Ruth – A Portrait of God’s Grace – Part 2

Experiencing Grace!

Ruth 2

Click here to watch this being preached


May 10, 2015 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (James 4:6)


A.    What is it like …


1.      Being forgiven and loved, instead of condemned and cursed? Loads of people do not know!

2.      What is it like living free, instead of in bondage?

3.      What is it like experiencing compassion, gentleness and mercy, instead of ruin?

4.      What is it like being accepted, instead of rejected and refused?


B.     All of that, God wraps in one package – one word… GRACE! Kindness, favour, compassion, forgiveness, gentleness, mercy and love, all wrapped up in one word… GRACE

C.     It is a GIFT


1.      Mercy is NOT getting what you deserve – which is wrath

2.      Grace is getting what you DON’T deserve – which is compassion!


D.    It is absolutely Free! (Eph 2:8,9; Romans 3:24)


1.      That’s what Grace means! A GIFT!

2.      Real kindness, favour, compassion, forgiveness, gentleness, mercy and love cannot be earned, merited, lived up to, or bought!

3.      That doesn’t mean Grace is free of cost – just free to YOU!

4.      Grace always costs! And it cost the God EVERYTHING!


E.     But how could anyone access such a gift? Where do you find it? How does someone PLUG INTO IT?

F.      Last week, we met a young woman named Ruth, as our next portrait of Grace


1.      A Moabite woman

2.      Now, Moab was not a great place to go


II.    Background (Jeremiah 5:25; Ruth Chapter 1)


A.    God is a Gracious God – so kind!


1.      Yes, God is holy, and right, and just in judging sin and sinners

2.      But it is His nature as well, to be kind, longsuffering towards us, patient, to love us, to change us, and to work everything out for us

3.      But He doesn’t do it from a distance

4.      He invites us to come to Him, and access, or “plug into” His grace


B.     There is a wall between us, and God – built by our own prideful sin – that blocks us from God’s good. Jeremiah 5:25  Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.

C.     There is a specific way to ACCESS God’s GRACE as said in James 4:6 – to open it up!


1.      ALL of God’s grace (His kindness, His help) is available to anyone (2Cor 9:8)!

2.      You can’t just demand it, or just “expect” it

3.      Romans 5:2 “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace

4.      Ephesians 2:18, 19 “through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners...”

5.      Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy

6.      It is ALL through JESUS! He is the door, the only way that accesses God (John 10:9; 14:6)

7.      If we would just access it! Open it!


D.    Last week, we learned How Ruth Accessed God’s Grace


1.      Everything was against Ruth


a.       She was a pagan girl from birth – only knew idolatry, abuses, and loss

b.      She was a foreigner – NOT a Jew

c.       She was cursed by God (Dt 23:3,4)

d.      She was a complete failure in her soul, and her spirit – defeated, and lost!

e.       That is, until she had met Naomi!


2.      Then Ruth stumbled upon the Grace of God, and was invited to enter in

3.      And that is exactly what she did in Chapter 1.

4.      It would be good for everyone in the room to download last week’s message and listen to it again, watch it online, and learn HOW to access God’s boundless Grace!


E.     But there is more than 1 chapter in Ruth. So, evidently God has a whole lot more to show us about Grace! Not just to access it, but to actually EXPERIENCE it, and enjoy it at work in our lives!


III. Message


A.    Naomi Needs Something – A Miracle (Ruth 1:21)


1.      Naomi literally has nothing


a.       Naomi is Back Home, But Broke

b.      Naomi is back home in Bethlehem, yes, but tired, worn out, bitter, and Broke

c.       Only debts left by her dead husband – debts that go back over 10 years now

d.      And no way to pay – no job, no health, no strength

e.       Living with her daughter in law, Ruth, as poor widows

f.       It is one thing to be financially broke, and another to me emotionally broken!

g.      And Naomi is broken – no hope

h.      She is not praying, not believing God for anything – just broken


2.      But Naomi has Ruth


a.       She doesn’t realise what a gift she has in Ruth

b.      A friend who sticketh closer than a brother

c.       Someone who loved Naomi, in spite of the fact Naomi was bitter, and harsh, and backslidden

d.      But Naomi had Ruth – what a gift such a friend is – such a wife, or a husband is!


