Published on March 16, 2014
REDEEMING RUTH #3 God’s Hand in our Blessing
Ruth 2:14-23 “And at mealtime, Boaz said to her, ‘Come here and eat some bread, and dip your morsel in the wine.’ So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed to her roasted grain. And she ate until she was satisfied, and she had some left over. When she rose to glean, Boaz instructed his young men, saying, ‘Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. And also, pull out some of the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.’
“So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. And she took it up and went in to the city. Her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also brought out and gave her what food she had left over after being satisfied. And her mother-in-law said to her, ‘Where did you glean today, and where have you worked? Blessed be the man 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.’ And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, ‘May he be blessed by the Lord whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead.’ Naomi also said to her, ‘The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.’ And Ruth, the Moabite, said, ‘Besides, he said to me, ‘You shall keep close to my young men until they have finished all my harvest.’’ And Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter-in-law, ‘It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, lest in another field you be insulted.’
“So she kept close to the young women of Boaz, gleaning until the end of thebarley and wheat harvests. And she lived with her mother-in-law.”
SCRIPTURE is TRUE
It is ULTIMATELY INSPIRED OF GOD through human authors,
It is PERFECT
It is HOW GOD HAS CHOSEN TO REVEAL HIMSELF TO US MOST CLEARLY.
HERO OF THE STORY OF SCRIPTURE IS JESUS CHRIST.
Furthermore, Jesus told us that everything in scripture was about him. InJohn 5, a bunch of religious types came to argue with him, and he said, “Youdiligently study the scriptures saying that in them you will find eternal life,yet you fail to recognize that the entire purpose of scripture is to revealme.” Jesus said that the whole Bible is ultimately about him as the hero.
And so Jesus, as well, instructed on how the Book of Ruth was ultimately about him.
He works on the earth through faithful people.
“And at mealtime, Boaz said to her, “Come here and eat some bread.” “And dipyour morsel in the wine.”
Numbers 6:24. • He brings lunch for his employees. Good management principlehere. Your company’s contingent upon your people being loyal andhardworking and faithful and honest, so take good care of youremployees. They’ll take good care of you.
And he invites Ruth, “Come on. Have lunch. Sit down with us.”
“Come here and dip your morsel in the wine.”
Who served Ruth? Boaz. What is he? The boss. What is hedoing serving her? You see the family resemblance here, withJesus? Though he’s in charge, he’s humble; he takes theposture of a servant. In that culture, the Moabite womanserved the Hebrew men.
Be a gentleman. Be a godly, generous, kind, humble, servantto all women. And, when God should bring along your wife,you will have treated her the way you should have becauseyou treat all ladies the same way.
You also must court her mother.
This is very important. Boaz is generous to her, and hermother-in-law. You gotta court the mother-in-law. Yourpotential mother-in- law. The mother. Gotta get her on yourside.
VERSE 15, it continues, “After the meal, she rose to glean.”
She’s gonna go back to work. Hard working gal!
She receives his kindness and then she goes back to work, a hard working gal.
Speak to the younger men. Give them clear directives – how to get a job, how to make money, how to save money, how to court a woman, how to raise a kid, how to read the Bible.
What I love about Boaz, he keeps telling the young guys who work for him what to do, not because he doesn’t love ‘em, because he’s like a father figure.
He’s a defender, protector, provider.
He is a godly man. He’s run a company well. He loves the Lord. He’s very gracious. He’s very kind. He’s very masculine. He’s a man of wealth, and wherewithal, and war. And the young men are listening to him ‘cause he’s got some wisdom.
Ruth gets a lot of counsel from Naomi, an older woman who loves her, an older woman who does know God and has for some time.
It is good to pursue relationships with older people who have wisdom, and it is good to heed their counsel because they are giftsthat God gives us.
“Let her glean, even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. Also,pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, anddo not rebuke her.”
Put her in the most advantageous place that she can make asmuch money as possible. Furthermore, if she works hard atthe end of the day, give her a huge bonus.
This is beyond the letter of the law, all the way to grace. He is making sure that she will do exceedingly well, providing sheworks hard.
