Pursued By Grace Series Sermon #6
GOOD NEWS FROM THE FIELD OF GRACE (Ruth 2:17-21)
Ruth 2:17-21 (NKJV)
17 So she gleaned in the field until evening, and beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. 18 Then she took it up and went into the city, and her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned.
So she brought out and gave to her what she had kept back after she had been satisfied.
19 And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where have you gleaned today? And where did you work? Blessed be the one who took notice of you.”
So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked, and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.”
20 Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “Blessed be he of the Lord, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!” And Naomi said to her, “This man is a relation of ours, one of our close relatives.”
21 Ruth the Moabitess said, “He also said to me, ‘You shall stay close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’”
Ruth the Moabitess has gone to the field of Boaz to glean barley. While she was there, she met the owner of the field. She caught his eye. She ate lunch at his table and he personally served her the food. When she left the field that day, she left with more than she bargained for. She returns home that evening weary and tired from her labors, but she has a story to tell. All day, her mother-in-law Naomi would have been waiting for her to return with enough grain for a little meal. When Ruth does return that evening, she is loaded down with enough grain to last them a week. Not only does she have grain, but she has some good news to tell as well.
I want to share that good news with you today. It is news that we all need to hear, because this Good News From The Field Of Grace will help each of us to grow in our own walk with the Lord. There are some mighty big truths here for those willing to grab hold of them this morning.
Allow me to share with you this Good News From The Field Of Grace.
I. V. 17-18 GOOD NEWS ABOUT THEIR PROVISIONS
A. V. 17 Provisions That Were Designed To Satisfy – When Ruth returns home, she has 25 lbs of barley. This is more than enough to feed these 2 women for a week. She went looking for enough for one meal and returned with enough to feed them for a week. Boaz wanted her to get so much in his field that she would never even dream of gleaning anywhere else.
(Note: Our Heavenly Boaz (JESUS) is determined to bless His people, Eph. 1:3. He wants to give you so much that you will never think of going anywhere else to glean.)
(Note: Ruth’s words to Naomi in verse 21 serve to show them that the blessings would continue until the end of the harvest. The Lord doesn’t intend to stop blessing you until you leave this world. Then, the real blessings begin, Eph. 2:7!)
B. V. 18 Provisions That Were Designed To Show – Can you see Ruth as she throws that 25 lb across her shoulder and heads into the city? Everyone who sees her pass by knows that she is that Moab girls. They know she has nothing and by now most of them know she has gone to the field of Boaz to glean. They can see that she has received a blessing just by watching her go past. It might be that Boaz was making a statement to the community. That sack of grain trumpeted, “I’ve got my eye on Ruth, and I’m going to be a great blessing to her life.”
(Note: God’s blessings in your life are designed to show a lost world just how good God is. He blesses His people to create a desire for Him in the hearts those who do not know Him. That is why He gives us grace for living. He wants to use us as living testimonies to His grace, His power and His glory, Matt. 5:16. As we live out the real blessings of God, the world is going to be affected by God’s work in us! What are the real blessings of God? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Gal. 5:22-23! A child of God who displays these graces in his or her life is a child of God who walks in victory!)
C. V. 18 Provisions That Were Designed To Share – Not only does she share the bounty of her provision with Naomi, but she also shares the remaining part of her portion that she was given by Boaz in verse 14. Ruth isn’t selfish, she wants to share what she has with Naomi.
(Note: We are not to simply horde up the blessings of the Lord, but we are to share them with others. Whatever we have been blessed with by God has been given to us to use for His glory. Whether it be a talent, God’s truth, a gift, financial resources, etc. His blessings are given to us so that we might share them with others.)
(Note: Ruth got what she did because she was willing to work for it! She gleaned and she got! The same is true in spiritual matters! You get out of something about as much as you put into it! Whether it be prayer, worship, Bible reading or just victory in your daily life, it isn’t for the lazy! God’s best is reserved for those who are willing to deny themselves, take up His cross daily and follow Him, Matt. 16:24.)
II. V. 19-21 GOOD NEWS ABOUT A PERSON
A. V. 19 A Person Who Is Interested In The Situation – When Naomi sees all that Ruth has returned with, she is overwhelmed and begins to magnify the person who has given so much. She can easily see that you don’t get this much by merely gleaning! She knows that someone has blessed them with an open hand! She blesses the person who “has taken knowledge of thee”. The word “knowledge” conveys the idea of “paying attention to; to acknowledge; to notice”.
Naomi realizes that the person who gave them this grain has noticed Ruth and wanted to be a special blessing to her. Naomi doesn’t know it yet, neither does Ruth, but Ruth has been noticed by one who is interested in knowing her better, Ruth 2:5; 2:8-9; 2:14; 2:21. He is interested in her situation!
(Note: The Lord Jesus Christ is interested in you this morning! Wherever you may be in your spiritual journey, Jesus is interested in knowing you better. If you are lost, He is interested in knowing you in salvation. If you are cold and backslidden, He is interested in knowing you intimately. If you are defeated, He is interested in leading you to the place of power and victory. The question is: Are you interested in what He has to offer you?)
