him!" Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. "He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead."