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The Provision of the Unseen Hand

Redemption for those in need  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God is gracious, and He provides with abundance for His children

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The Grace of God is Generous ()

Explanation: The setting is mealtime, and the harvest crew is sitting down to eat. By law, Boaz is not obligated to feed the poor who are gleaning in his field. He has already done a lot for Ruth by protecting her and giving her access to the water. Boaz is a kind and generous man and displays the loving-kindness (hesed) of God towards Ruth. He invites her to his table, gives her access to the food, lets her have some dipping sauce, and he serves her himself. Ruth eats and is satisfied, and has to ask for a “to-go” box
Illustrate: Taking Odell and Sue Ann to Wendy’s. I was going to go by Wendy’s first and get them a couple of jr. burgers. Instead, we picked them up first and took them through the drive thru and let them order what they wanted
Argument: God is generous with His gifts to His children. This doesn’t mean we get anything and everything we want, but that He is not stingy. When God gives, He does so with generosity. He gives because He is a good God, not because we deserve it.
Application: We should be thankful to God for how He has blessed us, and how He is continuing to bless us. Our eye should not be on what some one else is receiving, but we should be thankful for Him and His presence, not just what He gives. And as we minister to others, we should be generous as we represent the Father.

The Grace of God is scandalously extravagant ()

Explanation: Boaz has already done more for Ruth than anyone present could imagine. The rest of the crew had not yet gotten over having this foreigner sitting at the table with them and eating their food. Now Boaz goes further and instructs them to not only let her glean, but to purposely drop the bundles they had already harvested so that Ruth could pick them up! Boaz is telling the workers to allow Ruth to share in their labors. By the end of the day, Ruth has what amounts to about 50 to 60 lbs of grain
Illustrate: Siblings have been working in the garden picking beans, then cleaning them, and then snapping & shelling. Dad comes in with homeless person and directs kids to give him a bowl of the finished product. The children’s natural reaction is “He can go to the field and pick his own!”
Argument: God’s grace is scandalous to non-believers. He has done that, and God will just forgive him?!! He deserves to rot in prison for the rest of his life and then burn in hell for what he has done! [can God forgive a serial rapist/ murderer like a Ted Bundy?]
Application: Every single person is guilty before a holy God (). The only thing we deserve is punishment. In His grace, God gives to us more than we could even imagine, and the extent of His gift is wildly marvelous. Reflect and meditate on just how blessed we are to be in Christ

The Grace of God is Redemptive ()

Explanation: Imagine the picture - Naomi watches Ruth trudge off to the harvest fields worried sick about what might happen to her. As the sun begins to set she may have been standing at the door, hoping that Ruth would be walking back with a little something, and not to have gotten harassed or abused in the process. What she actually sees is her daughter-in-law staggering home under a load of grain that she can barely carry!
Naomi is amazed! Probably slack jawed and flabbergasted! Then Ruth gives her the left overs from lunch and she probably has to sit down! Imagine the conversation: “Ruth, oh my goodness! Where did you get this? How did you get so much? Whose field did you work in? Oh, thank God for this guy! May God bless him for his kindness!!” And then Ruth tells her the guy’s name is Boaz, and Naomi goes into another fit. “Boaz! Did you say Boaz?! Well, my stars! Boaz is a relative of ours. Not only a relative, but a close relative! Do you know what this means Ruth? God bless this man Boaz because he is one of our Redeemers!
Argument: Naomi and Ruth had a need, and God supplied their need. His provision is actually in response to Naomi’s prayer for Ruth (,), but God answered her prayer in a much different and better way than Naomi had expected. God was just not giving Ruth a good meal and one good day in the fields. God is providing for her and Naomi’s needs for the future and advancing His kingdom purposes.
Naomi sees the Unseen Hand of Yaweh and work and blesses His name, and she is also thankful for Boaz, as God’s instrument. Naomi is getting a glimpse of what God may be planning as she begins to watch God putting Ruth and Boaz, a redeemer, together. God may start with the physical, but His plan is always for the spiritual.
Application: We all have times in our lives when we have physical needs. Those needs may be financial, for a place to live, food on the table, or health issues. And we can and should pray for these things. But, we should always be aware of the spiritual realm as the more important one, and should be seeking to adjust our lives to where we see God already working.
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