Well, as I mentioned, we looked at the book of Ruth on Wednesday and we continued to do that this morning.
There is a variety of things that just continued to churn in my mind and in my heart as I was praying through what the Lord would have us to spend time in this morning, and we're going to be once again looking at the book of Ruth.
And kind of hitting some different highlights through all four chapters of the book of Ruth and really focusing on the three, I would say mean principle charact
Users of this account, that is Ruth, Naomi and Boaz, and as I was going through the scriptures, I found this family photograph of them and so put that up there for you for your reference.
Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz now on Wednesday as we went through the book of Ruth, we really focused on Ruth herself and kind of saw things from her perspective.
And we'll do that again this morning.
Just kind of recapping some of the things that we went through on Wednesday, but then go on to also spend some time looking at this account from some of the things that were important and pertinent to Naomi.
And then also Boaz and so really 3 examples for us to consider this morning.
Three different perspectives.
For us to consider, and it's one of those things that you know, we come together and we all come from different places.
In life coming from different experiences, even though there's a general sense of, you know we are experiencing things together as a culture as a society.
As Southern Californians, you know, there's, there's things that we share in our experiences.
At the same time, personally and internally we we come from a a variety of different backgrounds.
We come from a variety of different experiences, even just in this last week.
And so as we go through these things, I believe that the Lord wants to use different aspects to Minister to each of us differently and to give us a chance to look at these three people and their relationship with the Lord.
And how the Lord was working in their lives to encourage us and help us to grow in our relationship with the Lord as well.
And so we're going to start out considering Ruth and again looking at some of the things recapping the things that we went through on Wednesday night.
If you were here or you heard that, then this will be familiar to you.
But as we looked at Ruth, we titled the message or I titled the Message.
Recovering from life greatest difficulties.
Recovering from life greatest difficulties because as you look at the example of Ruth here in the book.
Of Ruth, she experienced what you could probably classify as some of the most difficult things that someone will experience in life.
She was married.
She lost her husband.
She now is really without.
That protection, and in their culture that was really necessary and important for them, and so she moved completely changed her.
Address moved with Naomi back to a new land amongst the new people and completely changed her life radically from where she was before to where she ended up there in the land of Israel.
And so some of the most difficult things that a person might experience in life is.
Really what Ruth experience and what she walked through.
And yet, as we look at, for example, we find that there's a really great example there that through her encounter with Naomi with her husband with the family there.
She had really come to know the God of Israel, no longer walking in accordance with the gods of the Moabites, but really turned and committed herself to the Lord.
And so that gave us the first point for Wednesday night out of Ruth chapter one, make a full commitment to God.
Look at the commitment that Ruth made in Ruth chapter one, verse 16 and 17.
This is what she's sharing with Naomi as Naomi is encouraging her to go away to go back to her home and try to find a new life.
Try to find a new husband back home.
That Naomi has nothing more to offer her.
Naomi says, I can't provide for you.
I can't take care of you.
I can't promise you anything.
You should probably just leave and in response, Ruth says in verse 16, entreat me not to leave you or to turn back from following after you for wherever you go, I will go.
And wherever you lodge.
I will lodge.
Your people shall be my people and your God my God.
Where you die I will die and there I will be buried.
The Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts, you and me.
As Naomi tells Ruth, I have nothing more to offer you, no guarantees, no promises, no real hope or future really in store for you with me.
Not that I'm expecting you, Naomi, to be able to provide me a husband.
Not that I'm expecting you, Naomi, to be able to, you know, meet all of my needs.
She says I I'm committed to you and specifically in the midst of this commitment, that she makes to to Naomi.
She makes this commitment to God.
She says, Naomi your God.
Is my God.
I'm going with you because I've come to know God through my time with your family.
Through my interactions with your family, and Ruth has come to believe in the God of Israel, the true and living God, and so she's willing to change her life.
Go to a new people with Naomi and to.
Have a whole new existence in life and be committed to stay with Naomi unto death.
Because of her loyalty to Naomi, for sure, but also because of her commitment to God, she made a full commitment and you can see elements of what we would call the wedding vows in this commitment that Naomi makes or that Ruth makes to Naomi.
And there's a lot of things from the wedding ceremony that you can actually.
Kind of draw some parallels in and there's some cool pictures of those things in the book of Ruth, but but here she makes a commitment till death do US part.
Because your God is my God, 'cause I'm I'm with you, I I worship your God and even though the time that Ruth has spent with Naomi has been rough and difficult, there was something about the family.
There was something about Naomi witness.
There is something about their interaction that gave Ruth this introduction to God.
And drew her to this full commitment to God.
What we also saw as we went into Chapter 2, looking at the.
Example of Ruth.
Point #2 be willing to work hard in God provision.
As they get back to Bethlehem, they're still poor. They're still hungry. There's still not a lot of provision for them, but there is provision in God's law for the poor, and that was that the poor were allowed to go in after the workers of a field were harvesting the crop. The poor.
We're allowed to.
It's outlined for us in Leviticus Chapter 19 to go in behind the workers and collect whatever was.
