Sermon #8 Ruth Series:
Title: Mealtime With Boaz
Text: Ruth 2:14
Subject: Ruth feeding at Boaz’s table
Date: Tuesday Evening - June 15, 1993
The names of men and women in ancient times were given with purpose. Names had significance. They meant something to the one giving names to his children and to the ones who wore those names.
Illustration: Katherine Faith Fortner
Elimelech - “God is King”
Naomi - “Sweetness”
Mara - “Bitterness”
Mahlon - “Weakness”
Chilion - “Consumption”
Boaz - “Strength”
Orpah - “Double-Minded”
Ruth - “Satisfied Stranger”
Thus far we have seen how that all these other names have been demonstrated in the lives of those who wore them. Tonight, I want to show you how that Ruth began to find the fulfillment of her name’s meaning. Ruth was a Moabitess, a stranger in the land of Judah. She became the satisfied stranger when she was wed to Boaz. The courtship that led up to that wedding began in Boaz’s barley field where Boaz invited her into his house at mealtime.
Ruth found in Boaz everything she needed; and in like manner, every believing sinner finds in Christ, the Bread of Life, everything he needs. In our Savior’s house there is bread enough and to spare!
Studying the Book of Ruth, I have noticed a very distinct correlation between the things that happened in this book and the things that are taught in the Book of Ephesians.
1. The minute detail of divine providence in accomplishing the purpose of God (Eph. 1:11).
2. Once Ruth was in Bethlehem she went out into the fields to serve. Indeed, all who are brought into the family and kingdom of God are born to serve (Eph. 2:8-10; Tit. 2:11-15).
3. The calling of Ruth the Moabitess prefigured the calling of the Gentiles (Eph. 2:11-13, 19).
4. The love of Boaz for Ruth was a picture of the love of Christ to us (Eph. 3:18-19; 5:25-27).
5. Boaz’s purchase and redemption of Ruth portrayed Christ’s redemption and purchase of God’s elect (Eph. 5:25; 1:6).
6. As Boaz’s love to her was a matter of unceasing wonder to Ruth (“Why have I found grace in thine eyes?”), so Christ’s love to us, his great grace to us is an unceasing, wondrous mystery to the believing heart (Eph. 3:8-11, 19-21).
7. As Ruth’s wedding to Boaz was a lasting, fruitful union, so our union with Christ is an everlasting union and a fruitful one (Eph. 5:30, 32; 4:21-25).
I give you these tid-bits only to wet your appetite. When you are reading through the Word of God, especially, as you read the Book of Ruth during the course of these messages, look for grace, look for pictures of your own soul’s experience, and you will find them.
Tonight, I want us to look at chapter 2, verse 14. The title of my message is “Mealtime With Boaz” or Mealtime With Our Redeemer.
As we go along, I want to show you four things:
1. God’s people in this world have their mealtimes.
2. The Lord Jesus affectionately invites poor sinners to his banqueting table.
3. As Boaz reached Ruth the parched corn, so our Savior gives the Bread of Life to chosen sinners.
4. Ruth was satisfied at Boaz’s table; and every believer finds in Christ that which satisfies his soul.
I. GOD’S PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD HAVE THEIR MEALTIMES.
In the Scriptures, the hearing of the Word of God is often compared to a great feast and faith in Christ is compared to eating and drinking (Lk. 14:15-24).
During the barley harvest, it was common in Boaz’s day for men to set up temporary quarters in their fields. There, in the middle of the day, all his workers would be fed and any gleaners who were invited to join them. That is the picture we have before us. Let me use it to show you three things from the Word of God in this regard.
A. First, God’s servants, those who preach the gospel of Christ, are God’s gifts to his church by whom the souls of men are fed (Jer. 3:15).
The one who does the feeding is our Lord himself. His servants simply distribute the loaves and the fishes.
Illustration: Christ to Peter - “Feed my lambs! Feed my sheep!”
1. With Knowledge of God, His Word, and His ways.
2. With understanding of their needs.
3. With bread suitable for their souls.
· The doctrines of grace.
· The cross of Christ.
· The work of the Spirit.
· The purpose of the Father.