3.      And Naomi had a “Near Kinsman”


a.       Enter a man named Boaz

b.      Not a direct relative

c.       But someone related to her husband

d.      And he was wealthy. A mighty man, powerful in the community

e.       But she had no connection with him

f.       We will learn more about him in Chapters 3 and 4


B.     Ruth Actually Looks for Grace (2:1-3,7) – Desires it!


1.      She has the Right Desire


a.       Wants to eat

b.      Wants to live!

c.       Naomi may be depressed, but Ruth wasn’t going to live like that!


2.      She Got Busy Looking


a.       Doesn’t want to just sit around and wait for charity

b.      Doesn’t go looking for a handout, but for someone to be kind, to allow her to work

c.       Willing to work

d.      Willing to go wherever she is allowed


3.      She Has the Right Attitude


a.       Willing to glean, and take crumbs – no pride


1)      Gleaning is what very poor people, who have no money do

2)      It means walking through a field AFTER it has been harvested by trained workers

3)      Finding bits and pieces left-over – not much, but hopefully enough to have something to eat

4)      God had commanded that harvesters hold back on being thorough (Lev 19:9,10), so that the poor, and the widows, and the fatherless could have food


b.      She had such an attitude that sought permission, kindness of others – not demanding it


4.      She “Accidently” enters into the already harvested fields of a man named … Boaz


a.       Ruth did not know who Boaz was

b.      But God did! God guides soft-hearted people

c.       The devil guides hard-hearted people


C.    Boaz Notices Ruth (Ruth 2:4-7) – She didn’t know him from Adam


1.      Boaz is a very kind man – very gracious natured


a.       Kind and respectful to people who worked for him – when he could have thought he was above them

b.      Wealthy people often ignore those under them

c.       But God has a way of humbling even the wealthiest and most powerful of men!


2.      He Notices Ruth


a.       There are loads of young women working in the field… and he only notices Ruth!

b.      Ruth is well known

c.       Ruth cannot hide who she is – a Moabitish Woman – a foreigner, a stranger – not a Jewess

d.      Ruth does not act like the other poor widows, gleaning in the field. She doesn’t moan and complain and give out to the workers

e.       Ruth is happy and content to just glean in the field that she has been allowed into!

f.       Ruth is working as hard as one of Boaz’s hired workers


3.      He asks, Whose wife is this?


a.       Didn’t ask who she was, but who is she married to

b.      Usually, a grown woman would be married – not single like so many are today


4.      Very Impressed (2:7)


a.       At her humility – men notice softness in a woman – sorry. So does GOD by the way!

b.      With her hard work

c.       With how she has loved Naomi, a Jewess, more than her own family and country

d.      With all that she has lost, and yet she is not discouraged

e.       That she is willing to put up with constant rejection by the Jewish culture

f.       But most of all, he is very impressed with her testimony of faith in the one true God of Israel (2:12)!


D.    Grace Was Extended to Ruth (2:8,9,11,12)


1.      At first, Allowed to glean in the field – you may think that cruel, but it was GRACE!


a.       She, as a Moabite woman, could have been turned away! This is just as if someone from the Ivory Coast just showed up at an airport and asked for help! Immigration has the authority to turn them away!

b.      NOW, you might start to be able to appreciate GRACE, if you have ever been turned away like some people have!

c.       That should have been enough! Ruth and Naomi would have just enough to live on, because some nice servant had pity on Ruth to let her gather left-over bits and pieces of barley and wheat

d.      But Grace never really stops


2.      Then, More Grace was Personally Extended by Boaz himself


a.       He went right up to her and spoke with her

b.      She must have been terrified when she found out she was in HIS field, and he was now coming to talk with her – she probably thought he was going to be rough with her and throw her out of the field!

c.       He started to stay something to her from a distance, and she evidently did not hear him – maybe pretended to not hear him

d.      He asks her, Aren’t you listening?!


3.      Abide – Stay!


a.       When she was expecting to be thrown out

b.      She was invited to STAY! WOW! Amen!

c.       Stay no longer with the poor widows and poor men in the back of the fields, after they have been harvested

d.      But stay right alongside the other women workers

e.       No longer picking up leftovers

f.       But gathering full ears of wheat and barley

g.      Just follow the other workers – and wherever they are working, YOU are allowed to work as well

h.      Boaz has already spoken to all the YOUNG men to leave her alone! Protected from being mocked, persecuted, taken advantage of, and being abused (2:9)

i.        Welcome to drink out of the water that is brought even for the MEN!

j.        Ruth was being offered a position of equality with the paid men on Boaz’s staff (2:9)


4.      Boaz was NOT giving Ruth Money…

5.      He was giving her something better – ACCESS to everything he had – all his wealth of crops!


E.     Grace Was More Than Ruth Deserved! (2:10,13)


1.      Ruth Was Surprised


a.       She never expected this gift of such access to such supply

b.      She just wanted to gather the left-overs!


