Pursued By Grace Series # 4
SEARCHING FOR GRACE
Ruth 2:1-3 (NKJV)
Ruth Meets Boaz
1 There was a relative of Naomi’s husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech. His name was Boaz.
2 So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Please let me go to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.”
And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.”
3 Then she left, and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers. And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech.
There are three primary personalities that are presented in the book of Ruth. First, there is Naomi. She is a picture of a “back-slidden” believer. In chapter one of the Book of Ruth, we are shown how she wandered away from the Lord and the terrible price she paid for her sins. We are also shown how, in the end, she returned to the place of blessing. She (Naomi) is a lesson in hope for everyone who has turned their backs on the things of the Lord.
Another of the persons we meet in this book is a man named Boaz. He is a clear picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. More will be said about him later in this message and in future sermons.
The third main character of this story is a Gentile girl named Ruth. She is a young lady from a pagan country who comes to know the true and living God. She is a picture in this passage of a brand new convert, a young Christian who is just beginning to learn about and grow in the things of the Lord. She is just beginning to experience the great blessings of the Lord and His grace.
As we look in on the activities of Ruth in these verses, we see a woman who is searching for grace. I want to point out some elements of her search this morning. As I do, I want you to know that these elements reveal what ought to be the goal and focus of every genuine believer in Jesus Christ. Let’s look in on Ruth as we see her Searching For Grace.
I. V. 2 THE PURPOSE IN HER SEARCH
A. She Was Searching For Food – Ruth wants to go to the fields and glean ears of corn. She and Naomi need food to eat. The main thrust of her search is to find food for the body.
(Note: She illustrates that desire that is birthed in the heart of the child of God at conversion: a desire to know more about the Lord and to grow in Him. Ill. Job 23:12; Jer. 15:16; 1 Pet. 2:2. Ill. Phil. 3:10. It is learning to partake of the Word of God that causes growth in the life of a believer!)
B. She Was Searching For Favor – “I shall find grace” – Ruth was looking for some land owner who would be pleased to accept her and to allow her to glean in his fields. In spite of her nationality. In spite of her past. In spite of who she was, she was looking for grace (GRACE).
(Note: She pictures that new born child of God who wants more than anything to please the Lord. Every dilemma is faced with regard to “What would Jesus do?” There is an overwhelming desire to just “please the Lord”. This is part of having the “first love”, Rev. 2:1-7.)
(Note: Many, like Ruth, worry about being accepted by the Lord. Friends, your past is no longer an issue if you are saved by the grace of God. He has given you a brand new start, 2 Cor. 5:17.)
C. She Was Searching For Fulfillment – Her statement “Let me now go”, shows that she is itching (desirous) to be a blessing to Naomi. Ruth simply wants to serve. (Note: In this she is again a picture of a new believer. When a person is saved by the grace of God, they want to do something for the glory of the Lord. They want to serve Jesus, Ill. Demoniac – Mark 5:18-20.)
II. V. 3 THE PROVIDENCE IN HER SEARCH
A. Involved God’s Command In The Past – Ruth went to a field and began to glean. She was allowed to do this because of a command that God had given in the ancient past, during Moses’ time, Lev. 19:9-10; Deut. 24:19-22. God had worked in her past to take care of her present need.
(Note: The same is true in the life of the believer. Our present standing in Jesus was made possible because of what God did in the ancient past. Amen! We were chosen and elected in the past, Eph. 1:4-6; Jesus was provided for our salvation before man ever sinned, Rev. 13:8, 1 Pet. 1:18-20. Everything we have and are today is a product of the past work of the Lord, and of His grace, 1 Cor. 15:10.)
B. Involved God’s Control In The Present – This verse says that it was her “hap” (HAP means something happening) to go into a field owned by this rich man named Boaz. From a human perspective it looked as though it was purely coincidental. However, for God’s perspective, it was sovereignty in action. HE (The LORD) had already determined that there was going to be a wedding, and a baby for Ruth! Ruth doesn’t know it, but the Lord is pulling all the strings of her life to get her in the right place at the right time. Amen!
(Note: Just as the Lord worked in Ruth’s life He works in each of our lives. Nothing happens by accident! The words accident, happenstance and coincidence do not exist in God’s dictionary! He moves powerfully and providentially to bring about His will in your life and mine! That is why we can have confidence as believer! God is always working and moving in our lives to accomplish one goal: He is reproducing His Son in every saint of God, Rom. 8:28-31.)
III. V. 1 THE PERSON IN HER SEARCH
(Ill. She thought she was looking for a meal, but God was about to introduce her to a man. She went to find some food, God was about to give her a new family. Note: Although Ruth doesn’t know it right now, this Boaz is the real object of her search. Notice what the Bible teaches us about this man.)
A. He Was A Related Man – This verse tells us that he was a “kinsman.” He was just what Ruth needed, although she didn’t know it. Boaz was qualified to perform the function of the “Kinsman Redeemer” to these widows, according to the Law of God, Num. 27:8-11.
(Note: Boaz is a type of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. He became a “kinsman” to us so that He might redeem us from our sins, Phil. 2:5-8.)
B. He Was A Rich Man – He was “a mighty man of wealth”. This means that Boaz possessed all the necessary resources to carry out the task of redemption.
(Note: Jesus Christ also is a man of sufficient resources to carry out the plan of redemption. He possesses perfect righteousness, 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:22-24; Isa. 53:4-6. He possesses everlasting love for the fallen, Jer. 31:3; Rom. 5:8, John 3:16. He possesses infinite grace, sufficient to save any soul that will bow to God in faith and repentance, Eph. 2:8-9. (Ill. Paul – 1 Tim. 1:12-17!) He completed God’s plan for your redemption in its entirety, Heb. 10:11-14, Heb. 9:24-28; and now God is satisfied, 1 John 2:1; Isa. 53:11.)
(Ill. Salvation may be free, but it wasn’t cheap! Still, you can be saved today if you will come to Jesus Christ by faith!)
C. He Was A Respected Man – We are told that Boaz was “a mighty man”. His name means, “In it is strength.” It sounds as though he was a respected man. Some scholars believer that Boaz and Ibzan, an Israelite judge, Judges 12:8-10, are the same fellow. It is this man that Ruth will meet, fall in love with and come to know intimately.
(Note: Again, he is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ in that God has given Jesus an exalted Name, Phil. 2:9-11. Men may mock Him and use His name as a “byword”, but in Heaven, that Name evokes worship and celebration! Of course, one day, He will receive the respect He is due from all men, Rom. 14:11, Ill. Rev. 5:1-13! It is far better to do it now than to wait until that day!)
I want to conclude this section from Ruth with three questions. They are simple. You know the answers and all you have to do is be honest in dealing with them.
1. Are you saved, not a church member, not a good person, but truly born again?
2. If you are saved, can you honestly say that you are growing in the Lord as you should be? It is God’s command and desire that we grow, 2 Pet. 3:18.
3. Are you hungry for something in your spiritual life that you do not have right now? If so, it is available from the Lord, Psa. 84:11; Matt. 11:28. God has what each of you is looking for this morning if you will come to Him and get it.
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!