Left on the vine, whatever was left on the stock that they were able to go in and receive.
Help and provision food and nourishment in that way, and what we find here with Ruth, is that she's willing to to do that to put in many hard.
Days of work. Check out verses one through three of Ruth Chapter 2. It says there was a relative of Naomi's husband. A man of great wealth of the family of Elimelech.
His name was Boaz, so Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, please let me go to the field and glean heads of grain after him, in whose sight.
I may find fame.
And she said to her, go, my daughter, then she left and went, and gleaned in the field.
After the reapers.
And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who is of the family of Elimelech.
And here we can see the stage being set as God is orchestrating his purposes and plans in this whole situation.
It's happening amongst this context of Ruth.
I should go to work.
I should go put in some time, put in some great efforts and bring us some provision we're.
We're going to be in more desperate state if I do not, and so she's willing.
To put in some hard work now.
God had provided, but it wasn't provision that was, you know, they just woke up and they went out to the dining room and there was all the food that was, you know, on the table that got it provided.
Before them, God provided in making an opportunity for those who were in need to go and to work in the field and receive from that work the food that essentials that they needed to be able to survive.
Leviticus Chapter 19 outlines that.
Law and so.
Here we get to see a cool picture.
You know we don't always get to see all of the laws of the Old Testament and those things.
Lived out right, but here we get a good example of that like this is how it worked.
This is what it was for.
It was for these kinds of situations where Naomi and Ruth are poor.
They're desperate, they're in great need, and so she says God provided, and I'm willing to go and work for it.
And it was a hard day's work to go and.
Reap those fields that go behind the workers and and get the gleanings and so she was doing that and chapter two goes into a little bit more detail, but at the end in verse 20.
Three, it says that she stayed close by the young women of Boaz to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest, and she dealt with her mother in law.
So it describes here her doing this regularly.
This was her daily routine for a little bit that she would go out and she would work in the fields and she would bring back.
What she was able to collect from the harvest.
Now it says that she did this until the end of both the barley and the wheat harvest.
The barley harvest would typically be taking place in the months of March and April, and then the wheat harvest would typically take place during the months of April and May.
So we're looking at between March and May is the time frame in which Ruth was every day going out.
So this is two or three months of work that Ruth is doing.
Here, going out to the fields to collect to harvest.
Obviously that's more than what they would need for the day, right?
But that would sustain them for the coming weeks and months, and so she's working out in the fields to bring back provision for her and.
Naomi, it's the provision that God had given, but that required some work well. Then we saw in Ruth Chapter 3 point, #3 ask for God's word to be fulfilled.
As she continues to work in boaz's fields, there's a little bit of a spark there. There's some interest on both sides, and then the Lord begins to make some stronger connections as Naomi recognizes what's going on and gives Ruth some instruction.
Here's how to essentially propose to Boaz.
She tells Ruth, and she gives her this instruction to to go at the end of the harvest there was the the threshing and the feast that that went along with it, and she essentially said go and propose to Boaz at that time check out verse 8 and 9.
Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled and turned himself and there a woman was lying at his feet and he said, who are you?
So she answered, I am Ruth your maidservant take your maidservant under your wing for you or a close relative.
The instruction that Naomi gave her was to uncover his feet.
So that in the middle of the night, perhaps there would be a breeze.
He would get a little bit cold.
He would be awakened, and then he would realize that Ruth was there.
And that's exactly what happened now.
Just to alleviate some stress or anxiety.
For some, there is no immorality, there is none of no hint of anything like that in this passage.
And if that's a concern for you, we can talk more about it after the service, but that's not what's happening here.
There, it's just an encounter.
There's other people in the the area, ah.
As well, and so she is just presenting herself to him.
And as she says, take your maidservant under your wing for you or a close relative.
She is calling out some of the things that are found in God's law. There is two really important aspects of the law of God that are intertwined.
Into this, the redemption of land and the continuing of the family line. And so you can read about that in Leviticus Chapter 25 and also Deuteronomy. Chapter 25.
But the law that God established was whenever there is the people of Israel that have been given their inheritance in the land.
It's their inheritance from God.
God gave each family a specific plot of land within the Nation of Israel when, when that family sells a portion of their land.
Or sells all of their land.
God says it's never going to be permanent.
There is always the year of Jubilee every 50 years where the land returns to the original owners, the original family.
And so you would not actually sell land in the land of Israel under God's law. It it was always really a lease and the lease would be determined upon the next year of Jubilee.
And so you might, you know, be leasing a property for 20 years or for 30 years for 10 years, just depending on when the next one was.
But God also built into that law again.
This is in Leviticus 20.
God built into that law that OK, you sold your property, probably because you were in need.
You needed the money.
You were in some financial straits and so you sold your property.
But later on, if things changed and now you could afford to own that property again, God built into the law that you had the right to redeem it.
So essentially you could cancel the lease at any time.
Not without payments right?
There would be the repayment that kind of buying back, but at the same time there.
Was always that option.
It was always built into the contract that that this land was always temporarily transferred to somebody else, and you had the option as the owner.
