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Ruth Part 2

Ruth: God's Amazing Love Story  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  41:14
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When we return to God, he delights in bringing us joy, so we should receive his grace humbly.

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Introduction

My confession last week. Ruth is a love story … that teaches us about God’s amazing love and care for his people.
We've talked about how do we deal with suffering, but how do we deal with positive things? How do we respond when things are going really well?
I would like to suggest that sometimes we have just as hard of a time when God blesses as when we suffer.
Background: Things started bad and got worse (Time of judges, famine strikes, Elimelek moves Moab, he and his sons die leaving Naomi and her two widow daughter-in-laws. Then she and Ruth return to Jerusalem.
Things have turned out tragically for Naomi and Ruth. But even in their sorrow and bitterness, they did the best possible thing. They returned to the land of their God.
Time of judges

God Blesses When We Return

When we return to God, he will graciously bless you.
This is a promise that is repeated throughout Scripture
Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil.”
And rend your heart and not your garments " Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil.
That’s exactly what we see here for Naomi and Ruth.
They return home and their fortunes are reversed.
They are able to glean for food (this is a result of God’s law of gleaning)
They are then shown amazing kindness and favor by Boaz her relative.
The book of Ruth is about returning. The word "return" (shuv) is repeated. The premise is that if you return to God(repent) he will provide and care for you.
Repentance (returning) is about realizing that your current state (situation and condition) is doomed and realizing that there is mercy and provision for you in the presence of God.
Boaz gets it right in
Ruth 2:10–12 ESV
Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”
Ruth 2:10–11 ESV
Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before.
The beautiful thing about this is that the blessing is for anyone who returns. Naomi, who has lived in disobedience. Ruth who is an outsider, a foreigner from an unclean land.
No matter your background, your brokenness, no matter what: God will gracious bless you if you return to him.
But why? Why does God do this? This is extremely important. It is because …

God Delights in Bringing us Joy

We see this truth reflected in this story.
Ruth “happens” upon Boaz’s field. And then we see the beginning of a love story.
Ruth catches Boaz’s eye. Verse 5, “Whose young woman is this?”
He notices her (maybe she’s hot?) … but he see more than that. Her story is one of godliness and character.
Then out of his delight for her, he begins to add kindness and blessings to her.
Verse 8-10—he offers her a safe place to glean
Verses 14—he invites her to dinner
Illustration: Time I met Amanda (made sure I was close)
Verses 15-16—He gets his workers to leave extra bundles of grain for her.
When she gets back, Naomi notices that something is up!
Ruth caught Boaz’s eye and out of his delight for her, he begins to lavish blessings upon her.
We see God’s hand in this story too. We see God’s providential grace for Naomi and Ruth in this story.
They just “happened” to return during the harvest season.
Ruth just “happened” to land on the one field that would be safe and that belonged to the one man that would help them
Boaz just “happened” to come that day from Bethlehem.
None of this was an accident. God was blessing Naomi and Ruth because he delighted in them. It’s the same story!
Listen: because of Jesus’ life and death; God now delights in you. Did you know that? He delights in you!
And as a result, he delights in bringing you joy.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Naomi and Ruth came looking for bread crumbs and they got a feast!
When we come to God even for bread crumbs—we get a banquet!
And in Boaz we see the merciful, graciousness of God in Jesus. We see that he is not just kind and rewarding, but lavish in his love and grace.
In Boaz we see the merciful, graciousness of God in Jesus. We see that he is not just kind and rewarding, but lavish in his love and grace.
Illustration: Prodigal Son …
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Luke 15:17–24 ESV
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” ’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

We Need to Humble Receive His Grace

Naomi and Ruth new that they were not worthy to receive this kindness and grace. But they recieved it in humility.
I’ve seen (and personally experienced) difficulty with really believing and receiving the delight of God. Why is that?
Illustration: Duckett’s imposter syndrom
We all watched God’s amazing providence in leading Duckett to seminary and providing in an amazing way.
I’ve been there. “This is too good to be true. God couldn’t possibly delight in me and delight in bringing me joy.”
Naomi and Ruth came looking for bread crumbs and they got a feast!
When we come to God even for bread crumbs—we get a banquet!
And in Boaz we see the merciful, graciousness of God in Jesus. We see that he is not just kind and rewarding, but lavish in his love and grace.
Illustration: Prodigal Son …
Luke 15:17–24 ESV
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” ’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. ... 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16
"No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." John 15:15

Conclusion

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16
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