She works hard. You will see that Ruth is a woman who takes theopportunities that God gives her. She works hard. She acts holy. Godcontinues to provide opportunities.
“She gleaned in the field until evening.” She worked all day. This is hard work.This is sweaty, pittin’ out, stinky, blue-collar work. She’s working hard, all day,until the sun goes down. “Then she beat out what she had gleaned.” Again,more hard work. “And it was about an ephah of barley.”
EPHAH is somewhere between maybe 30 and 50 pounds that she hasobtained through her one day’s labor
It was the equivalent, perhaps, of two weeks wages for the averageworker.
Boaz is not looking to take advantage of her. He doesn’t think that atall. He loves her. He treats her with kindness.
Like Paul says, “As a sister.” And he blesses her well.
“Her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned.”
Naomi is stunned. What’s her question? “She also brought out and gaveher what food she had leftover from being satisfied.”
“And her mother-in-law said to her, ‘Where did you glean today?’” She says,“Blessed be the man who took notice of you.”
Romans says that it’s the kindness of God that leads to repentance.
God is lovingly, graciously, kindly, mercifully, provided for Ruth andNaomi, and now Naomi’s heart opens up.
“She then told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, ‘Theman’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.’”
It means “strong man,” “mighty man,” “godly man,” “masculine,defender, protector, provider.” Boaz.
The cry of her heart, in Ruth, Chapter 2, verse 2, was that God wouldgive her favor in the eyes of someone, and God has given her favor,grace, mercy in the eyes of Boaz. And it gets even better.
“And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, ‘May he be blessed by the Lord whosekindness has not forsaken the living or the dead.”
HASSED It’s a very important word here, translated kindness, or loving kindness. It’s all of the wonderful attributes of God, the love,grace, mercy, patience, kindness, long-suffering, provision ofGod. In Galatians, it’s called the Fruit of the Spirit, love, joy,peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self control.It’s this hassed of God.
Naomi says as such, “I knew God was a god of hassed. And now hehas had hassed on me, and us. And I pray that God would havehassed on Boaz, ‘cause Boaz has had hassed on us.”
She’s saying that Boaz is here reflecting the nature and thecharacter and the attributes of God. Not that Boaz is God –he’s not. He’s just a man. But as an image- bearer of God, he’sShe’s saying that Boaz is here reflecting the nature and thecharacter and the attributes of God. Not that Boaz is God –he’s not. He’s just a man. But as an image-bearer of God, he’s
And in this, Boaz understands, “God has been so good to me. Inow should be good to others to reflect my relationship withGod.”
Naomi sees all of this and her heart changes from bitterness to blessing. And she says, “You know what? He looks like God. He’s lovingand gracious and merciful and kind, and he provides, and he protects,and he defends. You’ve met a godly man. Praise be to God for answeringour prayers.” She goes on to say, “The man is a close relative of ours,one of our redeemers.
Let me explain to you what a REDEEMER does. In Leviticus 25, a redeemerhas two primary functions: TO REDEEM PEOPLE AND PROPERTY.
The redeemer was the one who would come in and say, “I’ll pay off the debt to redeem the person from slavery,” or “I’ll pay off the noteon the land and the farm to keep it in the family and to bring it backto the family who desperately needs it.”
The redeemer was the one who fixed everything. The redeemer was the one who was wise and successful, and who God had blessed sothat they could bless others and do works of hassed. What she’ssaying is this, “BOAZ IS A REDEEMER.”
He’s not the closest redeemer. And secondly, technically, this is notnecessarily true, because the redeemer was obligated to care for thefamily, including the widows and the orphans.
So, if a man died, the redeemer would be the one to look after hiswidow. If a man and/or his wife died, the redeemer would be the oneto help ensure that there was provision and care for the children.The redeemer is like the loving, gracious, patriarchal figureoverseeing the wellbeing of the family. But he was only obligated tobiological relatives, and Ruth is not a biological relative. She’s notconnected to the family. She’s not a relative by birth, but by newbirth, because she’s been converted, born again, to use thelanguage of the New Testament, she is treated by Boaz as an equal.She is loved by Naomi as a daughter. She has treated Naomi as amother. And as such, Naomi is expecting that Ruth should be takencare of and loved, and redeemed, even though under the letter of thelaw she has no right. Under the spirit of the law, she is. She is awoman who should be considered a family member.