The original owner of the land to come and.
Get it back.
Now, if you were unable to purchase it back.
Back then there was also the option built into the law of God that a kinsman Redeemer, a close family relative and there was a specific order in in succession in which this would take place in which this is described.
But this representative of the family, this person responsible for the family.
Could step in and say I will buy it back even if this person cannot and So what we find here is that.
Naomi and her husband Elimelech.
During the time of famine that was in Israel, they they got pretty desperate.
They ran out of resources.
They ran out of funds and that's why they went to Moab.
But it seems that before they even went to Moab, they liquidated their assets.
They they tried the best as best they could to since sustain themselves.
They're in the land of Israel.
They're in Bethlehem, but they were unable to, and so they sold their property.
That still didn't give them enough to be able to continue on there, and so then they moved to Moab and tried to, you know, get a new plan for their lives a a new opportunities there in the land of Moab.
Well as now.
Naomi is back, her husband has died.
Her sons have died.
The land had been sold too.
It's still in the possession of somebody else.
And as Ruth.
Tells Boaz here in verse nine of Ruth, Chapter 3, take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative.
If she is in one part referring to the field to the land that is theirs that belongs to their family and she's inviting him to buy back to redeem back that property on their behalf. But along with that comes this idea of marriage. Now this is from Deuteronomy chapter 25.
Where God had established in his word that if a husband and wife were married and the husband died but had no children.
Then a brother of the husband could.
Basically, Mary the widow now to bring forth a child in the name of the brother who had died and the whole point of this and purpose of this was again for the inheritance to be maintained, that the family would not lose their inheritance, that it would not be lost and and go to someone else, and so.
God did establish this in Deuteronomy chapter 25, and here Ruth is.
Again, proposing to Boaz and saying you're a kinsman Redeemer, you can fulfill this role in US and bring forth a child in the name of my husband who has died and inherit the property.
The land that belongs to him as well as you purchase it back and redeem it, and so.
What Ruth is.
Asking for is a fulfillment of the things that God has said.
A fulfillment of the things that God had provided for his people here in both the inheritance of the land in the fulfillment of the the lineages that is to be carried on.
Well, finally in Ruth chapter four, we saw the 4th point and that is wait for your Redeemer to do his work.
After she proposed she goes back to Naomi and Naomi says in Ruth Chapter 3 verse 18 sit still, my daughter.
Until you know how the matter will turn out for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.
Ruth, he's not going to.
Rest until this is resolved, so you Ruth you can rest.
There's some really beautiful pictures here in this book of the way that Christ redeems us and works on our behalf and how salvation is bound up in his work.
And it's our time to rest we we invite him to fulfill his word right to forgive us and and take us under his wing.
But then we rest.
We rest in his finished work and what he has accomplished.
And so we, for your Redeemer, to do his work.
And we see that unfold in Ruth chapter.
Four well I suggest to you. This is a great pattern. A great example to look at in looking to recover from life's greatest difficulties. Some of the most challenging things that we face in life, of course are very difficult.
They hurt to the core.
They are hard and and there's not a lot of answers, many times for why you know, as much as we want to know why, as much as we want to figure out everything and know what is happening or what God is doing as we wrestle with different things.
When we experience these seasons of great difficulty.
We can look at the example of Ruth.
And we can put ourselves kind of in that same mode to follow her example and make a full commitment to God.
You can still trust God even though life is a mess.
There's great difficulty make a full commitment to God till death.
Do us part I'm going to trust you.
I'm going to be with you.
I'm going to walk with you.
And be willing to put.
In a hard day's work.
God provides great promises.
He provides resources, but don't also expect that you're going to recover from the those great difficulties without any efforts on your part.
Be willing to to go to work and some of those issues.
Some of those struggles, some of those difficulties are going to require direct work.
Sometimes it'll be indirect work and it just be very practical, like proof that well because of my life difficulties.
I have to go get a job where I didn't have a job before a different kind of job that I didn't have before.
I have to learn new things, do things, and work hard in this situation.
Going through life greatest difficulties.
We can continue to call out to the Lord and ask him to fulfill his word.
So many great promises that he's given to us.
Promises that are not necessarily for instant deliverance in any situation, right, but at the same time, true promises promises that we can count on rest in trust in.
And so we asked God to fulfill his word as we work out even as Lena was praying earlier, you know from the book of James.
So count it all joy when he faced various trials.
Like that's asking God to fulfill his word that I'm facing trials.
I don't like it.
It's difficult, it's uncomfortable, but I I can count it joy because I know that.
It works in me patience and patience. When that work is completed. I have a a full and complete work of God in my life through the midst of this trial. Ask for God's word to be fulfilled.
And then wait.
Wait for your Redeemer to do his work.
Leave it in God's hands.
Know that in his time he will redeem, and those tragedies those difficulties, those hurts and pains.
They will be redeemed, the word redeem it means to buy back.
And redemption is a good description of what Christ has done for us, and buying us out of our sinful condition, purchasing us with his own.
