Sermon #6 Series: Ruth
Title: “Seek And Ye Shall Find”
Text: Ruth 2:1-12
Subject: Seeking the Lord.
Date: Tuesday Evening - May 11, 1993
Here are three facts revealed in Holy Scripture that need to be written upon our hearts by the finger of God. Our puny brains may not be able to sort out the details. We may not b able to see the consistency of these facts. They may even appear to be contradictory. Yet, these three facts are plainly revealed in the Word of God. Faith bows to the Word and receives these things for waht they are, the very truth of God.
1. God almighty saves whom he will (Rom. 9:15, 16, 18). He chose some and passed by others. He sent his Son to redeem some, but not others. Christ makes intercession for some, but not others. He sends his word to some, but not others. The Holy Spirit regenerates and calls some, but not others. All whom the Father chose, the Son redeemed, and the Spirit calls shall be saved, all of them and no one else, no matter what! “Salvation is of the Lord!” Yet, our great, sovereign God has ordained the use of certain means, and will not save any sinner apart from the means he has appointed. God will not alter his purpose at all. If Ninevah is to be saved, Jonah (and no one else) must go to Nineveh, because God has detemined to save Nineveh through the preaching of Jonah. God knows how to take care of the details. Ask Jonah!
2. You and I are responsible for the immortal souls placed by God under our influence (Ezek. 33:7-9). Men and women are saved or lost as a direct result of our actions (Ezek. 3:17-19; 1 Tim. 4:16). God’s purpose can never be altered or frustrated. What he has purposed he will do. Neither Lucifer, nor you, nor I can overrule him (Isa. 14:24, 26, 27). Yet, as satan is responsible for the angels he led to destruction, though not one elect angel fell, so we are responsible for those who are under our influence, though none of God’s elect shall by any possibility perish.
3. And every man is responsible for his own soul. If you seek the Lord, you will find him. He promises you will (Jer. 29:12-13). If you refuse to seek him, you will perish forever. If you trust Christ, you shall be saved. If you believe not on the Lord Jesus Christ, you shall be damned. Your faith will not add to the number of God’s elect. Neither will your unbelief alter the purpose of God (Rom. 3:3-4). If you are saved, it is because God chose you, redeemed you, and called you. If you die in your sins, it is because you refused to walk in the light God has given you, you refused to hearken to the Word of God, you refused to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Your willful unbelief, not the purpose of God, shall be the cause of your everlasting condemnation (John 3:36).
With these things in mind, I want us to look at Ruth 2:1-12. Here Ruth is set before us as a picture of a sinner seeking the Lord. The title of my message is taken from the words of our Lord Jesus Christ - “Seek And Ye Shall Find.” That is his promise. “Seek and ye shall find.” I know that no one will ever seek the Lord who is not first sought out by the Lord. Our seeking him is the proof that we are sought of him. Yet, it is every man’s responsibility to seek him.
As Ruth sought barley in the fields of Boaz, so needy sinners seek the Bread of Life in the Book of God and in the House of God.
1. Ruth’s only hope was a near kinsman (v. 1).
2. Being humbled by the hand of God, Ruth knew her need of grace (v. 2).
3. Divine providence brought Ruth to the place where she would meet Boaz (v. 3).
4. Boaz spoke about Ruth and for Ruth in her hearing before he spoke to her (vv. 4-7).
5. Boaz spoke directly to Ruth about what he had said and done (vv. 8-9).
6. Ruth was overwhelmed by Boaz’s goodness (v. 10).
7. Boaz assured Ruth of his interest in her (vv. 11-12).
I. RUTH’S ONLY HOPE WAS A NEAR KINSMAN (v. 1).
Everything in the Book of Ruth is about the Kinsman. He is really the center of attention. The commentaries, for the most part, miss the point of the book. They talk about Ruth. But Ruth talked about this kinsman. Her kinsman, Boaz, is a type and picture of our great kinsman, the Lord Jesus Christ.
A. The kinsman, according to God’s Holy Law, has the right to redeem (Lev. 25:25).
1. A kinsman.
2. Willing to redeem.
3. Able to redeem.
B. Boaz is a beautiful picture of Christ, our kinsman Redeemer.
1. He was a man - The Son of God became a man! (Col. 2:10).
2. He was a man of great wealth - Our Savior has all that is needed to redeem and save his people -
· Perfect righteousness!
· Blood atonement!
· Infinite worth!
3. His name is Boaz - Strength! - The Son of God, our Kinsman Redeemer, not only has all that is necessary to ransom our souls, he has the power to save (John 17:2; Heb. 7:25).
II. BEING HUMBLED BY THE HAND OF GOD, RUTH KNEW HER NEED OF GRACE (v. 2).
Before God saves he slays. Before he exalts he abases. Before he heals he wounds. He never lifts sinners up until he brings them down.
Ruth had resolved that she would be found among the children of God. She would not go back to Moab. But if she lived in Bethlehem, she would have to do so as a poor beggar living upon the grace of another. This she was willing to do (Psa. 110:3).
· Grace chose her.
· Grace created a need.
· Grace met her need.
