Summary: What a difference a day can make! One day Ruth went into the fields to glean a poor widow with no prospects for the future and by the end of the day she found herself the object of the special attention and affection of a man who would change her destiny.
Sermon 6: From Bitterness to Blessing
July 22, 2019
What a difference a day can make! One day Ruth went into the fields to glean a poor widow with no prospects for the future and by the end of the day she found herself the object of the special attention and affection of a man who would change her destiny.
NOTE: A PowerPoint presentation is available for this sermon by request at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please mention the title of the sermon and the Bible text to help me find the sermon in my archives.
TEXT: Turn to Ruth 2
• One April day in 1945, Harry S Truman wrote to his mother: “I had hurried to the White House to see the president, and when I got there, I found out I was the president!” (Truman, of course, assumed the presidency at Franklin Roosevelt’s death.)
• David went out one day an unknown shepherd boy to take food to his brothers in Saul’s army; and before the day ended, he was a hero who had slain Goliath—and his life was never the same after that day.
• Peter went to work one day in his fishing trade; and before the day had ended, he abandoned everything to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and become His disciple.
What a difference a day can make! One day made a great difference in Ruth’s life too: She went into the fields one day to glean as a poor widow with no prospects for the future and by the end of the day she found herself the object of the special attention and affection of a man named Boaz, who would change her destiny. At that time, Ruth did not know who Boaz was, but she certainly found out when she arrived home and gave the news to Naomi.
Let’s read about it in our text: verses 17-23 – “So she gleaned in the field until even, and beat out that she had gleaned: and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also took it out and gave Naomi what she had left after she was satisfied. 19 And her mother-in-law said to her, ‘Where have you gleaned today, and where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law whom she had worked with, and said, ‘The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz.’ 20 And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed of the LORD, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and to the dead.’ Naomi then said unto her, ‘The man is a relative of ours, one of our kinsman-redeemers.’ 21 And Ruth the Moabite said, ‘He also said to me, ‘Stay with my young men, until they have finished all my harvest.’ 22 And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, ‘It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that people do not meet you in any other field. 23 So she stayed close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of the barley…and…wheat harvests; and lived with her mother-in-law.”
I want you to notice something in our text. Did you notice the change in Naomi’s attitude? She’s no longer the bitter widow we met in chapter 1. In chapter 1, her life was falling apart, but now God is putting her life back together again. What made the difference?—BOAZ arrives on the scene!
That reminds me of the old Ray Stevens song Along Came Jones about those old-timey westerns where you had a poor lady in distress who would be rescued from a nefarious villain by a tall, lanky hero. The lyrics go like this:
I plopped down in my easy chair and turned on Channel 2.
A bad gunslinger called Salty Sam was chasin’ poor Sweet Sue.
He trapped her in the old sawmill and said with an evil laugh:
“If you don’t give me the deed to your ranch, I’ll saw you all in half!”
And then he grabbed her [Female voice in background says, “Help! He grabbed me!”]
(And then) he tied her up [Female voice says: “Help! He’s tying me up!”]
(And then) he turned on the bandsaw [“Help! Help! He turned on the bandsaw!”]
(And then…) [came the chorus:]
And then along came Jones
Tall, thin Jones
Along came long-legged, lanky Jones
The song goes on to describe nefarious deeds of this notorious bad guy: He ties her up in an old, abandoned mine threatening to blow her to bits, he puts her in a burlap sack and ties her to the railroad tracks. But each time she’s rescued by the tall, thin, slow-walkin’, slow-talkin’, lanky Jones.