Summary: Naomi and Ruth are astounded at the mercy and deliverance of God! At a low point in her life Naomi sees God's hand beginning to deliver her!
Date Written: July 24, 2012
Date Taught: August 1, 2012
Church: OPBC (Wed Night)
Title: A Study in the Book of Ruth
Text: Ruth 2:14-23 NLT (read ALL passage here)
So far in our study we have learned about God’s redemption & last week His redemption for Naomi and Ruth was beginning to shape up!
BUT we have ALSO seen all throughout this study how the wonderful reality of God’s redemption is a picture of what can happen for both the backsliding believer & lost sinner who has NEVER known God's grace!
Last week we left the story when Ruth has gone out to a find food through the process of ‘gleaning’. Gleaning is a task that God had commanded the Israelites to allow the poor, widowed, and orphaned and foreigner to have the ability to get food!
Ruth has ventured out, a Moabite… in Israel… remember that it was Moab’s king who was one of the kings that refused the children of Israel safe passage when they were coming out of Israel, so Moabites were not really welcome in Israel.
Ruth has ventured out and has found her way to Boaz’s field. The writer uses a literary tool here to let the readers know that this was guided by the providential hand of God. Ruth is in Boaz’s field because this is where God wanted her to be…
When Ruth arrives she asks permission to work and gets to work gathering grain according to the gleaning laws which means that she could gather what was dropped and what was left in the corners of the field, but she had to stay AWAY from the harvesters… she had to be WELL back from where the grain was actually harvested.
BUT… Boaz sees this new woman in his field and asks about her… He is told WHO she is and the story implies that he was told what she had done and how much she loved Naomi.
Last week as we wrapped up our study we had left Ruth and Boaz in the field, actually in the middle of a conversation. Boaz had come to Ruth and had given her strange instructions for gleaning.
Boaz had told her that she didn’t have to stand back with the rest of the gleaners, but that she could follow his own workers and “glean” directly among the harvest workers!
We learned that Boaz did not simply allow her into his field but Boaz told her 4 things that would have been a great comfort and encouragement to Ruth. Do you remember what those 4 things were?
Stay put! Don’t go to any other fields because you are in the right place…Boaz knew the risks of a foreign woman/widow all alone, and he knew what he was capable of providing…Boaz was telling Ruth that HE was her only hope of surviving… that her efforts elsewhere would only lead to her destruction…
Pay Attention! Do what my other workers do… Boaz had instructed his workers to allow Ruth to work alongside them, this was to give Ruth MORE than she would have gotten thru the gleaning process…
Don’t be afraid! I have guaranteed your safety… Boaz had instructed his workers to not only let Ruth work among them and gather more than MOST of them thought she deserved but Boaz had warned them to not harass her or molest her in any way… she was off limits to them!
Don’t fret for I will provide… Ruth had nothing when she arrived at Boaz’s field and she had probably wondered to herself where she may find water to drink or food to eat while she worked and she may have even resigned herself to going without so that she could get food for her and Naomi…
But Boaz came and said that he would provide for her while she was in his field… FAR MORE than any gleaner could ever expect from the owner of the field
We need to grasp the spiritual picture of what is happening in this story! The things Boaz spoke to Ruth are the same things God speaks to those who seek Him!
Stay put… stay with ME! I’m your best hope!
Pay attention to My instruction and follow those who are paying attention to My instructions!
Don’t fear for I am with you! I will never leave or forsake you!
Don’t worry for I will provide FOR your needs!
These are comforting thoughts for the sinner who believes that God does not care, or that he or she is TOO far gone for God to love!
These are also comforting thoughts for the believer who has fallen away and thinks they are NO LONGER useful to God’s Kingdom… Redemption is available and God is willing to provide it!