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I. There is always hope because God’s redeeming love is present – Chapter 3
A. Redeeming love changes your perspective
1. Naomi’s attitude was changing.
i. She was no longer concerned about herself – Ruth needs a husband
ii. No indication she was still bitter and faithless
2. Naomi began trusting God’s Word
i. She knew who Boaz was
ii. She knew the law and pinned her hope on that Law
iii. No more thinking “any old god will do”
iv. She knew her only hope rested in following God’s Word
B. Redeeming love changes your actions
1. The time for mourning was over – verse 3
i. this has nothing to do with…”try to make yourself look really hot”…
ii. the best parallel passage to this is II Samuel 12 where David concludes the period of mourning for his deceased son…
1. in Bible times, while your mourning, you would not bathe, at least not as regularly…you would wear certain kinds of garments…you were mourning…
2. and you may recall in 2 Samuel 12:20 - So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the Lord and worshiped...
3. the point is – the formal time of mourning for her deceased husband [who of course would have been Naomi’s son] was concluding…
4. - the fact that Naomi was the one who made that suggestion, and Ruth waited until her mother-in-law would be comfortable that that time had come is beautifully touching…that’s why when people try to make this text something it’s not, they miss some very wonderful and important lessons…
2. The time for putting faith into action was now
i. Naomi put her faith into action by teaching Ruth what to do
1. She knew where Boaz would be
a. Threshing floor was a large piece of rock usually at the top of a hill to take advantage of the afternoon breezes
b. They would often sleep there to protect the grain from being stolen before it could be transported
2. She knew Ruth had to take the next step
a. Why not just wait for Boaz to make the move?
i. There was nothing unbiblical about what they did
ii. Unconventional – yes
iii. Risky – you bet
iv. Not wrong
b. It is highly unlikely Boaz would have reacted
i. Respect for Ruth’s grief
ii. Boaz was significantly older
iii. Boaz knew there was someone who was a closer relative
ii. Ruth put her faith into action by obeying.
1. V 5 – all that you say I will do.
· this plan makes sense because it is rooted in hesed…faithfulness, covenant loyalty…fidelity to the Word of God…
· this could potentially result in her husband’s name being perpetuated and Naomi’s future being protected along with her own…
· let’s not simply do that which is right in our own eyes…let’s take steps that only make sense if God’s Word is really true and He’s able to provide the way He’s promised to over and over in His Word…
· all that you say, I will do…
2. v 9 – Ruth righteously appealed to Boaz to marry her according to the levirate custom
3. v 13 – Boaz willingly accepted Ruth’s proposal but he would have to check it out with the closer relative
4. v 14 – lay at his feet
a. no immorality occurred
b. Boaz insisted on no appearance of evil
c. This was an ancient Near Eastern custom.
d. This overture indicated to Boaz Ruth’s desire to marry him.
3. For you and me
· When’s the last time you demonstrated that you were so committed to finding hope in a God who provides that you initiated steps that would only make sense if He really is who He says He is?...
· the longer I’m a pastor, the more I’m convinced that a key ministry skill for all God’s people to develop is the matter of initiative…
· having your eyes open to the needs and opportunities around you and being willing to do your part in seizing the opportunity that God has placed before you…
· you should be asking yourself that question every day – in your home, in your neighborhood, at work, as you read the paper – what are the opportunities here?...
· some of God’s people can be incredibly slow on the uptake…for some of us it’s almost as if God would have to open the door, take it off its hinges, and bang us on the head with it before we’d be ready/willing to act…
· if you really believe that God will provide…you’re going to be pushing on a few doors yourself…
If you have been redeemed by Christ, then that same love provides the hope you need to put your faith into action.
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