Ruth – Trusting Grace – Part 3

Learning How to Trust Grace!

Ruth Chapter 3

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May 17, 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


1.      It is a GIFT


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

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


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


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

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

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

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


3.      God is a Gracious God – so kind!


a.       People are willingly ignorant of just how GOOD God is to all of us

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

c.       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

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

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


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


II.    Background – Ruth Chapters 1 and 2


For the last two weeks, we have learned How Ruth Accessed, and Experienced God’s Grace!


A.    Everything was against Ruth


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

2.      She was a foreigner – NOT a Jew

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

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

5.      That is, until she had met Naomi!


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


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

2.      Humbly, meekly, without rights, without demands – that was when grace was extended to her


C.     And then in chapter two of her life, she starts to experience and enjoy grace!

D.    She simply ACCEPTED Grace as it was given, and the more she humbly accepted it, the more was given to her! What a principle!


III. Message – Learning How to Trust Grace


A.    Naomi Has a Kinsman (2:1)


1.      Those are seriously good words!


a.       Naomi is seriously in debt from her husband’s failed farm ten years earlier

b.      Ruth is her Moabite daughter in law

c.       Naomi and her husband had made some poor decisions 10 years earlier – got out of the will of God, got away from God’s people, in the name of financial stability

d.      And then her husband unexpectantly dies

e.       Naomi and her two sons had made poor decisions – married Moabite girls

f.       And then both of her sons died unexpectantly

g.      And now both Naomi and Ruth are poor widows – destitute and without hope unless God intervened

h.      And God did just that!


2.      God had brought Naomi back home to Bethlehem. Humbled, broken, and bitter, but at least home!

3.      God had provided a way for Naomi and Ruth to work a field to gather enough food to survive

4.      AND… God had given Naomi a relative, a kinsman, who could pay off all their debts


a.       Someone she wasn’t close to

b.      A kinsman is someone in your family – Could be a brother, or a cousin, a distant cousin – like “next of kin”


5.      His name was Boaz

6.      Boaz is a very kind man – very gracious natured to his workers

7.      Boaz is a bachelor – that will be important to note!

8.      Boaz has already stepped into Ruth and Naomi’s lives – we watched it last week


a.       When she accidently enter into the already harvested fields of a man named … Boaz


1)      Ruth did not know who Boaz was

2)      But God did! God only guides soft-hearted people

3)      Only the devil guides hard-hearted people


b.      Boaz noticed Ruth

c.       VERY Impressed (2:7)


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

2)      With her hard work

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

4)      With all that she has lost, and yet she is not discouraged

5)      That she is willing to put up with constant rejection by the Jewish culture

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


9.      He extended Grace to Ruth (2:8,9,11,12) – extreme kindness to someone unworthy


a.       Told her she could Stay and work all she wanted in his fields

b.      Warned all the other young men to stay away from her and not to ever bother her

c.       Treated her to lunch

d.      Gave her more grain than she personally had worked for

e.       She was blessed, and so grateful!

f.       When she came home to Naomi, this kindness changed Naomi!


1)      Gave her hope

2)      Gave her food

3)      Gave her enjoyment of life again

4)      Changed her bitterness overnight!


B.     Naomi Gets Active (3:1) – this is where chapter three picks up!


1.      By the way, this is no bedtime story, or chick-flic – this is the story of king David’s great, great, grandmother, Ruth!!! As we shall see in the final verses of chapter 4!

2.      Naomi is excited!

3.      This is a miracle! She hasn’t been excited for years – been so bitter, so tired

4.      Concerned for Ruth!


a.       Ruth has been concerned for Naomi

b.      But now Naomi is starting to worry about others again – especially for Ruth, her daughter in law


5.      Wants Ruth to be able “to rest” – what does that mean?

6.      Wants to get Ruth married to a good man


a.       To not be alone anymore

b.      To not have to take care of an old widow mother-in-law

c.       To be loved and to love

d.      And to have children – Ruth never got to have children yet

e.       There is nothing wonderful about being single when you don’t want to be! Not unless God has given you that ability – but He doesn’t do that with many!

f.       Being married, Biblically married is a wonderful thing – even a restful thing!

g.      Living sinfully, like most singler AND married people live today is only cursed!