2.      She could have been spoiled, selfish, and wanted MORE than Boaz was offering


a.       Could have found fault with Boaz’s offer

b.      Could have been a murmuring, complaining woman


1)      Upset about all her problems – no one likes to constantly hear about all your problems

2)      Upset about being so poor – and believe me, she was very poor


3.      Instead she notices GRACE being offered to her, an unworthy foreigner


a.       Kindness, favour, compassion, forgiveness, gentleness, mercy and love, all wrapped up in one word… GRACE

b.      A GIFT

c.       Absolutely Free! Real kindness, favour, compassion, forgiveness, gentleness, mercy and love cannot be earned, merited, lived up to, or bought!


4.      Fell flat on the ground, face down before Boaz


a.       Up to this moment she feels inferior to him in every way

b.      Now, she even goes LOWER!

c.       Called him ‘lord’ (2:13) – that’s hard if you have pride!


5.      She asked WHY?


a.       Good question!

b.      Why have I found such grace in your eyes?

c.       Why have you noticed ME?

d.      I am a stranger

e.       I am a nobody

f.       I have nothing to offer you

g.      I am totally undeserving

h.      THAT is humility!

i.        You ought to just stop sometimes and ask WHY God? Why are you being SOOOOOO good to ME?


6.      Ruth understood GRACE – valued it! DO YOU?


a.       A gift, kindness, compassion (2:13) given to someone that is undeserving

b.      She recognised grace

c.       I am not so quick to notice grace

d.      I think we are spoiled, and unthankful, and abuse the grace of God, all the time

e.       And I think we receive no kindness from God because we are too proud to value it like an unworthy sinner!


F.     More Grace was Extended! (2:14-17) – Kept opening more!


1.      It just got “gooder and gooder” for Ruth!

2.      Invited closer


a.       She was invited to eat with his paid staff at lunch

b.      To actually eat with Boaz


3.      Fed her well – already prepared food

4.      Made equal with even the men workers


a.       Invited Ruth to gather alongside the men workers


5.      Given gifts


a.       Boaz extended his own personal dipping sauce all the way down to Ruth

b.      He secretly told his staff to “let” handfuls of already cut stalks fall to the ground for Ruth to find and gather – handfuls on purpose!


6.      Filled her life


a.       Filled her entire basket (a month’s supply of grain) in just one day – what would have taken weeks to fill if she was just still gleaning!

b.      And if that wasn’t enough, Ruth was allowed to do this every day all the way through BOTH harvests (2:21)


7.      Ruth made it very easy for Boaz to extend grace to her – it is the Mirror Principle! You want more grace, be more humble!


G.    Best Part!!! Grace Was Accepted!


1.      Ruth did not MISS the grace!


a.       She could have been a spoiled brat about everything…

b.      Like Veruca Salts in Willy Wonka

c.       Like the two evil stepsisters in Cinderella

d.      Like most children have been for the past 20 years


2.      Ruth did not REJECT the grace


a.       That would have been STUPID!


3.      Ruth did not MANAGE the grace


a.       Try to make it turn out more or what she wanted


4.      Ruth just ACCEPTED it!


a.       Do you understand what that means?

b.      It means she just took what Boaz offered her


5.      She EXPERIENCED Grace


a.       Grace is not something dreamed about, and theorised about and philosophised about

b.      It is something you must experience

c.       And Ruth experienced it EVERY day from then on

d.      Being allowed to be seen as an equal

e.       Every morning heading off to a field of beautiful, ripe grains, and walking right up to the paid staff, and being allowed to work right alongside them

f.       And then always finding huge clumps of already cut stalks siting there waiting for her to pick up and put into her basket!

g.      Ruth experienced grace!


6.      She ENJOYED Grace


a.       The kindnesses of Boaz

b.      The bounty of the field

c.       The already prepared food for the workers every lunchtime – THAT WAS GRACE

d.      She enjoyed being noticed by the wealthiest man in the area

e.       If you EVER recognise GRACE, you will really enjoy it!


