08(Ruth 02) Receiving Gods Grace
§ The Bible doesn’t talk at all about luck. Instead, it talks about ‘grace.’ But Christians often think of God’s grace in the same way others think about luck. Instead of blind chance, the Scriptures point us to a personal God who bestows grace on people.
§ How do we receive God’s grace?
§ Naomi and Ruth could certainly have blamed bad luck for their circumstances – dead husbands, sons, and no future. But in our text we will see an amazing story of God’s grace, and we will glean some important insight about obtaining God’s grace.
A. Boaz’s introduction Ruth 2:1
§ All further references point to his character, not wealth. Same wording used of Ruth is 3:11 w/out reference to wealth...
B. Ruth’s initiative (2) Ruth 2:2
§ Ruth asks Naomi’s permission to go out and find some work, get some food. They were in desperate need. Urgent sense of language implies she went out the morning after they arrived.
§ She is resolved to provide her own (& Naomi’s) keep.
§ Though she had the right to glean (pick up after the reapers), she needed someone’s grace - she was, after all, a “Moabitess.”
§ The law allowed her to glean, but landowners could be very uncooperative.
C. God’s intervention (3) Ruth 2:3
§ Of all the fields in all the places, she ends up in Boaz’s.
§ Here we see an important step on the road to receiving God’s grace. The first step has to do with how you view your circumstances.
§ In a situation like this, you have to decide:
§ Is this a coincidence? Or is God involved?
§ Clearly, the writer sees this as providence, not just coincidence.
§ Ruth 2:4 makes it clear God is behind this seeming “luck”
§ We often think we are not recipients of God’s grace because we fail to see his providence in our lives. We write things off to coincidence. But if you want to receive God’s grace, you must:
I. RECOGNIZE GOD’S HAND IN YOUR LIFE
§ Is it by chance that you lived where you did or went to school where you did?
§ ‘Chances’ are, you have received far more of God’s grace than you recognize. Spend some time today, or this week, cataloging the times God has shown up for you.
A. Boaz’s arrival
§ Let’s look at Ruth 2:4 again and look for the second step to receiving God’s grace. “Just then” lends drama to the scene.
§ The boss shows up on the scene and greets his people.
§ Greeting shows his godliness, benevolent nature.
B. Ruth’s request (2:5-7)
§ This is another providential moment – that he takes notice.
§ Her request was unusual - not just to glean, but “gather among the sheaves.”
§ This is something like gleaning from that which has been harvested and collected.
§ Ruth asks for more than she is entitled to. She asks for provision.
§ The picture is of a holy boldness and a confident patience, as she worked in the fields awaiting the answer.
C. Boaz’s response (Ruth 2:8-9)
§ Boaz’s answer is amazing. She got the job!
§ Boaz gives her permanent work, meaning she doesn’t have to looking elsewhere.
§ He also gives her protection, saying the men have been warned to keep their paws off of you. Ruth was young and attractive enough to get Boaz’s attention. Working in the fields could be dangerous. Like sending your beautiful daughter to work sweeping up at a construction site.
§ Boaz even grants her access to precious water! Obtaining water would have required leaving the field and taken precious time from gleaning. This is far more than she could have hoped for!
§ There is a significant point here. All that Boaz gave her came because of her request, because she asked for it.
§ If she hadn’t made the bold request, she wouldn’t have gotten the bold response.
§ This is the second step to receiving God’s grace. You and I must:
II. REQUEST GOD’S GRACE
§ James, in the NT speaking about wisdom, says “You do not have because you do not ask.”
§ That certainly applies here as well. If you want God’s grace, need his grace in a certain situation, ask for it.
§ Asking that gets answers is asking that follows careful, quiet listening to discern God’s ways.
§ Certainly this is what Ruth did.
A. Ruth’s response to God’s grace
§ Ruth responds to the grace of Boaz with an expression of gratitude.
§ This may seem like overkill in our culture, but only because we tend not to be very grateful…
§ But all this overwhelming grace leads her to ask a significant question: “Why?”
B. The reason for God’s grace (2:11-12)
§ It is Ruth’s faith that Boaz has responded too.
§ She was faithful to Naomi, showing her commitment to her by leaving her homeland and going with Naomi, even after her husband died.
§ And she has shown her faithfulness to God. She has taken refuge under his wing.
§ God rewards faith. In the NT we find these words: Hebrews 11:6
§ We receive God’s grace in our lives when we:
III. REMAIN FAITHFUL
§ Ruth had some very “good luck” that day.
§ Getting the “lucky breaks” is more than just being in the right place at the right time.
§ When we are faithful to God, we will find God’s grace on our lives.
§ Ruth didn’t reap this abundant grace just for having one good day.
§ She had hung in there over the long haul. Her faith was evident for a long time.
§ If you want God’s grace, commit yourself to faithfulness for the long haul.
IV. RESPOND WITH THANKS
§ When God gives us his grace, we should return to him with thanksgiving.
§ Too often we expect God’s grace, get mad if we don’t receive it, and then fail to thank him when we do.
§ The classic illustration of this is the 10 lepers that Jesus healed. Of the 10, only 1 returned and gave thanks. How often we are like that.
§ Perhaps today you need to recognize the grace you have received from God, and give him thanks.
CONCL: Stop counting on “luck”. Embrace the living God who delights in giving His grace and grace to His faithful children.