Ruth 4:13-17 RUTH:FROM BROKENNESS TO BLESSEDNESS
Intro: W. Herschel Ford tells this story: "Many years ago a young
preacher in England pitched his tent in an area where there was no church. Each night he
preached the gospel there. Among the converts was a boy whose mother was dead and whose
father was a saloon-keeper. After the boy's conversion he pleaded with his father to
attend the services with him, but his father cursed him and told him to forget it.
"On Saturday night the boy said, 'Please pray for my daddy. I want
so much for him to be saved.' On Monday someone told this man that his son had requested
prayer for him, and when the boy came home from school, his father said, 'If you want to
be a Christian, go ahead, but leave my name out of it.'
"The next Saturday night the boy's heart was breaking for his
father, so he again asked for prayer for his father. Again on Monday someone told the
father, hoping that this would touch and convict him. When the boy came in from school,
the man beat him until the boy's blood stained his shirt. Then man threw a bucket of water
on him and kicked him, and then went to the saloon. The boy stumbled to his knees, climbed
into bed and sobbed.
"That night the father, feeling sorry for the way he had treated
the boy, slipped into the boy's room and found him with tears still coursing down his
cheeks. The father fell onto his knees and said, 'Son, I'm sorry for what I did. I will
never do it again. Son, are you really a Christian?'
"The boy replied, 'Yes, Daddy.'
"'Can you pray, son?' the father asked.
"'Yes, sir,' replied the boy, 'I have learned to pray a little.'
"'After all I've done, can you pray for me?'
"'Yes,' said the boy. They got down onto their knees, and the boy
prayed, 'Dear Lord, save my daddy. I want him to be a Christian.'
"The man began to sob, then said, 'Son, tell me how to become a
Christian.' The boy explained repentance and faith. The father said, 'I'll do that right
now. I am sorry for all my sins. I'm trusting Christ with all my heart.'
"The next morning the father put on his best suit. He said, 'I
want you to take me to that preacher.' They told the preacher their story, and soon the
man was again confessing his faith in Christ. Then they went down to the saloon. There the
man took an ax and demolished the bar and broke every bottle of whiskey in the house.
"Handing the keys of the building to the preacher, the man said,
'It's all yours now. Use it in any way you please.' Today that building houses a church,
and the former saloonkeeper became an officer in that church.
"Why did it all happen? Because the man had been born again and
Christ had changed his life."
Nothing in life has the power to make so profound a change as that
which Jesus Christ can make. This truth is vividly portrayed in this little book. In these
4 short chapters, Ruth is shown moving from Brokenness to Blessedness. In her story,
however, something far more wonderful and blessed is in view. In this book, we see
Christs power to change lives and His power to transport us from the brokenness of
sin to the blessedness of His salvation.
This morning, my prayer is that the Lord will speak to your heart about
your relationship with Him. If you are unsaved, please allow God to show you what He can
do for you. If you are saved this morning, be sure you are where the Lord wants you to be
and rejoice in what He has done for you. Now, lets look at Ruth: From Brokenness To
I. 1:1-22 RUTH: THE DESTITUTE WIDOW
A. v.1-5 Her Pain (Ill. The trials of this little family.)
Ruths life at this point pictures the live that is lived apart from the will of God.
(Ill. Pro. 13:13) (Ill. Ruth had many strikes against her:
1. She was a Gentile.
2. She was a stranger from the covenants of Israel.
3. She was lost in sin.
What a picture of the person outside Christ! They too are lost in sin, separated from
God and doomed to an eternity in Hell Eph. 2:12; Rom. 3:23; Rom. 6:23)
Ill. Following the terrible Mexico City earthquake of 1985, live
satellite coverage carried the news of Mexico's anguish to a watching world. A pastor was
sitting in front of his television set stunned by the extent of the damage. Mountains of
broken concrete filled the screen. Rescue workers dug frantically. Fires raged. Smoke and
dust filled the air. Then suddenly in the lower left-hand corner of the screen appeared
the words "Courtesy: SIN." The letters S-I-N actually stood for Spanish
International Network, but for a moment it meant something different to that pastor. It
reminded him that in some way all trouble, pain, and suffering can be traced back to the
problem of sin. That's not to say that God judged Mexico City with an earthquake. We don't
know that. But if sin directly or indirectly caused such a tragedy, or even the more
disastrous quake described by John in Revelation 6:12, it deserves to be treated with
contempt, not courtesy.