B. V. 19 A Person Who Is Involved In The Situation – Not only is Boaz interested in Ruth’s situation, he is now involved. He has opened his hands and his heart to her and is taking steps to improve her condition, Ruth 2:11; 2:15-16. He is busy working behind the scenes to do what Ruth needs. He is involved in her life.
(Note: Our Heavenly Boaz is also involved in your life. Oh, there are times when He cannot be seen and there are times when His Hand is not visible, but you can rest assured that He is actively working on your behalf to fulfill His plan for your life! Ill. Psa. 121:1-8.)
C. V. 20-21 A Person Who Is An Instrument In The Situation – Boaz doesn’t even realize the extent that he is being used in the lives of these two women. He had become an instrument in the hand of the Lord. There are three ways in which Boaz is being used by God as an instrument of blessing.
1. He Is An Instrument Of Revival – If you will look at Ruth 1:20-21, you will see that Naomi is a defeated and discouraged woman. She is this was because of her backslidden condition. However, when Ruth returns from the field of grace with the good news of Boaz, Naomi is once more restored to the place of worship and victory. God has used this man to encourage the heart of one of His children.
(Note: You might be in a position this morning in which you have allowed your heart to grow cold and hard toward the things of the Lord. I just want to remind you that if you are His, He knows where you are and one day, He will show up and set things right in your heart and life. Just because you are down, you are not out! One of the first steps in getting back in the place of His best blessings is to come before Him and deal with whatever is lacking in your life. This is the challenge of the Word of God – 1 John 1:9; Psa. 51:7-12!)
2. He Is An Instrument Of Redemption – As Naomi listens to Ruth speak, the wheels of her mind are turning. She hears the name Boaz and says that he is “near of kin”. This means that she thinks he might be a distant relative of theirs. Then she remembers who he is and says, “he is one of our next kinsmen”. Now, she begins to realize all that the Lord is doing. In His providence, He has brought Ruth into contact with one who has the right of redemption according to the Law, Lev. 25:25-34. You can almost see her regaining her spiritual confidence. (Ill. The Levirate Law of Redemption.)
For a man to be a Kinsman Redeemer three things had to be true:
A. He Had To Be Related – Boaz is related, 2:1. (Note: So is Jesus – Phil. 2:5-11; John 1:1, 14!)
B. He Had To Be Able To Redeem – Boaz is a mighty man of wealth, 2:1. (Note: Jesus is able to redeem all who come to Him for salvation – Heb. 7:25; Heb. 10:10-14.)
C. He Had To Be Willing To Redeem – Everything Boaz is doing suggests that he is willing to do anything to get to know Ruth. (Note: Jesus was more than willing to pay the price for our redemption – John 18:37; Rom. 5:8; Isa. 53:4-7.)
(Note: These women needed a redeemer. If they didn’t find one, they would live their lives in poverty. If you are not saved, you need a REDEEMER! You have one if you will accept Him. His name is Jesus Christ and He died for you!)
(Note: If you will take a minute to think back over what the Lord has done for you if you are saved, you will have to admit that you have many reasons to praise His Name and to rejoice in Him this morning! Are you doing it?)
3. He Is An Instrument Of Refreshment – Ruth tells Naomi in verse 21 that she will be going back to the field of grace to work until the harvest has ended. In other words, they are going to enjoy plenty because of this man named Boaz. I would imagine that every day he reminded the reapers to drop the “Handfuls on Purpose” for Ruth. Everyday he would see that she had parched corn, a cool drink of water and all the grain she could carry when she left the field. He was going to be a blessing to Naomi and Ruth.
(Note: Just a reminder to you who are living on spiritual scraps this morning, Jesus wants to load your wagon! He has glory, and power, and victory and blessing for every one of His children, Rom. 8:37; 1 Cor. 15:57. But, it isn’t for the lazy. For Ruth to get what Boaz wanted her to have, she would have to go to the field of grace day by day and work. So it is in the spiritual realm. If you want the best, then you have to pay the price in prayer, holiness and time spent in communion with the Lord. Your walk with the Lord is no stronger, no deeper, no greater than you want it to be! If there is a lack in your life spiritually, it’s not everyone around you! If you want to see the problem, look no farther than the nearest mirror. Better yet, look no farther than your own heart, for there lies the problem and the solution. Ill. Your help lies in David’s Psalm of repentance – Psalm 32.)
Did you need to hear some of these truths this morning? Does your relationship and fellowship with the Lord need help today?
The first step to take is a step in His direction. If He has challenged you as a believer about your personal walk with Him, then come to HIM right now and do something about it!
If He has showed you that you are lost and headed to Hell, then receive Jesus Christ as your Savior right this moment and let God change the outcome and direction of your life.
There’s good news from the field of grace! But, it will never help you until you deal with it on a personal level!