But it's also a good word to consider in light of the things that we go through the difficulties.
Again, the hurts and the pains.
The challenges that that we experience and and it seems like those have no value.
It seems like those aren't worthless times, but God buys that time back and makes it effective and useful and uses those things.
To produce it as far greater works than we could imagine, and so great things to consider here in the book of Ruth.
From the example of Ruth herself.
But now I want to kind of walk through the example of NEO mean a similar pattern considering the things that Naomi experienced a little bit and from her perspective and so here I'm giving it a different title this time.
Recovering from deep bitterness now in a lot of ways, Naomi and Ruth had parallel experiences, but Naomi's you could argue was more intense.
A little bit more difficult because she lost not only her husband, but she lost her two sons and was left there alone.
In the land of Moab now.
Where she was already a foreigner, at least in Moab.
Ruth that was her homeland, right?
But but here Naomi is now a foreigner without a husband without her sons and really, in a desperate situation.
And as you go through the account, you can see that the difficulty that she's experiencing has really impacted her.
And she is feeling feelings about the situation, and you might describe it as deep bitterness.
And who would blame her right that?
That's what any of us would experience under similar circumstances.
And so I want to take a few moments and just consider Naomi with you here from the book of Ruth and.
Perhaps suggestions of from her example of how to handle these kinds of emotions?
These kinds of experiences
In our own lives, how do we recover from deep?
Bitterness because by the end of the book you see Naomi is recovered, right?
And So what does that path will look like?
What does that transition transition or transformation look like?
And so starting back in chapter one, here's point number one.
Looking at Naomi, and that is, be honest.
About your feelings.
Be honest about your feelings. Check out verses 19 through 21 here. Ruth chapter one.
Says now the two of them went until they came to Bethlehem, and it happened when they had come to Bethlehem, that all the city was excited because of them, and the women said, is this Naomi?
But she said to them, do not call me Naomi.
Call me Mara for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.
I went out full and the Lord has brought me home again empty.
Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?
As Naomi comes back to Bethlehem, she's been gone for 10 years.
And it stirs up the whole town.
Now, Bethlehem is a.
Small town, relatively speaking, and so you know you can imagine coming back into town.
It's a small town.
Everybody knows everybody.
It's like, whoa, Naomi back and word spread and and everybody is kind of excited and happy to see Naomi again, who they had known very well.
But she's been gone for 10 years.
But as they start to interact with her, oh, Naomi, so good to see you, she says.
Please don't call me Naomi.
Now the word Naomi.
Her name means pleasant.
It was the name that she was given.
Perhaps it was.
A little bit representative of her experience before in Bethlehem and her life, and wasn't conflicted to be called Pleasant by name, you know.
Throughout her time there before, but now coming back, she says, you're calling me pleasant and it it just doesn't quite fit.
Call me Mara.
Which literally means bitter.
I was pleasant.
There was a lot of pleasant things happening in my life.
But but now it just doesn't fit.
Please call me Mara.
Call me bitter for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly.
There's some really deep things to wrestle with and meditate on as you consider Naomi's words here.
It would be easy for us to really be critical of Naomi and.
Challenge her with doctrine.
Don't you know all things work together for good, right?
Like we could we could begin to wrestle with her about these things that she's saying God has dealt very bitterly with me, and we could say no, he hasn't, right?
Plus, we have also read the rest of the book.
Naomi in just a couple months like things will be pleasant again, right?
This is the season that you're going through we.
We could have all of these kinds of conversations with her, but at the same time I.
I think we need to allow her.
To say what it is that she is experiencing and to not argue with it that that it is not necessarily something to be corrected that she is not necessarily at a point where she is in sin or like you know, given up on God or speaking ill of God even.
In this situation.
Here she is expressing what she is experiencing.
She's being honest with the people around her.
I am not really comfortable being called pleasant because men life has been bitter and it's been a great challenge for me.
The things that God has me going through are really difficult.
And you could understand that that is not a sinful thing to say.
It doesn't represent necessarily someone who has departed from God or abandoned God.
As I was thinking through this this week.
I was thinking about, you know, hey, we're going.
Through the Bible.
In three years, right?
So three years.
Ago we were in this same point.
Three years ago, as we're going through the Bible in three years, we're now in the book of First Samuel, looking at the beginnings of King Saul and working our way, of course, into King David, who will be on the throne by the end of the book now.
Three years ago, in this passage, in this portion in this season I kept sharing about me personally, experiencing time in the wilderness, and as I was walking with David through all of the challenges and difficulties in the reading, it was like I was identifying.
It was like, yes.
I am there.
Like I am in the wilderness as David described himself as like just being one step away from disaster, it was like that's that was a actual picture of where I was personally at that time three years ago, and I was sharing that through that time as well.
I I would look at Naomi in this situation in a similar way.
Not a departure from God.
Nutty rebellion against God.
She's not running from God.
She moved back to Bethlehem.
She moved back to where they would be able to worship God and have access to God.
She's not hardened against God in a sense of that.
She wants nothing to do with God.
She is simply expressing man.
