Summary: When we are given direction to move and follow God, are we willing to step out and trust even though we have NO IDEA of the future? Naomi asked Ruth to step out in faith, and her response demonstrates clearly for us how we should respond to God.

It is a Matter of Trust

Ruth 3:1-5

Introduction

- So far we’ve seen a very interesting story develop in Ruth

-- We know there was a great famine and so Elimelek has moved his family

-- While they were in Moab, 3 out of 4 people have died in this family

- After, Naomi returns home and Ruth makes three promises to Naomi:

-- Where you go I will go and where you stay I will stay (Commitment)

-- Your people will be my people; your God will be my God (Public profession)

-- Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried (A promise to honor)

- Ruth then goes to look for work and finds favor in a field of Boaz

-- Boaz is taken with her … but as a guardian and provider for her

- Boaz’s response to Ruth is one of great grace and mercy

-- I’ve heard about what you did for your M-I-L

-- I’ve heard that you’ve left your land to come here; leaving everything

-- And now, here you are working to provide for Naomi among strangers

- Naomi displays some incredible excitement for who Boaz is … why?

-- He is their “go-el” (one who literally REDEEMS)

-- Boaz has become their “kinsman-redeemer” which is vital for them

-- In OT times, this would mean that he would assume the family responsibility

-- He would become the provider, the protector, and the overseer of them

- IMP: The focus is NOT the budding relationship with Boaz and Ruth

-- Nor is it even that Naomi rejoices in what God is doing for her family …

- The focus is: What GOD is doing, and has done, and WILL do!

-- Any other focus is on “self” or “me, me, and me” … and we lose sight of Him

- Read Ruth 3:1-5

∆ Point 1 – Planning a Future

- Remember, Ruth was invited to work the entire harvest season

-- So, where we are now is two months later when the season is about over

-- And now, Naomi has a situation developing which she knows needs action

- It is not a sinister issue, nor anything of anytime of perverted intentions

-- It is simply a matter of necessity that Naomi sees for Ruth

- In v1, we see what Naomi is thinking, and how she reveals it to Ruth

-- “My daughter” – a term of endearment and meant in love/honor

-- “I must find” – again she sees herself as a mother and a caregiver

-- “Where you will be provided for” – She is older, and cannot go on forever

- In essence, “Ruth, it is time to stop the mourning period and move on.”

-- Re: The reason she is with Naomi is because of Naomi’s son’s death

-- APP: She felt obligated and committed to staying with her until death

- Boaz (v2), Naomi continues, is a kinsman of ours (very important)

-- Boaz is capable of providing, and his kinsman-ship extends to Ruth as well

-- This means, he can be a man who provides for her and gives her a future

- Ruth receives some well-timed advice from Naomi that “it is time”

-- Tonight, Boaz will be winnowing the barley and you need to take action

-- Therefore, we need to take action and push forward with helping you

- It is time for you to do four things in order that Boaz might see you (v3)

- 1) Be attractive: Take a bath and put on some perfume; mourning is over

-- You’ve been in mourning for a long time now; rightfully so

-- However, that time is passed and it is now time for you to have a life

-- Note: Perhaps it is b/c of this that Boaz never really took an interest

-- APP: Our of respect, he knew she was in mourning so he never pursued

- 2) Be attentive: Pay attention to where Boaz finally rests for the evening

-- Boaz, being the boss, would not have slept with everyone else (v4)

-- Ruth would not have had to tip-toe across lots of people to reach him

-- Naomi says, pay attention to where he lays down so you can go to him

- 3) Be assertive: Go and uncover his feet and lie down at his feet

-- Naomi is asking Ruth to take a tremendous leap of faith here

-- “Go uncover this man’s feet and then wait for further instructions”

-- Ruth was being told to approach him in humility, as a servant

-- Go and present yourself as a servant, in honor and submission

- NOTE: This is not a sexually deviant act, but one of great grace/service

- Here is a tremendous example of what this picture of service looks like

-- John 13:2-8, “The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

- 4) Lastly, Ruth is to be available: Ruth, Boaz will tell you what to do

-- Stand ready to receive further instructions and be available to hear him

-- APP: It’s an incredible act of loyalty to stand and wait for instructions

- TRANS: So, why are these four things important for Ruth to do?

∆ Point 2 – A Matter of Trust

- The key here is and it is a matter of trust for us to see this tonight

- Take a look at Ruth’s response to this woman that she loves and trusts (v5)

-- Naomi, I will do whatever you say because I honor you in everything

-- Re: Ruth 1:16-17, “But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

-- IMP: This reminder is so very critical; do we commit to God like this?

- This is really where the rubber meets the road for us, isn’t it?

-- When we receive solid instructions from God, do we obey and follow like this?

- Ruth, in total submission, tells Naomi that I will do whatever you say

-- But, why? Why does she do this? She knew Naomi had her best interests

-- She would not lead her astray, and even in her heart she knew it was time

- I am certain that Ruth could’ve come up with any excuse to avoid this

-- “I’m tired”, “I don’t feel like it”, “This isn’t for me”, “I won’t listen to this”

-- Or my favorite: “Hush up because you’re not the boss of me!”

- Ruth however, sees Naomi’s love and trust and says, “I will do whatever …”

-- APP: When God’s word draws us to move like this, do we go like this?

- TRANS: Following God’s command(s) really is a matter of trust for all

∆ Big Idea

- First: “Sometimes when you abandon God, your life has disastrous consequences; but, God is STILL faithful … even when we aren’t!”

- Second: “God still provides … even when we think there is no hope for us!”

- Third: “Even in these discouraging times, God was STILL unfolding His plan to bring redemption to the entire world through His Messiah!”

- Tonight: When we are given direction to move and follow God, are we willing to step out and trust even though we have NO IDEA of the future?

- We’ll pick this up on Sunday …

- Pray