C.    Naomi Uses Her Influence (3:2-4)


1.      Ruth needed to take the relationship to the next level – marriage!

2.      But Ruth needed HELP doing that

3.      So, Naomi tells Ruth what to do


a.       Modern people believe Naomi is overstepping her bounds – but she is not!

b.      The older generation has a duty to do this you know – counsel the younger generation (Titus 2:3-5)

c.       And the younger generation has the duty to listen to it – and not constantly think it is all old-fashioned


e.       Naomi becomes a Matchmaker


1)      On your own young people, you are easily tricked, trapped, used, and abused

2)      If it weren’t for contraceptives, and the Pill, and abortion, 75% of all 20-25 year old girls would be pushing baby prams!

3)      And if the truth were known, this D.I.Y. type of sexual freedom that young people live for is creating very frustrated young men, and very feministic young women!

4)      Don’t you waste your time trying to tell me the older generation are stupid and not worth listening to!

5)      So God gave you PARENTS, a PASTOR and Pastor’s wife, the BIBLE, and the older couples in this church to help you decide God’s will for a mate for you!


f.       Don’t be stubborn and too proud to seek out, and listen to the advice of others – especially your parents, and your pastor, and your pastor’s wife, and GODLY men and women in church who live by the Bible!


1)      Pro_11:14  Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

2)      Pro_12:15  The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

3)      Pro_15:22  Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.

4)      Pro_19:20  Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.

5)      Pro_24:6  For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.


4.      Naomi’s Advice


a.       Bathe – take a nice long bath! Remember, she works all day out under the sun!

b.      Put on some Perfume – B.O. is B.A.D.

c.       Put on nice clothes – not sexy clothes, but nice clothes, like you are going to CHURCH, not to a disco

d.      Be discreet


1)      Don’t show off – don’t be loud and commanding – don’t be the leader

2)      Quietly sneak into the barn where the men will be winnowing the stalks of grain

3)      And then wait – wait for all the celebration to finish for the evening

4)      Watch where the man, Boaz lays down to sleep


e.       Be forward – kind of a hard balance


1)      Go to his feet – not his side – but his feet, and uncover them – very symbolic

2)      It will wake him up – cold feet!

3)      Then lay down next to his feet


f.       Let him take the lead


1)      When he wakes and sees you, he will know what has to be done

2)      He already knows all of Naomi’s and Ruth’s debts, and problems, and past failures

3)      He will instantly know what to do

4)      Let him take charge and do it

5)      Few men like women who always take charge!


g.      It is risky – why?


1)      Because Boaz may not want to fix the problem

2)      Boaz may only like Ruth at a distance – but not with all her “warts” so to speak

3)      Boaz may end up rejecting her

4)      Boaz could end up running from his responsibility – like a lot of men do!


D.    Ruth Accepts Naomi’s Advice, in Faith (3:5,6)


1.      Ruth Trusts Naomi


a.       Even though Naomi is flawed and not so spiritual

b.      Even though she has been nothing but bitter now for years

c.       Ruth sees the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in her life still


2.      There is much Meekness in her spirit and attitude


a.       She could have fought her mother in law

b.      Could have come up with her own plan

c.       She has learned to yield


3.      And that does not mean she is weak and only a rug that will be walked all over

4.      NO! It means that she will receive MORE of God’s help (James 4:6)! Which is what she needs more than anything!


E.     Boaz Gets a Gentle Nudge (3:7-9)


1.      It is now the end of the barley harvest


a.       Very few have ever experienced the joy and delight of a farmer’s life

b.      They have worked hard all season

c.       Hardest at the very end cutting, binding, threshing, and winnowing the kernels

d.      When all the pure wheat or barley grains are piled to the ceiling in the barn, there is such joy that everyone celebrates!

e.       And that is just what has taken place this night


2.      Boaz is wrecked tired – lays down on the edge of one of the piles of grain, and goes to sleep

3.      Ruth sneaks in – came in softly


a.       She then uncovered Boaz’s feet

b.      And lays down there next to his stinky feet!

c.       Nothing sexual or sensual is going on

d.      Just a widow


1)      Following the instructions of an old, outdated, out of step mother-in-law!