7.      She Did Not Abuse It! Didn’t try and do things her own way now like she was in charge! She never changed as far as her softness and humility!


H.    Boaz’s Grace Affected Everything Now (2:18-23)


1.      She came home full! After just one day’s work – with a whole basket of grain - wow!

2.      She then mentioned a name – just one name to Naomi – “Boaz”

3.      She told Naomi this was not a once off thing – but would last till the end of all the harvests

4.      For the first time in over 10 years, Naomi gets excited!


a.        “This is good!”  Naomi hasn’t seen anything good in her life for far too long!

b.      But she warns Ruth “Don’t go too fast. Stay with the women. Stay away from the men”


1)      There is a reason for it – but she doesn’t share it with Ruth – at least not yet


5.      So, Ruth was content to do as Naomi told her – trusting Naomi, and enjoying the grace of Boaz as she just kept happily gleaning!


IV. Application


A.    Great Truths!


1.      Ruth’s soft, humble heart was directed and guided, while Naomi’s wasn’t (because it was hard, and cold, and stiff, and bitter)

2.      Happenstances, Accidents are always under the direct hand and control of God – stop complaining about what you cannot see!

3.      God notices the humble heart, the broken hearted – the small hearted (Psalm 51:17)

4.      Just make it very easy for God to extend grace to you – it is the Mirror Principle!

5.      Grace ALWAYS grows as we accept it humbly, and graciously!


B.     Every person in this world Needs Something – A Miracle


1.      We are all in debt before God – we have broken His laws, and owe Him for all the damages

2.      People live all their lives without God, and without hope

3.      A lot of people are bitter – can’t pray; don’t believe God for anything


C.    It’s Time for you to Look for Grace


1.      Not for money, or success, or popularity, or the good ol’ days

2.      But for GRACE

3.      Willing to take crumbs – no pride

4.      No longer complaining, and murmuring, and demanding

5.      But humbly seeking permission, kindness of others

6.      That’s when God will “Accidently” direct your paths right to where you can avail of Grace!


D.    God invites you to Abide – Stay!


1.      When we OUGHT to be thrown out, and cast into a devil’s hell

2.      Yet God invites us to STAY! WOW! Amen!

3.      No longer picking up leftovers

4.      But gathering full ears of every blessing of God


E.     Are you beginning to see a bigger story here?


1.      Of a sinner, foreign to God, unworthy of anything that God has

2.      Boaz is in love with Ruth folks! So is God (John 3:16)


F.     Grace is always More Than any of us Deserve!


1.      Do you believe that? That, you don’t and will never deserve God’s kindness?


a.       Kindness, favour, compassion, forgiveness, gentleness, mercy and love, extended to an unworthy foreigner


2.      Not because we are any good, or worthy! (Deut 7:7,8; Rom 2:4)

3.      When was the last time you fell flat on the ground, face down before God Almighty


a.       And called him ‘Lord’ Boss, the One in Charge

b.      That’s always hard if you have pride!


4.      When was the last time YOU asked God WHY?


a.       Why have I found such grace in your eyes?

b.      Why have you noticed ME?

c.       Why are you being SOOOOOO good to ME?

d.      I am a stranger

e.       I am a nobody

f.       I have nothing to offer you

g.      I am totally undeserving

h.      THAT is humility!


G.    God Gives MORE Grace


1.      He has so much more to give! He has ALL grace!

2.      When we are humble

3.      Isaiah 64:4  For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

4.      1Cor 2:9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.


H.    Grace NEEDS to be Accepted!


1.      Don’t MISS the grace!

2.      Don’t REJECT the grace. That would be STUPID!

3.      Don’t try and MANAGE God’s grace

4.      Do you know why people are in hell? No because God has no grace for them… but because they treat His grace wrongly! Doing despite to to His grace!

5.      Just ACCEPT it!


a.       Do you understand what that means?

b.      Take what God has offered you!

c.       John 1:10-12 – receiving, accepting what God has offered…


6.      EXPERIENCE Grace


a.       In being accepted in heaven

b.      In being taken cared of, daily, moment by moment


7.      ENJOY Grace

8.      Just don’t ABUSE it – thinking you can now go your own way and live any way you please!