The road that God has laid out for me is really difficult.
I would encourage you to really kind of consider her words here.
In parallel with or comparison to job in the Book of Job and again job experienced some severe difficulty, right?
You could imagine some deep bitterness there.
That job was dealing with in his own heart.
At the end of the book, God says.
Job didn't sin with his words.
God rebuked the friends and said you guys all sinned with your words but Joe spoke of me what is right?
Even though job expressed all kinds of things that we would kind of, oh, I don't know if you say that job.
That's kind of like, whoa, you went a little far there.
But but Joe was expressing the things that he was experiencing.
It's one of the things we see in the Book of Psalms also.
That that it's.
To be honest about the things that we're feeling, and although that may make us a little bit uncomfortable, sometimes it is the reality of what we're experiencing, and it does not necessarily mean the departure from God when we're saying it feels like God abandoned me.
It feels like God is forsaken me.
It feels like you know, don't call me pleasant any longer.
I just it just doesn't fit.
My life is hard and and and the hurts are deepened.
This is what I'm experiencing.
This is what I'm going through and Naomi is expressing that to the people around her.
She's being honest.
About the things that she's experiencing within, but.
She doesn't Stig now it would be a problem if the rest of her life was lived like that, right?
That as we continue on now we see something new begins to develop and that brings us to Ruth chapter. Two point #2 is we look at Naomi as recognize a new work of God. Recognize a new.
Work of God.
As Ruth goes out to work the fields, she comes back Naomi.
Recognizes something is developing.
There's a little bit of a spark as she realizes God is at work in the midst of this situation.
Check out Ruth Chapter 2 verses 19 through 22 it says and her mother in law said to her.
Where have you gleaned today?
And where did you work?
Blessed would be the one who took.
Notice of you.
So she told her mother in law, with whom she had worked, and said the man's name, with whom I work today is Boaz.
Then Naomi said to her daughter in law, blessid be he of the Lord, who has not forsaken his kindness, kindness to the living, and the dead.
And Naomi said to her, this man is a relation of ours.
One of our close relatives.
Ruth, the Moabitess said he also said to me you shall stay close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.
And Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter in.
Law it is.
Good my daughter.
That you go out with his young women and that people people do not meet you.
In any other.
Naomi comes back.
Dealing with serious emotions, intense emotions.
But she's able to recognize.
She's on the lookout.
For the hand of God, for the work of God.
For the signs of something new, that God is doing.
And she finds that here, as Ruth comes back from that first day's work.
And notice what it says in verse 19.
It says her mother in law said to her, where have you gleaned today?
And where did you work blessid be the one who took notice of you.
Think about that for a second.
Who took notice of you?
That's not necessarily an obvious question that you would ask someone after a day of work.
But it's obvious to Naomi that she needs to ask this question because Ruth came back with more than you would expect in a day's work in the field.
As you read through Chapter 2, you see Boaz tells his workers hey guys, make it really.
Easy for her.
If she goes and grabs from the the sheeps like don't rebuke her just let her have it.
In fact, take.
Stuff off the stalk and just leave it on the ground for her to just pick up so she doesn't even have to work for it.
It's just you provided it for her.
Leave it there for her, make it easy for her.
He tells Ruth you don't have to draw your own water.
Let let my guys draw water for you.
Just partake of what they've drawn so you don't have to take extra time.
You know for for these things it's it's all provided for you.
So as Ruth comes home sheet she has a bountiful crop.
And she has a little bit of leftovers from the lunch that Boaz shared with her.
And so Naomi is like, whoa, something happened here.
This wasn't just you out in the field, all by yourself working really hard.
There was someone who took notice of you.
God did something here.
Someone was paying attention and and now there is this great results that you've come home with.
And as Ruth begins to explain to her what happened, and.
Well, I happened to be in Boaz's field.
Yeah he goes. Oh really.
You know that's a close relative of ours.
What a convenient.
Coincidence took me awhile to find that word.
What a coincidence.
That you just happen to be in the field of Boaz, a close relative of ours.
Naomi is recognizing it's not a coincidence.
That there is a work of God happening, and so she even instructs Ruth at the end of there in verse 22. Yes, it's good. He invited you to stay in his field. Ruth stay in his field.
Continue to work there.
This is something that God is doing something that God is orchestrating.
Sometimes when we are experiencing severe emotion.
We are really focused on the pain that we're experiencing internally, that that emotional turmoil that's happening.
And if we're not careful, we we can find ourselves consumed with that and oblivious to anything else that God may want to do in our lives.
But as Naomi comes back, yes, she's dealing with those emotions.
But at the same time she is open to acknowledging that looking for.
A new work of God, God's gonna do something.
I don't know what he's doing.
In the meantime, it hurts a whole lot.
But she's looking for and she's able to recognize.
The beginning steps.
The beginning Shadows really of of the plan that God is bringing together for this family.
Well, that brings us now to Chapter 3, continuing continuing to look at Naomi in the book of Ruth Point #3. Participate in the work of God.
Participate in the work of God.