2)      And Waiting on God to show the next step!


4.      At midnight, Boaz’s feet are cold, and he wakes up, terrified


a.       And his feet bump up against someone!

b.      Terrifies him! Scares him – like it would anybody!

c.       When he sat up, he saw “a” woman – had no idea who she was

d.      Now he is REALLY TERRIFIED!


5.      Whispers, “Who are you?”

6.      And Ruth whispers back – pegs Boaz


a.        “I am Ruth”

b.      “Cover me” Cover my shame, my debts, my past

c.       Because you are a kinsman – you are FAMILY!


1)      That meant that he had the God-given responsibility to take over their debts

2)      He had the rights to the farm if he could pay the debt

3)      But it had to be done before the “bank” foreclosed on the debts


7.      Ruth has just gently nudged Boaz, asking him to do something to intervene and save their home, their family.


a.       Most men need some nudging.

b.      Some men need some kicking

c.       Naomi chooses to nudge

d.      And it worked!


F.     Boaz Accepts His Responsibility (3:10-12)


1.      He was amazed more than ever at Ruth


a.       That SHE would attempt this request – Naomi should have come and spoke to him

b.      That Ruth cared so much about Naomi (a Jewess) and Naomi’s debt

c.       That Ruth was interested in him, an older bachelor – probably not too good looking


2.      He was humbled by her ways


a.       He praises her

b.      Said she was always doing things the right way – that made her virtuous - honourable

c.       Did you know that about 100 years later, a king sat down and wrote about a “Virtuous woman” in Proverbs chapter 31. That king was wise Solomon. I believe he was thinking of his great-great-grandmother, Ruth, and her way of living and doing things!


3.      Boaz gave in, yielded to do whatever needed to be done, no matter the cost to him personally. He knew the Scriptures (Numbers 36:7-9)


a.       Num 36:7  So shall not the inheritance of the children of Israel remove from tribe to tribe: for every one of the children of Israel shall keep himself to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.

b.      Num 36:8  And every daughter, that possesseth an inheritance in any tribe of the children of Israel, shall be wife unto one of the family of the tribe of her father, that the children of Israel may enjoy every man the inheritance of his fathers.

c.       Num 36:9  Neither shall the inheritance remove from one tribe to another tribe; but every one of the tribes of the children of Israel shall keep himself to his own inheritance.


4.      Isn’t it wonderful to have a family? To have people that God has given to you to pick you up when you fall, and fail? You had better not be so quick to walk away from them!


G.    But There was Someone In-between Boaz and Naomi (3:12-13)


1.      Someone who is closer in family than Boaz

2.      This relative, this nearkinsman has the first dibs on the debts, on the farm, and on all that Elimelech had – including this lovely young widow named Ruth, and her mother-in-law

3.      This was a real concern


a.       Would this other kinsman (next of kin) even care about Naomi or Ruth?

b.      Would he only want the farm, and not ever take care of Naomi and Ruth?

c.       Would he even have the money to pay off all the debts?

d.      Would this mean Ruth and Boaz could never get married? Ruth might have to remain a widow for the rest of her life!

e.       So many uncertainties – whew! That’s life!

f.       What can Ruth do?


H.    Ruth Trusts Boaz (3:14,15)


1.      With everything stacked against her, and with all the questions unanswered…

2.      She trusts Boaz anyway!


a.       She instantly, without hesitation leaves it in his hands

b.      What a GREAT woman!

c.       She has done all she was supposed to do – all she could do


3.      Boaz tells her to stay till just before dawn


a.       Don’t try and walk home alone late after midnight – very dangerous

b.      So she stays – and by the way, she stays at his feet – not at his side!!!

c.       Neither one probably slept any that night


4.      And then, just before sunrise, she rose up and started to leave to walk home

5.      But just before she is able to leave, Boaz measures out 6 big scoopfuls of barley grain into her scarf.


a.       He loves giving gifts – that’s what grace does!

b.      He did not want her to go home empty-handed!