B. v. 6-18 Her Pledge (Ill. Naomi is a picture of the backslidden
Christian. She gives her daughters-in-law some very poor advice. She actually pleads with
them to remain in their homeland and with their false gods v. 15. Ill. Never take
advice from a backslider! His advice is always flawed!) (Ill. This is THE pivotal point in
the life of Ruth. She makes a conscious decision to follow the God of Naomi!) (Ill. God
calls all men to come unto Him John 1:9; Rev. 22:17. Yet, only a conscious decision
to receive Christ into ones heart and life results in eternal salvation, (Ill. Acts
16:31) Have YOU made that decision?
C. v. 19-22 Her Poverty Left with no husband and no means of
support, Naomi and Ruth are left financially bankrupt. (Ill. This is a further portrait of
the sinner apart from God. The lost person is totally bankrupt spiritually. He has no
access to God, no ground from which to ask anything from the Lord. He can produce no good
Isa. 64:6. He needs someone to stand between himself and God (Ill. The
Daysman Job 9:33.) Ill. Jesus is the only mediator 2 Tim. 2:5.
II. 2:1-23 RUTH: THE DESPARATE WORKER
A. v. 1-3 Her Providence (Ill. In order to feed herself and Naomi,
Ruth goes off to glean in the fields Lev. 19:9-10; Deut. 24:19-21) (Ill. Verse 3
Ruths coming into the field of Boaz was no coincidence! It is an example of
the amazing providence of Almighty God. May I remind you that God is in control of every
area of life Psa. 37:23. There is no such thing as a coincidence in the economy of
God!) (Ill. All of our lives are tributes to the wonderful providence of God. Pause to
remember what He did to bring you to Jesus!
B. v. 4-9b Her Protection (Ill. v. 5 Ruth caught the eye of
Boaz and he was very interested in her. Ill. Jesus Christ is interested in every one of
us! He desires to bring us into a wonderful, personal relationship with HImself.) (Ill. v.
9 Boaz made sure that nobody bothered or hindered Ruth as she gleaned. Ill. How
Jesus keeps us along lifes way so that we might be brought into that special
relationship with Him. Ill. Why you have lived until this day!)
C. v. 9c-20 Her Provision Notice how Boaz met the needs in
1. v. 9 He Quenched Her Thirst He made sure she had access to the
water supply! (Ill. Jesus has all the resources needed to satisfy the soul of man!)
2. v. 14 He Fed Her Hunger Boaz made sure that Ruth was eating at
his table. (Ill. Jesus takes a man from feeding upon the refuse of the world and He sits
us at His table Ill. Luke 15:11-24.) (Ill. Compare where you were to where He has
placed you today! Ill. Mephibosheth 2 Sam. 9:1-13!)
3. v. 15-20 He Filled Her Basket (Ill. "Handfuls of
Purpose" Boaz instructed the reapers to pull some ears off the sheaves and
drop them for Ruth. She left that day with far more than she bargained for Ill.
Ephah About 1 weeks rations.) (Ill. Every person who meets Jesus gets their basket
filled to overflowing! We always get more than we expect or deserve Luke 6:38; 1
Cor. 2:9; Rom. 8:17!)
D. v. 21-23 Her Persistence Ruth stayed close by the man who was
blessing her life. (Ill. There is a lesson right here for every Christian who will heed
the message of God! We have no business gleaning in anothers field! (Ill. Jer. 2:5,
13, 19) Has God been less than adequate in your life? If the truth were told, God has
blessed you above measure and you have no excuse for straying so far away from Him!) (Ill.