Check out verses one through 5 here at Ruth Chapter 3.
It says then Naomi, her mother in law, said.
Her my daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you?
Now Boaz, whose young woman you are with, is he not our relative.
In fact he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor.
Therefore, wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garments and go down to the threshing floor.
But do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.
Then it shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down, and he will tell you what you should do.
And she said to her all that you say to me, I will.
As Naomi begins to recognize that God is at work, she now.
Looks to play a part.
This is not coincidence.
This is not happenstance that Ruth and Boaz have been in close contact and he's taken notice of her that there's something developing here.
So Naomi says, Ruth, you know it's appropriate for me to look out for you, to seek security for you.
And so let me disciple you.
Let me teach you how to move forward in this situation and that God has presented.
To you and here, Naomi gets to be part of this new relationship that is developing.
She gets to be part of this new thing that is going to happen, and part of the work that really stands out.
Now Ruth and Boaz, in the end.
Of course they're married.
They have a child together.
That child becomes a.
Ancestor to David, who becomes an ancestor to Jesus, right that this whole thing is God working out this.
Opportunity for this family to be part of the lineages.
Of the Messiah.
In addition to meeting their right then immediate needs and providing for them and giving them a full life in their relationship with him, God is doing a much bigger thing that they had no way of comprehending or understanding.
And that's how God is always working.
Working in our.
Immediate lives and working out those things that are necessary and important and valuable for right now.
At the same time, he's working out bigger things that we could never imagine or understand.
But Naomi here recognizes God doing something I want to be part of it.
And so she disciples, young Ruth and says.
Here's how to move forward in this situation. Here's what the Bible says, right? Here's what God's word and she.
Perhaps it is.
Teaching her doctrine of Leviticus Chapter 25, Deuteronomy, chapter 25. This is you know what God has declared about these kinds of situations. And so here's how you can request.
Remember the corresponding point with Ruth is to ask for God's word to be fulfilled. Right here is God's word. Here's how you can go forward and ask for God to fulfill those words.
In your life.
And so she teaches her how to approach Boaz.
How to propose to Boaz?
How to step into this work that God is preparing for them?
Well, finally Ruth Chapter 4 gives us the 4th point to consider with Naomi and that is embrace the blessings that will come.
Verse 13 through 16 says this.
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife and when he went into her, the Lord gave her conception and she bore a son.
Then the women said to Naomi Blessid, be the Lord who has not left you this day without a close relative, and may his name be famous in Israel.
And may he be to you, a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter in law who loves you.
Who is better to you than seven sons has borne him.
Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him.
At the end, Naomi gets to experience this great blessing that God.
Had prepared for her.
Being real with what name is going through for a moment, right?
This doesn't bring back her husband.
This doesn't bring back her sons.
This does it?
Take away any of the difficulty or the pain that she had experienced.
But from the midst of that.
Her life wasn't over God's work in her life wasn't over, even though of course, when we're in the midst of deep bitterness, it feels like there will never be good again.
I could never imagine anything good.
No joy, no smiles, no, no life, no pleasant.
You know, experiences call me Mara.
I'm not pleasant.
We can we can understand and relate to feeling that way.
But again, we have to be careful that we don't become so consumed by.
That mindset by that heart that we miss out because yes, there are hardships.
There were hardships.
There is great pain.
But God also has in store great blessing. And if Naomi had continued in a state of bitterness, oblivious to God's work, and not looking for new things from God, not allowing God to work in her life.
She would have missed out and sometimes people do and that's why I I take the time this morning to share these things with us because we need to be reminded that we sometimes miss out because our attitude is sour because our hearts are bitter.
We miss out on embracing the blessings.
And she got to experience the joy.
Of raising this little boy.
She got to experience a new fresh.
And a work of God in her life.
Embrace the blessings.
That will come great example for us in recovering from deep bitterness.
One last example to look at, though the example of Boaz.
As we look at Boaz, I've titled it this way.
What did I title it remaining faithful in life, blessings remaining faithful in life, blessings looking at Ruth and Naomi, they went through very difficult, challenging things, hard things, hurtful things, many parallels in their experience here.
As we look at Boaz, it's a really different experience.
Not quite the same.
We're not getting given that kind of.
Background to him, he probably did experience hardship and difficulty.
We don't know much about his life up to this point.
But as we see him and walk with him through these chapters, we can see that Boaz really comes from a different place he is.
Got abundant provision.
He has workers under him.
He has fields he's able to purchase a field when he has the opportunity and.
He comes from a place of he is blessed.
And thinking about Boaz reminded me of proverbs.
Chapter 30 verse 8.
Proverbs 30 verse eight says remove falsehood and lies far from me.
Give me neither poverty nor riches.
Feed me with the food allotted to me, lest I be fool and deny you, and say, who is the Lord?
Or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.
There the author of Proverbs says.
If I have abundance Lord, that's a challenge for me because I tend to forget you when I don't need you.
When when I have enough and I'm full and overflowing.
And so just give me Justin.
