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CHURCH ON RANDALL PLACE SERMON NOTES 2/15/09

“COLORING OUTSIDE THE LINES” A STUDY IN RUTH

TODAY’S MESSAGE:  “THE GRAND FINALE” RUTH 4

I.       Introduction

a.       All good stories are filled w/ surprises.

                                                              i.      Ruth’s ending transcends “happily ever after.”

b.      Major theme: that God is working providentially to bring about His plans.

                                                              i.      God is preparing to answer a prayer/need that has yet to be asked/known.

                                                            ii.      Think for a moment of the implications.

c.       Recap Ch 3

II.    New Math

a.       Mr. No Name

                                                              i.      Author goes out of his way to not give this man a name.

1.      “Peloni Almoni” Mr. So and so.

                                                            ii.      Boaz offers him a great real estate investment.

                                                          iii.      Not such a good deal after all.

1.      In attempting to protect his future and his name, he remains forever nameless.

a.       Importance of names.  The book of Ruth has the keeping of one’s name as a key theme.

2.      The omission of a name is one way the Bible demonstrates insignificance.  The threat of insignificance-not evil.

a.       Pharaoh > Shiphrah and Puah.

b.      God’s new math

                                                              i.      Boaz (“in him is strength”).

1.      Does what is right in the eyes of God w/o concern for a return.

2.      Too often evangelism and ministry are evaluated according the scale of Mr. So and so.  “What’s in it for me?”

                                                            ii.      God’s economy          

1.      Numbers don’t always add up

a.       We cling to what we have and lose something greater

b.      Myopia.

c.       Abiding Truth

                                                              i.      Be steadfast in holding to God’s revealed will which provides both temporal and eternal worth.

                                                            ii.      Boaz understood

1.      Do what is right

2.      God’s favor is the reward.

a.       Boaz’s reward was not deferred.  He was given a son

b.      The Lord moved in history to bring redemption one step closer.

III. Big Plans

a.       Purpose of the genealogy

                                                              i.      God has been up to something beyond the blessing of 3 obscure people in Hebrew history.

1.      Not just a story about happily ever after

                                                            ii.      God is working His extraordinary purposes in ordinary individuals.

b.      This provides protection against being consumed w/ the trivial.

                                                              i.      Ruth wants to teach us that God’s purpose for His people is to connect us w/ something greater than ourselves

1.      “That when we follow Him our lives actually mean more than we think they do” (John Piper).

c.       We are easily swayed and influenced by the trivial (not necessarily evil).

                                                              i.      We spend our time and effort on that which is insignificant when we were created to live for magnificent causes.

d.      Ruth teaches that ordinary people living, often imperfectly, in obedience to God’s designs not only live happily ever after but are connected w/ the glorious work of God in history. 

                                                              i.      Old math.  I’ll go to church today because there is something in it for me

                                                            ii.      New math: In faithfulness to God I will be a means of bringing about God’s stupendous work in history.

IV. Finale

a.       This is not an account of famine, widowhood, reaping, romance, threshing floors, marriage proposals and children. 

                                                              i.      It is not an account of happily ever after.

b.      It is an account of God working all things for good to bring about His unshakable promises. 

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