6.      Boaz commands his workers not to tell anyone a woman had been in the barn that night


a.       It cannot be known


1)      That Boaz is interested in Ruth

2)      That he wants to own Naomi’s farm


b.      You see, Boaz needs his cousin, or brother to consider the worth of the farm and all its debts, as it is, without Boaz’s interests…

c.       Because if the brother, or cousin saw that Boaz really wanted Ruth, then the cousin would want to have it! That’s human nature! It happens all the time


7.      And then Boaz got to work…


I.       Naomi Trusts Boaz (3:16-18)


1.      Ruth arrives back home


a.       It is still quite dark when Ruth arrives back home

b.      Naomi’s door is locked

c.       So when Ruth comes knocking, Naomi obviously asks Who is it?


2.      Ruth tells Naomi everything that happened – women love that! All the details

3.      And then she showed Naomi the 6 measures of grain


a.       And they both start dancing around like children on Christmas morning!

b.      Boaz’s gift told Naomi all she needed to know


4.      Naomi just KNOWS that Boaz will not rest until this task is “finished”!


a.       What a word to end a chapter with!

b.      She completely trusts Boaz! Leaves it in his hands!

c.       What a miracle, for a woman, just a few months earlier trusted in no one, and especially not in God


5.      Naomi encourages Ruth to sit still, not panic, or worry

6.      But just wait and see how God works everything out

7.      THAT is real FAITH! Doing what you are supposed to, and then sitting, and waiting, and leaving things to God – not pushing, forcing, meddling, and fighting!


IV. Challenge


A.    Stay meek – don’t get frustrated, angry, impatient with God. Meekness will open more doors for you than anger, yelling, fighting, screaming, demanding…

B.     Allow older more mature people in your life to influence your choices.


1.      Let them protect you from a life of regret

2.      From a life of selfish, pig-headed spoiledness!

3.      Allow them to correct you – to teach you how to do things right

4.      And thank them when they do!


C.    STOP trying to meddle with what GOD is in charge of


1.      God knows what ought to be done

2.      Real faith gives your sin problem to God, and then leaves it all in His hands, and just waits for Him to fix it – that’s conversion


D.    MEN! You need to get to the place where you WANT and ARE ABLE to meet people’s needs, and take care of more than just yourself!

E.     LADIES! Learn from Ruth, how to motivate men!

F.     Everyone needs to find themselves in this Book. Which one are you?


V.    Look at the typology – Who and what these people represent


A.    Naomi is the Jew, that knows how to trust and obey God, but she ends up OUT of the will of God, bitter, and full of regret for all her failures

B.     Ruth is the Gentile, that is foreign to the goodness of God – cursed, and rejected, but now, simply because of God’s grace, and her own humility, she has been allowed to access life and a future in Israel

C.     Their husbands were just like our old nature – flesh – only gets us in debts, and away from God

D.    Boaz is just like the Lord Jesus Christ, who is also a Jew, who is wealthy and mighty, and can pay off all debts. Remember, this is all playing out in the little village of… BETHLEHEM

E.     Boaz is in love with Ruth, like Jesus loves the Church of all Christians

F.      He is stunned that Ruth, a Gentile loves Naomi, a Jewess – and cares for her. God notices when we care about His people!

G.    There is another Kinsman, who has first dibs on us – he is like the Law. And unless the Law fails to take responsibility for our debts and failures, Grace won't be able to save anyone! Stay tuned for next week, to find out what happens!


VI. Conclusion


A.     “Cover me” is the cry of a sinful man or woman to the Son of God


1.      Cover my shame, my embarrassment, my sinfulness, my past, my failures, my weaknesses

2.      Not ignore it, but pay for me, and you get me!

3.      Psa_32:1  Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

4.      Psa_85:2  Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.


B.     Thank God that Jesus accepted the burden of responsibility for MY sins and failures

C.    Today you need to finally cover YOUR sinfulness and shame, and forgive you!

D.    Next Week – The Cost of Such Grace!