But but not so little that now I'm stealing because I'm so poor, I'm I'm denying you in a different way now and profaning your name because I'm desperate.
And so the prayer of this author, the proverb says, but just give me just enough, just so I don't have so much that I forget you.
And so I don't have so little that I start to disobey you.
It's a prayer, I think that we can relate to.
It's one of the things that we see through the pattern of the nation of Israel when they go through times of great blessings.
After there's a revival and a return to God, and God pours up blessings upon their nation, there is often times.
A denying of God afterwards that they're living full.
They're not relying upon the Lord.
They're not calling upon the Lord like they used to, and so.
They find themselves turning away from the Lord.
In times of desperation they find themselves calling out to the Lord and and close to the Lord and seeking the Lord and wanting to know what he's saying, right?
We we can all relate to this cycle that we've seen in the book of judges and will continue to.
See in the.
Nation of Israel.
But here's Boaz in the midst of blessing in the midst of prosperity, in the midst of great things happening.
To him and so how can he remain faithful in the midst of that, in the midst of these good things happening in his life?
Well, we're going to jump in, not into chapter one.
He's not in chapter one, but we'll jump into Chapter 2 for point number one, and that is obey God, even if nobody else does.
Obey God, even if nobody else does.
Verse two and three says this here of Ruth Chapter 2 Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, please let me go to the field and glean heads of grain after him, in whose sight I may find favor.
And she said to her, go, my daughter.
Then she left and went and gleaned in the field after the Reapers.
She happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of a limb, aleck.
This whole situation comes about this whole encounter is orchestrated by God.
As a result of Boaz being obedient to God.
Again, it's found in Leviticus chapter 19.
God instructs his people when you're harvesting the land.
On purpose, leave the corners UN harvested.
On purpose only go one pass through the field.
You go one pass through, that's it.
Whatever is left in that first pass, you just leave it.
That's for those who are in need for those who are poor, give them an opportunity to go and collect.
God says this is the manner in which you are to harvest.
Looks at Leviticus Chapter 19 and says God I'm going to do that.
I have fields.
I have workers in my field.
I'm going to instruct them.
They're going to know this is what God has said, and so this is what we're going to do.
Now I worded it this way obey God, even if nobody else does.
Because, well, there's an important factor to consider here.
One verse one tells us this whole account happened in the days when the judges ruled.
What was one of the chief characteristics of the times?
Of the judges.
You can see it at the end, the very last verse of the book of Judges, Chapter 21, verse 25.
In those days there was no king in Israel.
Everyone did what was right in his own eyes, and we saw in the book of Judges the wickedness and the great abandonment of God in his word that happened as everyone did what was right in their own eyes.
They weren't faithful to the word of God.
They weren't faithful to what God said.
They weren't walking with God as a nation as a culture.
They just did whatever they wanted to do.
But here Boaz, he's not just doing.
Whatever he wants to do.
Even if nobody else is going to follow this.
Now I'm not.
Suggesting that nobody else did follow it, right?
But even if nobody else followed it.
This is what?
God said in his word, and even if nobody else obeys this.
I'm going to put it into practice.
We live in a time where everybody is doing what they want to do, what's right in their own eyes.
But no, I I need to do what's right in God's eyes, and so I'm going to harvest my field this way.
Now another factor I would consider in this that makes it impressive to consider is that this is likely the first harvest.
After the time of famine, right?
Remember, was a famine that led Elimelech and Naomi to move to Moab.
It tells us they're in Moab for 10.
Years and then.
When Naomi decides to return in chapter one, it tells us because she heard.
That the Lord.
Had Blessed Israel and there was bread there again.
And so this is the first harvest.
Or one of the first harvests after a long period.
Of great drought and famine.
So you could imagine Boaz.
Hey, it's been 10 years of famine, the storehouses.
Have been depleted.
This isn't the time.
To kind of be casual in harvesting the crop like we need to.
Build up our savings account again.
What if there's another famine in a couple of years?
We can't afford to give away and be generous?
No no, this yes, we want to follow this Leviticus 19.
Oh, it's so important but.
Next year we could be generous.
This year we need to take care of our family right?
And none of us would fault Boaz for saying those kinds of things right?
Well, you know family, I have to provide for my own first like that's a priority and and we we could all understand that kind of justification.
But here's Boaz.
Say no, I'm going to obey God even if nobody else does, even if it's hard for me.
Even if it costs me, even if it's I'm not in the same place of luxury that I once was, right?
I'm just gonna be blessed with what I received from the Lord.
As I keep his word, and so if it's.
Without the corners of the fields harvest.
If it's you know without the extra getting every fruit off every vine type, type of harvest, I'm OK with that.
I'm going to be happy and rejoice and what God provides as I follow his word.
Well, the second thing to consider about Boaz Point #2 reward people for faithfulness.
In verse eight of Ruth Chapter 2, Boaz says Dear Ruth, you will listen, my daughter, will you not do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women?
Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them.
Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you?
And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn.
So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said, then, why have I found favor in your eyes that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?
Ruth is perplexed why this attention.
Why these extra blessings?
