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May 26, 2022 12:00 am
Sometimes following God's will doesn't seem to produce immediate blessings. For Ruth, it meant leaving behind her family and friends and trying to scrape a living in a foreign country. But as she gleaned in the fields of distant relative day after day, she soon realized she was gleaning in the fields of grace.
God works in us for us and with us for 17 so she gleamed in the field until evening she went to work.
One wears big comment on the scene by repeating the Latin proverb says Providence assists, not the Bible, even God won't steer a parked car.
This is the principle of collaboration Ruth went out to work and Boaz is working everything out. Sometimes the place where God has us doesn't make sense to us at the time and sometimes following God's will doesn't seem to produce blessing for Ruth God's plan meant leaving behind her family and friends in trying to scrape out a living in a foreign country. But as she gleamed in the fields of Boaz God was demonstrating his grace. Welcome to wisdom for the heart. Stephen is continuing through his series from the book of Ruth.
This is message number five in that series and it's called gleaming in the fields of grace.
What we are witnessing in the fields of Bethlehem is nothing less that the riches of grace shown in sheer kindness towards someone most unlikely and certainly undeserving. Grace is God choosing us, not because we were the best applicant for the job, not because where the head of the class not because we have the most to offer, not because we stand out above everybody else know Paul wrote it this way, God shows us and he chose to be rich in mercy toward us, because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, he made us alive together with Christ, so that in the ages to come he might show the surpassing riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. I like to think of it this way is I've studied again.
This text Ruth is literally gleaning in the fields of grace fact, I want to emphasize that word and that thought is we go back through this encounter, I was struck in chapter 2, by the obvious activity of grace already give you six principles on the subject of grace all spend a couple of minutes on each point, I could spend 10 minutes on each, or more if I did, that would be here for more than an hour, but is further demonstration of grace, I will be concise and all the people said not so loud right to be a mother was sitting in a church service with her five-year-old was fidgeting and noisy. She was so afraid that in any moment he was going to blurt out and say something audibly and she didn't know what to do.
Then it hit her. She leaned over and she said listen, if you make too much noise. The pastor will lose his place and had to start all over again. We did move a muscle after the noise of the six principles will begin with the word grace to describe just one more facet of grace as we see it played out in flesh and blood between Boaz who is an illustration of Christ and Ruth, who is an illustration of the bride of Christ.
Principle number one we give it to you in the will go to the text.
Grace takes the initiative and always makes the first move. Go to verse eight of chapter 2 then Boaz by the way, and I will be the first to speak. Says to Ruth.
My daughter do not go to glean in another field.
Furthermore, do not go on from this one stay here with my maids. Let your eyes be on the field which they read and go after them. Indeed, I've I've commanded the servants not to touch you when you're thirsty, go to the water jars and drink from what the servants role.
Now again in our culture. We think that's great. He speaks to this is this is dramatic in this culture man would initiate conversation like this certainly to a foreigner. Remember when the disciples came back to the Lord. It was at the welding shot he's talking to a woman, and in addition to the Samaritan woman a forever any easy he's drunk out of her cup. He is now serving body only unclean. Boaz will invite her for conversation with her to drink out of his jar and he's initiating action is initiating conversation to this forever.
The stranger somebody really low on the wrong of society doesn't happen in order to understand a little bit of of how dramatic this was. Let me illustrate it this way.
My wife and I the privilege of touring some of the sites throughout London and in Scotland on a seminary tour. A couple of years ago we saw several palaces of Queen Elizabeth II. We were told that whenever she was in the particular palace, the flag would be flying to let us know the Queen is in residence.
We decided to visit one particular palace. We walked along the street to it. We stood outside the massive iron gate was locked. Of course we tried it it was it was locked. We stood there looking through the wrought iron gate. We know the Queen was in flat was flying.
