FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 2/20/2013
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
RUTH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 2/20/2013
Pursued By Grace
IN THE FIELD OF GRACE, Lesson 6a
Ruth is a widow from Moab. In the mind of the average Israelite, she is less than nothing, a person to be despised and rejected. She is just a pagan sinner looking for a little grace. Verses 2-3 tell us that she has gone to hunt for food. This involved her entering fields that belonged to total strangers, falling in line behind that man's servants who were reaping the fields and trying to find a little grain here and there.
She was looking for just enough to make a meal for herself and her mother-in-law. Verse 2 tells us that she went out looking "for grace". Verse 3 tells us that she found it! Even though Ruth didn't know it at the time, God was directing her steps to bring her face to face with a man by the name of Boaz. When she went to glean in his field, she entered the field of grace.
Boaz is a clear picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. His actions in his field that day show us how the Lord Jesus acts toward those who are in His field, the church. I want us to consider Ruth and Boaz today as we find them “In The Field Of Grace”. Notice the picture Boaz paints of Jesus and the lessons he teaches us about our Lord!
V. 4-7 HIS CONSIDERING WORK
V. 4-5a He Is Present In His Field –
Heb. 13:5, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Matt. 28:20, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
His Present Is Personal – Rev. 2:1, “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:”
His Presence Is By Proxy - Even though Jesus is in heaven today, His Spirit is ever present with the church , (John 14:16-18).
His Presence Is Pleasant - The gracious greeting between Boaz and his servants. Jesus never brings strife or trouble, but always the breath of Heaven and the fragrant breezes of glory! (Psa. 16:11).
V. 5b-7 He Is Perceptive Concerning His Field - The heavenly Boaz misses nothing that transpires in His field.
Pro. 15:3, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Keeping watch on the evil and the good.”
Matt. 10:29-31, “29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
The Lord's eyes are on His church and He misses nothing that happens. But, He is also interested in the individual!
V. 5b His Perception Is Personal - Ruth caught his eye! Jesus loves the individual! You have caught His eye! He cares about you!
Jer. 31:3; The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.“
Rom. 8:38-39, “.38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
V. 6-7 His Perception Is Powerful - Boaz knew about her background , her activities and her motives. Jesus knows everything there is to know about us, and yet He still loves us and desires to be with us. I find that amazing! He calls us saints even though we are so sorry. He calls us friends even though we are such failures. That is grace, pure and simple!
V. 8-9 HIS COMMANDING WORK
Boaz has a few works of counsel for Ruth. These commands are designed to encourage her in her work of gleaning. They also speak to us today as well.
V. 8-9a Concerning Ruth's Steadfastness - She is commanded to glean in his fields only. Ruth doesn't know it, but Boaz has plans to take care of her. If she will abide in his field, she will enjoy the best he has to offer. The same is true for the child of God. If we will abide faithful in His field, He will bless us beyond our wildest dreams. The reason so many miss out on the Lord's best for their lives is that they glean here and there and never settle down and make the Lord's will their number one priority! We cannot glean here and there and expect God to bless us! God is looking for faithful stewards – (1 Cor. 4:2).
V. 9b Concerning Ruth's Safety - Boaz has commanded the men to leave her alone. Boaz is making sure that no one takes unfair advantage of Ruth. He is telling her “not to worry”, he has taken care of the details for her. She can trust him to look after her. What a lesson for the church! We can trust our Lord to take care of us! He is more concerned over our welfare than we are, (Rom. 8:28; 2 Cor. 4:17).
V. 9c Concerning Ruth's Supply - Boaz makes sure she knows that he has everything she needs to be satisfied. She didn't even have to work to get any of it! So it is with the children of the Lord. He has all we need to be satisfied as we walk through this world. If only we would learn to appropriate that which He has already provided! Jesus has and is all we need! He is rest for the weary,(Matt. 11:28, Psa. 23:2-3). He is refreshment for the thirsty, (John 7:37, Psa. 23:2). He is food for the hungry, (John 6:35; Psa. 23:5). He is healing to the injured, (Psa. 23:5). He is hope for the discouraged, (Psa. 23:5-6). He is shelter for the frightened, (Psa. 23:4). He is all you need! Have you discovered that truth yet? It is summed up in (Psalm 23:1 - "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.)"
Jeremiah 1:9 (New King James Version (NKJV)
9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me:
“Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.”
“The Lord’s My Shepherd” By: Scottish Psalter (1650)
The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want;
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; he leadeth me
The quiet waters by.
My soul he doth restore again,
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
E'en for his own name's sake.
Yea, though I walk in death's dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill:
For thou art with me, and thy rod
And staff me comfort still.
My table thou hast furnished
In prsence of my foes;
My head thou dost with oil anoint
And my cup overflows.
Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me;
And in God's house for evermore
My dwelling-place shall be.
Father God, God of heaven and earth! We pray You to bless our work and establish it to Your glory. We commit all of the work we do to You so that it may be used to expand the Kingdom of heaven. Give us the strength to accomplish what we do each day; grant us the wisdom and ability to do it well, right, and pleasing in Your eyes. Take control of every detail of our work so that it will find favor with others and manifest the Lord, Jesus Christ, living in us. It is in His name that we ask and pray these things. Amen!
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