And Boaz explains in verse 11 he answered and said to her, it has been fully reported to me all that you have done for your mother in law since the death of your husband and how you have left your father and mother in the land of your birth and have come to a people whom you did not know before the Lord.
Repay your work and a full reward be given you by the.
Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.
Boaz says, I've heard about you.
Ruth, you're doing a really good thing being by your mother in law's side.
You could have abandoned her.
You could have left her.
You could have, you know, put yourself 1st and went.
You know back to your.
Home and sought.
Those things but, but you've come to God.
You've placed your trust in God.
You've been faithful to your mother-in-law, Ruth, you're you're doing some great things, and.
I want to reward you for that.
I want to celebrate your faithfulness.
And so he rewards her.
For her, faithfulness to the Lord, and to Naomi.
In Chapter 3, looking at Boaz, we get the Third Point and that is prioritize obedience.
I'm going to speed it up right now 'cause I've exhausted my time, but in chapter three you see, as Ruth proposes to Boaz, Boaz is interested.
He's not like I don't know.
I wasn't really wanting to get married, and so you know, maybe you should ask somebody else.
But like he's like, wow, I can't believe you asked me like there's all these younger guys you could have asked.
There's all these like man, I'm blessed that you would.
Want to be married to me in verse 10?
Bless that are you of the Lord, my daughter, for you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning that you did.
Not go after young men, whether poor or rich.
He clearly wanted to be married to Ruth.
But there was another relative who was closer.
And he explains that in Chapter 3, there's another relative, the Kinsman Redeemer.
I'm not first in line to be that role.
There's this other guy that's in line.
Now it doesn't appear he's not in the story up to this point, right?
He doesn't necessarily know what's going on.
We could not.
Really, you know get too upset with Boaz if he just married Ruth and left the other guy out of the picture altogether.
But for Boaz, it's important.
What I want.
Hey this is my preference.
Yes I want to marry you but.
I need to make sure that things.
Are in the.
Proper order and so wait.
Let me go talk to this guy.
Let's go let me go work this out because we want to be faithful to what God is outlined and not just do what's right in our own eyes.
Boaz prioritized obedience over preference.
Finally, point #4.
Be strategic about how you obey in Ruth Chapter 4, you see Boaz have a conversation with this guy.
Without getting into the details, it's not as straightforward of a conversation as we might have expected from, you know what's happened here, and it seems that Bo has employed some strategy he.
Engaged in this conversation in a specific way.
To accomplish the the things that needed to be accomplished.
Now, I'm not suggesting you know that we be manipulative, and you know that kind.
Of thing but.
But I am saying we we should use wisdom and be strategic.
You think about.
Jesus, with the woman at the well.
He didn't come out and first thing he said was, hey, I know you, you're an adulteress woman you've been.
You know with five other guys, and now the guy that you're with, you're not married to right like he didn't start with that.
He he started a conversation that led them to the point that then they discussed those things.
The truth he could have said from the beginning, right?
But truth in love?
Well, it doesn't always have the.
Lay it out all out on.
The table up front kind of mood, right?
Strategic it's wise.
To lead into things that lead into conversations in a specific way you think about Jesus and John Chapter 7, the Feast of Tabernacles was going on.
It was one of those.
Feats that was required.
God commanded all men in the area were to gather together in Jerusalem or at the Tabernacle for the Feast of Tabernacles.
The brothers tell Jesus hey, why don't you go?
And the Jews are trying to kill Jesus.
He says you guys go ahead.
It tells us in John chapter seven that he went after they were gone.
More by himself in secrets.
So he went. He was faithful, he didn't disobey God's word to attend.
But at the same time he was strategic and.
How he obeyed that.
He didn't just say, well, you know.
The father told me to go and then I have this and so here I am, marched down the the middle and let everybody know I'm here like Jesus was strategic.
He was careful to obey, but also careful to be wise that he would make sure that he obeyed the Lord the father in a way that would.
Appropriate for the calling that God had given to him, so lots of things there.
I know I've covered a lot of stuff this morning, right?
It's really 3 messages.
One about Ruth.
What about Naomi?
And what about Boaz, right?
But the Lord really put it on my heart in this way because we all find ourselves in different scenarios in different situations.
And whatever season of life you happen to find yourself in.
Maybe you don't fit exactly to one of these Ruth.
Recovering from life greatest difficulties.
Naomi, recovering from deep bitterness.
Or Boaz, remaining faithful and life's blessings.
Hopefully there's a little bit of some overlap in looking at these and what's happening in your life, and you can take away and understand whatever season you find yourself in.
God has plans for you purposes, good things.
He's working out for you and that he wants to accomplish in your.
Life and so we can be encouraged to trust in the Lord and to walk with him just like these three did.
Let's pray, Lord, we thank you for your word.
Thank you for the great encouragement the great reminders, Lord and.
Opportunity that you've given us to know you to hear from you, and to experience your goodness in our lives.
I pray Lord, that you would help us wherever we're coming from Lord to go forward in the direction that you've called us to.
I pray this in Jesus name.