We never saw her. Just imagine Queen Elizabeth coming to the porch, appearing suddenly at the doorway waving at us and running over to talk to us. I saw you at her and I thought I'd come straightaway never checked. We been absolutely for pretty good impression when you say we would be floored. Queen still that they don't come out. They don't talk to people how dramatic this is you don't expect to conversation with her.
Reminds me of the news you heard about Sen. who was called by President-elect Obama introduced himself and you have a lot of call back did it again. She hung up on him again. Finally she was interviewed and she said will I get a phone call from the President-elect was a gag so I hung up on know who expect a call from the president who expect a conversation with when you don't have that happen unless you've done something or maybe given something you deserve that kind you earn that special conversation. That's maybe in a long shot.
How you talk to somebody like that. You gotta do something heroic.
You gotta be worth do we take this stunning announcement for granted God in these last days has spoken to us through his grace is God speaking to us unworthy less than heroic peasants illustrated now centuries before the coming of Christ. Boaz spoke to Ruth no more remarkable in that culture than the Queen speaking to us in our culture. Grace takes the initiative. Boaz spoke first. The second principle of grace expands on that grace surprises us with provision and protection. Would you notice after Boaz rehearses to Ruth. Everything is going to provide for her. Her first sentence to him. In verse 10, go there and get your pencil ready to circle the word. Her first word is a word of disbelief. She cannot believe this kindness you can't comprehend this care so don't miss the very first word she ever says to Boaz in that first conversation is the word what why hello. This is why why why have you done this for me why you talking to me why are you providing for me is wonderful. The recipient of grace is always surprised because they know their undeserving Ruth doesn't say here.
I don't catch your eye. I knew it would be long stand in line.
Oh no she doesn't say oh I'm single me out. I'm fairly convinced that when we arrive in heaven and we see the splendor of his preparation on our behalf and we begin to grasp the eternal role as the bride of Christ, and we kneel at the feet of our Boaz. I have little doubt that the first word we may say to our kinsman redeemer is the same word. Why, why do you do all this for me this the principle of grace and the recipient is his left nearly speechless is is is grace dawns on the shadows of their mind there amazed and so we sing of it.
Amazing Grace. Say the word with me, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see principle number three grace is willing to play the role of servant to the unworthy now where were going back and taking a rather quick look at these first few verses, but I do want you to know that there's a lapse of time between their first conversation that ends in verse 13. And what happens next in verse 14, we don't know how long Ruth evidently goes out and spends the rest of the morning cleaning the fields. No doubt she's amazed that she's working at this incredibly kind landowner, but now it's time for lunch and she, as he has already instructed her sits outside the circle but close enough near enough to get water to drink. Perhaps she's munching on overall grain. She's gathered in the field if she has anything to eat it all. But Boaz has been watching for this moment all timing is perfect. Look at verse 14. At mealtime, Boaz said to her, come here that you may eat of the bread and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar. This implies that she doesn't have any bread of her own and he effectively is asking her to eat with him. This is their first day. This is the original outback restaurant not that unusual. I mean the star that morning and invited her lunch within the same day okay was a group date but it was still connecting. It was a start. Don't take this moment for granted. Ruth would have been amazed all over again fact, apart from what he's doing and how he seems to be interested in her. There's there's the physical need a cleaner was one step away from her on a street corner and there's no surprise to me that she has no bread, she probably would have worked all day with little to eat if anything other than robbery and then makes it home to Naomi to cook whatever they've been able to pull together. So don't take for granted the fact that a satisfactory meal is an unexpected blessing. Verse 14 informs us that Ruth is invited to take some of the bread and dip it into what is sweet what we know is a vinegar based sauce which was customary for this culture.
Here Ruth is a piece of bread, come over here and you can dip it into this this vinegar not get better. Verse 14 again.
So she sat beside the reapers, and he served her roasted grain bread and roasted grain, and she ate and was satisfied and had some leftover. He is serving her now cooked grain from his own skillet, they would they would heated over a fire. Perhaps he took that himself kneels down and and and as it was their custom brush some roasted Col. baby onto a little matching may been on or maybe into her lap and their eyes meet. Did they both blush by the obvious implication of the spontaneous moment. You better believe it.