B. Second, all who are hungry will be found at the table come mealtime.
I quit trying to get lost religious people, hypocritical professors of faith to come to church a long time ago. If you are hungry, no body will have to beg you to come and eat.
· No matter who the cook is!
· No matter what the plate looks like!
· Give me the Bread and Water of the Covenant, the Oil and Wine of Grace, and I’ll be there!
· Find me some hungry sheep - I’ve got food for them!
· Picky, choosey grumblers, whose souls are so lean that they are sickly, I have no time for!
*The sovereign gracer who hates responsibility!
*The dogmatist who despises the free offer!
*The Antinomian who cannot bear the yoke of Christ!
C. Thirdly, God has ordained certain mealtimes for his own.
Illustration: The deaf woman.
The deaf mute at the tabernacle.
1. The public ministry of the Word.
2. Private reading and meditation.
Illustration: The mentally wounded soldier - “Peace I
leave with you, my peace I give unto you!”
3. The Lord’s Supper
· the Prodigal!
4. Our God spreads a table before us in this wilderness - “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.”
a. Often we have an unexpected mealtime.
· Walking or driving
· On a sick bed
b. But there are certain seasons when you may expect these mealtimes.
· During the heat of the day
· Before a great trial
· After a heavy, painful trouble
“I would not change my blest estate
For all the world calls good or great;
And while my faith can keep her hold,
I envy not the sinner’s gold!”
II. Next, I want you to see that THE LORD JESUS AFFECTIONATELY INVITES POOR SINNERS TO HIS BANQUETING TABLE.
Boaz did not command Ruth to come. He did not order her to come, though well he might. But “Boaz said unto her, At mealtime come thou hither and eat.” Those are the tender words of a gracious suitor.
Yes, I know that the Lord Jesus commands all men to repent. He commands all to believe the gospel. And all are responsible to obey his command. But he does graciously condescend to our low estate. Like a tender Suitor who would win our hearts, he invites rudy sinners to come to him.
· Isaiah 1:18-20!
· Matthew 11:28-30!
· Matthew 22:9!
A. The poor gleaner in our text was invited by Boaz himself to “Come”.
Illustration: Witnessing - One beggar telling another beggar
where he can get a good meal.
B. Ruth was invited to “Eat of the Bread.”
“Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream!”
C. But there is more - Boaz invited Ruth to “Dip thy morsel in the vinegar.”
Not vinegar as we know it, but a relish, a sauce, a gravy to give a rich, delicious taste to the bread.
1. Election is the bread - Personal election is the sauce.
2. Redemption is the bread - Personal redemption is the sauce.
3. Calling is the bread - Personal calling is the sauce.
4. Perseverance is the bread - Preservation is the sauce.
Some like the bread, but not the gravy. Some like the gravy, but not the bread. I want both.
NOTE: Boaz invited Ruth for two reasons:
1. He loved her!
2. He intended to marry her!
III. Third, AS BOAZ REACHED RUTH THE PARCHED CORN, SO OUR SAVIOR GIVES THE BREAD OF LIFE TO CHOSEN SINNERS.
It takes more than an offer to save a sinner. It takes more than an invitation. It takes an almighty work of irresistible grace (Psa. 65:4; 110:3). While Ruth sat beside the reapers he reached…!
Thank God, he would not take “No” for an answer from me! He invited; but I was reluctant. He said, “Come, eat, dip your morsel in the gravy;” but I would not obey his voice. So he put the bread of life in my mouth!
Illustration: The Good Samaritan!
A. He gave us faith!
B. He shed his love abroad in our hearts!
C. He gives us close communion.
D. D. He gives us the witness of the Spirit.
IV. Notice also that AS RUTH WAS SATISFIED AT BOAZ’S TABLE, EVERY BELIEVER FINDS IN CHRIST THAT WHICH SATISFIES HIS SOUL.
A. Ruth ate!
B. She was sufficed!
C. She left! She left much more than she ate.
D. She carried enough home to Naomi to satisfy her too! (v. 18).
I know some preachers and some congregations who appear to be spiritual protectionists, conservationists of the worst kind. They are apparently afraid that if they share the bread of God’s house they will run out!
Application: “Yes, there is room!”