I’ll say this to you, men, as well. You and I, gentlemen, as Christian men, part of what it means is to be a redeemer. Not the big-R redeemer – that’s Jesus. We’re the little-r redeemer.
Those kinds of afflictions have shaped in Ruth a sanctification so that these have become sanctified afflictions. Her character is outstanding. Her loyalty is unprecedented. Her work ethic is noble. And her appreciation for kindness and provision and blessing and love is unparalleled.
The answer is “Because I want a woman with the character of Ruth, and sometimes that is only through sanctified affliction. Secondly, I want to belike Boaz and Jesus, and I’m happy to be a man of redemption.”
Naomi gets it right. She says, “He’s a redeemer.” There is hope in Naomi’svoice.
VERSE 21, “And Ruth, the Moabite, said, ‘Besides, he said to me, you shallkeep close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.”
This is a gracious man. He is a man who is showing that he is readyto be a husband. He has run his company well. He is generous withhis money.
We need to live under budgets. We need to be prudent with ourmoney and good stewards, I understand. But he’s demonstratinghere a generosity that is very important for a husband to have if hiswife is to have any joy.
VERSE 22, “And Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter- in-law, “It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women.”
Some of the prayers have been answered. They gotta house. They got some food. God’s had favor on them. Still no husband, still no baby.
One author has said that men chasing women are like dogs chasing fire engines. Should they get one, they’re not sure what to do with it. You kind of see that here.
Here’s what she doesn’t do. This is what I love. She doesn’t leave the place that God blesses. I would just encourage all of you to understand this. Some people say, “God bless me! Please, bless me, God!” Stay in the place that God blesses.
But you can’t drop your standards to where, as some women do. I mean you need to have holiness, and you need to stay in the place that God blesses.
GOD DOESN’T BLESS SIN.
That’s not a parenting philosophy. When the children sin, Icorrect them, discipline them. When they live obedient, holylives, then I bless them because they’re in the place ofblessing. So many women want to live in the place – or men,too – in the place of disobedience and be blessed.
And if you know Jesus, you should not date a guy who does not. Period. “He believes in God,” so do demons, according to James. “Well, she’s hot.” So’ shell. I mean, come on! Think it through.
She lives a holy life. She goes to work. She pays her bills. She reads her Bible. She gets baptized. She joins the church. She has Christian friends. She lives in the place that God could bless. That’s what I want for you all.
You men, aspire to be like Boaz. Get your affairs in order. Treat all women as sisters. Be generous, like Jesus. Humble, as well. You ladies, Ruth, great example. Walk with God and his people. Build your friendships. Listen to older ladies. Walk with younger ladies who love the Lord. Live a life of holiness. Work in your job. Walk in your faith, staying in the place that God blesses, trusting that he can and he will, ‘cause he’s sovereign and good. That’s what it means to be the God of providence.
You can see the family resemblance in Boaz. He is a redeemer, as Jesus is our redeemer. And Boaz is glorious. Spurgeon calls Jesus “Our glorious Boaz.” As Boaz came to his land, Jesus came to his Earth. As Boaz saw Ruth, so Jesus has seen us. As Boaz initiated relationship with Ruth, so Jesus has initiated relationship with us. As Boaz was so kind and providing to Ruth, so Jesus is so kind and providing to us. Futhermore, heis our redeemer. That’s what is says in the New Testament. Jesus is ourbig-R redeemer, that we belong to Satan and sin and death and we’rebound for hell, and like Ruth, we’re in a terrible predicament, and thatJesus has given this gracious gift of himself.
He doesn’t owe us anything, as Boaz owes Ruth nothing. But he lives without sin, he dies for sin. He gives us his own death, burial, resurrection, as a gift. He has favor on us. And like Ruth received the gift from Boaz, we must receive the gift of salvation from the Lord Jesus Christ. And he is the God of hassed, the God of Ruth, the God of Naomi, the God of Boaz is Jesus Christ. And he is the loving, gracious, merciful, kind God of hassed.
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