I'm not a lot of love the scene that either the other reapers. Boaz's employees are watching you.
Maybe we should leave these to allow their Ruth eats the text implies that Ruth rose to go back to gleaning. In fact I show your mom and how it applies that she has left while they're all still eating there will still sitting there. It's possible that she was maybe a little embarrassed by this attention. She was aware of the curious looks and the glances from Boaz's employees in her direction.
Nobody miss this moment Boaz, the Prince's treating servant less than a servant a foreigner as if she were a member of his closest circle of friends went grace principle number four.
Grace works behind the scenes to provide for the beloved now.
As soon as Ruth gets up to leave.
Boaz adds more shock to his stunned friends and coworkers there evidently still there, which implies again. She's leaving there still stay behind if you haven't quite finished. Look at verse 15 when she rose to glean. Now she's out of earshot, Boaz commanded his servants say let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not insult her.
Also, you shall purposely pull out for her some grain from the bundles and leave it that she may gleaning.
Don't rebuke or don't get underway now obviously this is not normal behavior.
Boaz are you saying that you literally want us to throw grain in her path. Yes, I just ask you to be zero. The rest of us get it over with Boaz is no other two chapters don't go so fast dear can you imagine Ruth that she's continuing to work. She doesn't know the Comanche doesn't know special provisions she's just got me thinking just come in like reindeer and the employees are on drop and it is a work along. She's going to figure it out to be Boaz doesn't mind if she figures it. So she works away though she's for the most part, unaware we have every indication that she's oblivious. We too are most often oblivious to grace we we are currently work of God behind the scenes on our behalf. Every once in a while to catch a clue. We might see his hand will talk about something that happened we know that God was involved the truth easy. He is involved in everything were oblivious to much of, but he is busy at work behind the scenes on our behalf. We are his beloved. He works in us and with us quickly, then it this point that that ID ability principle is a 40 principle number five grace does not eliminate a responsive diligence and discipline. It does not eliminate a responsive diligence and discipline. If you go to other passages of Scripture and you track this idea through you find out that God does work in us both to will and to do with his good pleasure. Philippians 213.
He works in us were also told that God works everything out for us. Romans 828 were also told that God works with us fact in the Gospel of Mark. He commands them and say to going to preach and it says and they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them.
God works in us for us and with us. Verse 17 that you want to just underline that first phrase it follows along the lines of this principle clearly so she gleamed in the field until evening she went to work.
She should just say what will just load up my bucket here all bushel basket just put it right in here she goes out and she gathers it God through Boaz will provide for her but she has to go and in effect work for. She gleamed in the field until evening.
Notice what happens next that she beat out what she had. Glean, and it was about an and e-file of of barley. She took it off and went into the sitting I get this.
She denies Boaz for ride.
He probably would give it to her. She didn't ask the servants to beat out the barley. She didn't ask somebody to carry back to the city what amounts to at least 25 pounds weight she she doesn't do that she works one wears be commented on the scene by repeating the Latin proverb that says Providence assists, not the idle. Another author put it in a little lower down on the shelf. Even God won't steer a parked car. This is the principle of collaboration. Ruth went out to work and Boaz is working everything out in many ways, that illustrates the work of the church doesn't the bride of Christ, we toil to advance the gospel we work to make disciples of Jesus Christ said the harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are what you Matthew 930 7J. Vernon McGee equipped and is little commentary on this paragraph you said so many Christians sing at the top of their lungs. We shall come, rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves and then go out and do nothing gospel song has the Lord saying my house is full, but my field is empty. Who will go and work for me today. Ruth is in need of help from God, but Ruth is willing to work as God allows. So now, after a very long day.
She finally she arrives home exhausted but satisfied.