Some of Gods people need to come home today!)
III. 3:1-18 RUTH: THE DESIGNING WOMAN
A. v. 1-5 The Plan (Ill. Naomi concocts a plan whereby Ruth is
brought closer to Boaz.) Ill. This ought to be our hearts desire! To get just as
close to Jesus as is humanly possible! Are you as close as you should be? Are you at least
as close as you used to be? Ill guarantee you that you are as close as you want to
B. v. 6-9 The Performance (Ill. Ruth proceeds to carry out
Naomis plan. In doing so, she placed herself perfectly for a deeper fuller
relationship with Boaz. In observing Ruths actions, the Christian can learn how to
get closer to the Lord.
1. v. 3 She Was Washed To be in a right relationship with Jesus,
we must be washed from our sins Rev. 1:5; 1 Cor. 6:9-11. We must also strive to
maintain that cleanliness that will guarantee continued fellowship.
2. v. 3 She Was Anointed This is a picture of being filled with
the Spirit. If we sincerely desire to be as close to Jesus as is possible, then we must
walk in His Spirit, Eph. 5:18.
3. v. 3 She Was Clothed This speaks of the robe of righteousness
that declares our righteous standing before the Lord.
4. v. 8 She Was At His Feet A picture of humility and submission.
For Jesus to stand tall in our lives, we must be willing to place ourselves at His feet
(Ill. John the Baptist John 3:30.) (Ill. Matt. 23:12; 1 Pet. 5:6) I must get
very little so that He can be very large!
5. v. 9 She Was Covered (Ill. Her social standing, her past sins
and idolatry, her birth as a Gentile, were all covered by Boaz!) This is a picture of
Gods perfect, eternal salvation. All my past with its scars and failures is
forever gone, taken away by the Blood of the Lamb and the all-covering Grace of God!
C. v. 10-18 The Pay Off The plan worked and Boaz agreed to be the
redeemer for Ruth and Naomi. (Ill. Her love for Him was evident!) Thank God, Jesus was
willing to come and pay our redemption price before we ever even gave Him the first
thought, much less ever loved Him Rev. 13:8, 1 John 4:19. By the way, He still
loves sinners today! He even loves you!
IV. 4:1-22 RUTH: THE DELIVERED WIFE
A. v. 1-8 The Proposition (Ill. The Law of the Kinsman Redeemer)
Boaz did it all by the book. Ill. The little stinger in verse 5 to persuade the other man
to step out. (Ill. Everything Jesus did, He did by the book! He fulfilled all the Law and
paid the price for sin and He did it legally!)
B. v. 9-13 The Purchase (Ill. Boaz was willing to pay any price
because of his love for Ruth.) (Ill. Jesus and the great price He paid to redeem the souls
of fallen men Phil. 2:5-8) (Now, all those who trust Him are redeemed from sin and
become part of the Bride of Jesus! Ultimately, headed to an eternal home in Heaven! Ill.
All the many, many benefits of the saved!)
C. v. 14-22 The Profit Ruth, the Gentile, became the
great-grandmother of King David, v. 17-22, and an ancestor of the Lord Jesus Christ, Matt.
1:5. (Ill. What a difference Jesus makes! He puts His treasure into our trash, 2 Cor. 4:7,
and changes every aspect of our lives, 2 Cor. 5:17! Jesus is in the delivery business
Ill. Mark 5:1-20, especially v. 15!)
Conc: I cant think of anything better than being saved by grace!
Having been on the outside looking in, it sure does feel good to be on the inside looking
up! Regardless of where you are today, Jesus can do in you life, and much more, what Boaz
did for Ruth. He can redeem you, bring you close to Himself and bless you beyond your
wildest dreams. All He is waiting on is you! Will you come to Him today? He wants you!