Faithlife Sermons

Gleaning in the fields of Grace

Redemption for those in need  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God graciously provides for those in need

Sermon Tone Analysis
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Confess your need ()

Explanation: Naomi and Ruth are back in Bethlehem, but they still have need. They are still two women with no viable means of support. Probably through Naomi, Ruth learns about the provision in the Mosaic Law that pertained to the poor of the Land. She understood she was in poverty and that the law of gleaning applied to her.
Illustrate: Using WIC Vouchers while in seminary
Argument: In our particular socio-economic class it is difficult to admit we need financial help. It is just as difficult, if not more so, to admit that we need spiritual assistance. Americans like to think that we can do whatever needs to be done, to pay our own way. Unfortunately, having a “can-do” attitude is of no value in spiritual issues. Jesus taught, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven” ()
Application: Lay aside pride when (not if) a need enters your life. There are no “self-made” people. All of us need help. All of us need a Redeemer

Trust the Unseen Hand ()

Explanation: The Narrator foreshadows the appearance of Boaz in the first verse. Ruth does not know Boaz; she is simply looking for a place to work for food. The entire community is in the harvest season (), and the field of Boaz was not the only field being harvested. The text is silent as to the specifics of Ruth’s process of choosing which field to enter, but the text indicates she happened to come to the … field belonging to Boaz.
Illustrate: prayed about which Scripture, Danny points out a different song to Mark, and then the pray and the song are in harmony.
Argument: There is no such thing as luck in the life of a believer. Ruth was guided by Divine Providence to the field of Boaz. She did not understand the significance of her decision at the time, but looking back the Divine Imprint is clear and obvious.
The path and pace of the journey is not always what we expect, and is very often not to our liking, but it is especially at those times we need to trust. Ruth was most likely not celebrating Mahlon’s death, and waiting joyfully for what came next. God had something better for Ruth, and He has something better for us who belong to Him. is for those in the faith, as is Gen. 50:20.

Position yourself to be Blessed ()

Explanation: Ruth and Naomi were in need of food and money, and provision was made available through the law for gleaning. Instead of laying around the house and waiting for help to knock on the door, Ruth got up and went to work in the fields. She displayed industry by going at it early and hard (she only took a short break). When she arrived in the field she was respectful (she asked permission), and she accepted what was there (she didn’t ask about a better job).
Illustrate: old joke about the man who needed to be rescued during rising flood waters
Argument: God can and does intercede whenever and wherever He chooses. We cannot stop His agenda. While God could have dumped grain from heaven on Naomi’s doorstep, He chose to work in a different way. As a poor widow, and a foreigner to boot, Ruth displayed a good work ethic. She did what she could with what she had.
It is important not to confuse God’s ability by making Him dependent upon our actions. The oft-quoted statement, “Heaven helps those who help themselves” is not biblical. The truth is that God helps those who cannot help themselves.
Application: Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves and giving in to discouragement thereby doing nothing, we can always do something.

Remain close to the Master ()

Explanation: Boaz breaks down the barriers between them. He knows she is a foreigner, yet he grants her access; he has just met her, yet he calls her his “daughter.” Boaz is showing great kindness to Ruth just with these actions, but he goes further. He tells Ruth to follow his work crew from field to field (continuing provision) and he commands his servants not to harm her (continuing protection). In addition, Boaz grants her free access to the drinking water - a very big deal!
Argument: It is good to be in the Father’s house. The Father’s house is a place of provision and protection. Too many believers stray to “other fields” and then wonder why life is so hard and unfruitful.
Application: Stay close and stay clean. Do not forsake the assembly of the brethren that you may grow in His grace through corporate worship and accountability

Be thankful for the Grace that is given ()

Explanation: Ruth is overwhelmed by what she is receiving at the hand of her benefactor. Ruth does not throw out a “thank you” but falls down in front of him as an act of humility. She knows she doesn’t deserve his generosity, especially as she is a foreigner. (there were probably other poor Israelites who were gleaning)
Illustrate: doing extra without obligation, and not getting thanked
Argument: Boaz informs Ruth that he is familiar with her story. While he does not reveal his relationship to Naomi, he does tell Ruth that he appreciates the kindness she has shown to Naomi, and that he also appreciates her willingness to stay with Naomi as a foreigner. Boaz then asks the covenant God of Israel to bless this Moabite.
Application: True thankfulness is an indication of humility. It acknowledges there is not a debt (Boaz did not have to be so generous), and understands grace for what it is.
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