Maybe lately you would be able identify working in some ministry. Maybe it's juggling time demands of the two jobs. The family maybe it's challenges on that the campus or the corporate scene where we are striving for excellence to glorify Christ maybe maybe your undergoing weary strenuous tests to your faith. Maybe you're raising a brood of children to love Christ in you, in your pillow your head at night you are exhausted but satisfied or maybe you're just exhausted and not so satisfied because there's so much to do. Grace often goes about its business in need of a nap ever noticed it so often Christians you can count on to carry out some responsibility are the people who arty seem to have so much of it is, as Paul cheers is on Romans 1211 don't lag behind in diligence before in spirit with it.
Get on with it serving says the Lord is present. If the rapture should happen any day now may the Lord find us in of some rest. Grace takes the initiative and makes the first move. Secondly, grace surprises us with provision and protection. Third, grace plays the role of servant to the unworthy fourth. Grace often works behind the scenes to provide for the beloved fifth grace does not eliminate a response diligence and discipline.
One more principle glean from the field. Number six grace at work in one person's life has a way of giving grace to another look at verse 17, which is read through this quickly, so she gleamed in the field until evening, and she beat out what you gleamed and it was about 1/8 of barley took it up when into the city and her mother-in-law saw it she gleamed.
Ruth also took it out and gave Naomi what she had left after she was satisfied. This is an implication she's taking out meal that roasted grain so that they only now does, that the cook to eat her supper, she can immediately eat and be satisfied a verse 19. Her mother-in-law then said to work. Where did you gleamed today and where did you work may he who took notice of you be blessed. Trust me he will be. So she told her mother along with him. She worked and said the name of the man with whom I work today is Boaz's 20 Naomi said to her daughter, may he be blessed of the Lord is not withdrawn his kindness to the living and the dead. Naomi said, or the man is he is a potential kinsman redeemer Ruthie is a potential husband. One looked at 25 pounds of barley and Naomi is hearing wedding bells scoping out the dress were were there.
She can see it in her older age. He knows what's happening and listen.
This is the first time in this book Naomi is praising God.
You remember she came back and she said God is what counts abandon me. Don't call me Naomi don't call me satisfaction pleasantness. Call me bitter change my name but not the grace of God in Ruth's life has just spilled over into Naomi's life. Naomi's she's having a fit.
Now, don't misunderstand her. Naomi's joy is not based on Ruth. The key thing to see here is that Naomi is hoping in who Boaz was what Boaz has said what Boaz can do and be. This is a formula for Christian joy. We don't hope in anybody else will be disappointed we don't hope in anything else. Where is your security today. Our hope is in who Christ is. We hope in what Christ has said we hope in what Christ can do for us is beloved. That's where our hope.
And he will never disappoint us. So Ruth returns the next day to the fields.
Boaz, verse 23 DVDs literally become fields of grace for her. She's going to glean the text tells us until the end of the barley harvest and the wheat harvest that would take around seven weeks did they eat lunch together again. You better believe it is in the Hebrew somewhere when I told you can imagine, we do know that at the end of the harvest.
Ruth and Boaz are undeniably deeply in love. Let me give you two more truths about grace number one. Grace does not deal sporadically in your life. It deals continuously whether you know it or not, whether you recognize it or not. Grace is at work even now in your life. Secondly, you do not come in and out of the presence of grace.
You live there you live and God is able. Paul wrote to the Corinthians to make all grace abound to you so that always having all sufficiency in everything you may have an abundance for every good deed.
Ladies and gentlemen, the truth is we are surrounded by grace for eyes to see and hearts to send in my Sure the grace of God in our lives. We need to just stop and ask him to help us see his grace at work in our lines as we enter a new day asking for help, see his trusted thank, as we go about our let's not forget we also are going field's of grace. Your life may not be as you pictured hope would in the hand of God might be difficult to see. But as the children of God. We are the recipients of God's grace and God is at work even if you can't see it now. I hope today's lesson was encouraging to you if you missed a portion of it. We've posted it to our website. You'll find us email@example.com. Thanks for listening today. Please join us again next time. For more for the