III. DIVINE PROVIDENCE BROUGHT RUTH TO THE PLACE WHERE SHE WOULD MEET BOAZ (v. 3).
Though it made no difference to Ruth which field she gleaned in, “her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz.” She had not planned it. In so far as she was concerned, this was purely accidental. But “her hap” was by the arrangement of providence. “Her hap” determined…
· Her marriage to Boaz.
· Her wealth.
· Her happiness.
· Her position in the genealogy of Christ.
· The incarnation of Christ!
NOTE: The Son of God must come into the world as a descendent of Boaz and Ruth. God purposed it from eternity. Yet, Boaz and Ruth would never have wed had she not gleaned in his field. This was no accident! “Her hap” was God’s purpose!
Children of God, adore your heavenly Father’s wise providence! - Prevenient grace.
· Regard nothing as insignificant.
· Look for and follow the direction of God in the daily affairs of your life (Prov. 3:5-6).
IV. BOAZ SPOKE ABOUT RUTH AND FOR RUTH IN HER HEARING BEFORE HE SPOKE TO HER (vv. 4-7).
In these verses, the conversation is all about Ruth. It appears not to be so much for Boaz to get information about her as for her to get information about him. We get a hint of this in verse 8, where Boaz says to Ruth, “Hearest thou not, my daughter,” implying that all he had said was for her benefit.
I admit, I am guessing a little bit about that. But I know this - The Lord Jesus often speaks about and for his elect through the preaching of the gospel before he speaks directly to them by the effectual call of his Spirit.
A. Boaz and his reapers appear to be one (v. 4; Matt. 10:40).
B. Ruth wisely followed the reapers through the field (v. 3).
God’s servants are his angels, sent into his field to gather his wheat into his barn (Matt. 13:30). They are his reapers. They search the field of Holy Scripture and gather from the Word of Life bread for his children.
C. Boaz appeared in his field - “Behold, Boaz came!”
When a seeking sinner earnestly follows his reapers through the field of Holy Scripture, the Master is sure to meet him and bless him with that grace that fills his heart and flows through his lips.
D. Boaz and his workers talked to one another about Ruth.
I don’t know really how to express what I want to say here, but the Lord God and his servants talk to one another about his people too.
1. The reapers talked to Boaz about Ruth. They told him…
· Who she was - A Moabitess.
· Where she came from - Moab.
· What she had done (v. 7).
· That is the way preachers talk to God about the people for whom they labor!
2. Then Boaz told his servants what to do for Ruth.
· Do nothing to harm her, or hinder her (v. 9).
· Provide for her need (v. 16). “Handfuls” of promises: Of doctrines, of Christ’s person and work, of grace (Eph. 1:1-14, 15-23; 2:1-10).
V. BOAZ SPOKE DIRECTLY TO RUTH ABOUT WHAT HE HAD SAID AND DONE (vv. 8-9).
NOTE: Preaching the gospel is not telling sinners what they ought to do or what God wants to do, but telling what God in Christ has done!
· “Go not to another field.”
· “Abide here.”
· When you are thirsty, drink from my fountain.
C. He assured her of his protection - “They shall not touch thee.”
· “Reproach her not” (v. 15).
· “Rebuke her not” (v. 16 - “Shame her not”_
· “Touch her not.”
*He flirted with her (v. 14).
VI. RUTH WAS ASTONISHED AND OVERWHELMED BY BOAZ’S GOODNESS (v. 10).
Boaz’s goodness did not make Ruth arrogant and presumptuous. It had just the opposite effect. It humbled her.
A. “She fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground.”
Ruth was overwhelmed by a sense of Boaz’s goodness and her own unworthiness of that goodness. When a weary, sinful, heavy-laden soul sees the exceeding riches of God’s grace in Christ, self bows to the ground.
Illustration: Isaiah (Isa. 6).
Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9).
NOTE: It is not the wrath of God that leads to repentance, but the goodness of God (Rom. 2:4). The hammer of the law breaks up the icy, fallow ground of our hearts. But it is the grace of God that melts our hearts before him! (Zech. 12:10).
B. “Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?”
· A Gentile.
· No covenant.
· No rights.
· No claims.
· No merit.
1. The first response of the renewed heart to the garce of God is to ask - Why me?
· David (2 Sam. 7:18).
· Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 9:8).
2. Gracious souls are always astonished by grace (1 John 3;1).
3. There is but one answer to the question - Why? Why was I chosen? Redeemed? Called? (Jer. 31:3). “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious!”
VIII. BOAZ ASSURED RUTH OF HIS INTEREST IN HER (vv. 11-12).
Ruth sure enough was interested in Boaz. But that gave her no comfort. She wanted to know - Is this man interested in me? It is one things for me to be interested in Christ, but is Christ interested in me? That is the matter of real concern.
Boaz assured Ruth of two things:
A. His knowledge of her (v. 11).
B. God’s faithfulness (v. 12).
Is salvation the response of the sinner to God’s grace, or is it the response of God the sinner’s faith? Both!
1. Honor God (1 Sam. 2:30).
2. Trust his providence (Prov. 3:5-6).
3. Take refuge under the wings of his grace (Heb. 4:16).
“So she gleaned” (v. 17).
· She got bread - Mercy! Grace!
· Then she got a husband!
· Then she got an inheritance - His!
· Then she got great honor - His!