Sermon #7 Ruth Series:
Title: Ruth’s Reward
Text: Ruth 2:12
Subject: The reward of faith
Date: Tuesday evening - June 1, 1993
Let’s read together Ruth chapter 2, verses 1-12. The title of my message tonight is Ruth’s Reward. Boaz said to Ruth, “The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.”
The Book of Ruth is full of instruction to the believing heart. It sets before us the romance of redemption and beautifully portrays the grace of God toward fallen, depraved sinners through the Lord Jesus Christ, our Boaz, our Kinsman Redeemer. There are several lessons which I want to keep stressing as we go through this study of the Book of Ruth.
1. The Danger of Worldliness (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17).
The Book of Ruth opens with a sad, sad picture. Elimelech, a wealthy man, took his money and his family and fled from Bethlehem down to Moab when famine struck the land of Bethlehem-Judah. When he died, he left his family, without a trace of good influence, in the idolatrous land of Moab!
Perhaps Elimelech was a believer. I don’t know. His parents apparently were, for in the days when there was no king in Israel and every man did that which was right in his own eyes, Elimelech’s parents named him Elimelech, which means - “My God is King!” But Elimelech did not live up to his name. He fled when he should have been faithful. He left the people of God, the Word of God, and the worship of God for the sake of temporal, earthly interests (Matt. 13:22; Lk. 12:15).
NOTE: Don’t settle into any place where you would not want to leave your family without your influence. I am sure he had no intention of doing so; but Elimelech died in Moab! Some things are more important than financial security.
2. The Mystery of Providence.
“All things are of God!” (2 Cor. 5:18).
“For of him, and through him, and to him are all things: to whom be glory forever!” (Rom. 11:36).
a. God overruled Elimelech’s failure to fetch Ruth out of Moab, because he had chosen Ruth both to be an heir of grace and to be in the genealogy of Christ.
b. When Naomi came back to Bethlehem, she was full of bitterness. Yet, with in a few weeks she was called the happiest of women (Ruth 4:14-15).
c. Ruth’s “hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz.”
As far as she was concerned, it was altogether accidental. But as one of the many links in the chain of God’s purpose, it was ordained and brought to pass by God. What God does in this world he does on purpose (Eph. 1:11; Rom. 11:28). And the purpose of God in all things providential is twofold:
(1.) The glory of Christ (Col. 1:18).
(2.) The saving of his people.
3. The Wonders of Redemption.
He primary subject of this little book is redemption, redemption by a near kinsman (2:1). Boaz was a picture of Christ…
· “A mighty man!”
· “A wealthy man!”
· “A kinsman!”
Two things were required in the Law of Moses for the express purpose of foreshadowing our redemption by Christ.
a. The nearest kinsman had the right to redeem the inheritance his brother had lost (Lev. 25:25).
b. The kinsman was to marry the widow of his brother to preserve alive the seed of Israel (Deut. 25:5-10).
· Boaz did both (Ruth 4:9-10).
· Christ, the Second Adam, did both!
4. The Super-Abounding Grace of God.
Redemption and grace always go hand in hand. Wherever you find one, you find the other. Like Boaz, those who are redeemed by Christ shall be wed to Christ! All whom he redeemed, he saves! All whom he redeems, he forgives! All whom he redeemed, he blesses with all the exceeding riches of his abundant grace! The Book of Ruth is a book about grace, the super-abounding grace of God.
a. Prevenient grace!
b. Undeserved grace! - Ruth was a Moabite, the cursed child of a cursed race!
c. Abundant grace! That is the subject before us in our text (Ruth 2:12).
As Boaz invoked upon Ruth “a full reward” from God for what she had done, so the Lord Jesus Christ invokes upon every believer a full reward from the Lord God.
Let me show you two things, and I will send you home, I hope, resolved both to serve and to worship the Lord our God with renewed consecration, love, and zeal.
1. Ruth’s work of faith.
2. The great reward of grace.
I. First, I want you to see that our text speaks of RUTH’S WORK OF FAITH - “The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.”
I know, and you know, that faith is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8). Faith is wrought in us by the exceeding greatness of God’s almighty power in saving grace (Eph. 1:19). Faith is the work of the operation of God in our hearts (Col. 2:12). If I believe God, it is because of his grace. Yet, faith, being produced in us by the power of God the Holy Spirit is not a passive experience. Faith is a living principle, a grace that works (Gal. 5:6). Faith does something (James 2:14-26). And God will not forget your work of faith and labor of love (1 Thess. 1:3; Heb. 6:10).
Remember, as you read the Book of Ruth, Ruth represents us, sinners saved by grace, God’s elect, all who are converted by the power and grace of God.
A. Ruth had come to trust God.
Naomi had taught both Ruth and Orpah the things of God. No doubt, Orpah believed Naomi’s words and was prepared to go with her to Bethlehem, until she realized what it would cost her. When she realized that, she went back to Moab. She believed Naomi; but she did not trust the Lord. But Ruth had come to trust the Lord God of Israel himself. She believed God! She had come to “trust under his wings!” The metapher is…
1. Either the wings of the Cherubim overshadowing the Mercy-Seat!
2. Or to the wings of a mother hen.
· A place of great strength - The Arch of the wing!
· A place of complete safety - The hen’s protection!
· A place of comfort - The soft under feathers!
B. Because she believed God, Ruth did what Orpah could not do (v. 11).
1. She forsook her own relations.
2. She abandoned all earthly comfort and benefit.
3. She resolved to worship and serve the Lord God of Israel, whom she had learned to trust through Naomi’s faithful witness.
· A covenant keeping God!
· A faithful and true God!
· A sovereign, almighty God!
· A merciful and gracious God!
Though she had left Bethlehem with her husband, Naomi was not hesitant to go back to her God an his people (Heb. 4:16).
NOTE: Ruth learned to worship and trust the Lord God by Naomi’s witness. Naomi told Ruth who God is, what he had done, and where he was to be found. And Ruth believed. She believed Naomi’s word; but more, she trusted Naomi’s God!
II. Our text speaks secondly, of THE GREAT REWARD OF GRACE - “The Lord recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.”
Here is the super-abundance of God’s grace. He rewards our works of faith with the full reward of grace (1 Sam. 2:30). See how this is demonstrated in Ruth.
A. She found what she never expected or looked for - A husband!
She who was barren, bare a son (Christ) through whom untold millions have been born of God!
Like Ruth, we have found in Christ more than a Redeemer and a Savior. We have found in him a husband (Eph. 5:25-30).
B. Being married to Boaz, Ruth obtained an inheritance to which she had no natural claim.
Even so, in Christ, you and I have obtained an inheritance to which we have no natural claim.
1. Our reward from God is a heritage of grace given to all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
a. Forgiveness (Isa. 43:25).
b. Peace of conscience (Heb. 9:12-14).
c. Quietness “from fear of evil” (Prov. 1:33).
d. The blessed assurance of all good (Psa. 23; Rom. 8:32).
e. The confidence of God’s providence (Rom. 8:28).
f. Communion with God.
2. In the last day, our God shall grant us the full reward of grace which is the fulness of heavenly glory (Rom. 8:17). “The Lord will give grace and glory!”
NOTE: God will reward us according to our works, in strict accordance with absolute justice. He will reward us for the perfect righteousness of Christ, his works imputed to us, which are now our works!
· Rev. 20:12-15
· Rev. 21:27
· Rev. 22:14
Are you worthy of heaven? (Col. 1:12; 3:23-24).
NOTE: Boaz invoked a full reward for Ruth. Christ has earned and purchased a full reward for us. And he gives it (John 17:22).