The Cloud of Witnesses
Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible
Lesson 5: Ruth – Was The Recipient Of Amazing Grace
Was The Recipient Of Amazing Grace
God takes the outcasts of this world and bonds them into His family. And yet, He is not even content with that – He wants to bless them in every way. Ruth was not only encouraged to glean from the leftovers, she was wined and dined by the Boss and then ‘given’ more besides – some of the best. That was grace!
She deserved to be treated like a foreigner and that was all she had expected; instead, she was treated like one of Boaz’ own servants. That’s what God does for us. We are outside the Jewish family but have been grafted in through God’s grace so we have the same standing and the same privileges as all of His children. We are all treated the same and given every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus – isn’t that awesome? Do you feel special today – you should – because you are.
Ruth became her most vulnerable. Yes, she had met Boaz; yes, she had spoken to him, and he had shown her kindness – in the past – but what about now? This was a whole new ball game for her. Providing food was one thing, expending money was another. She had to believe in Naomi and her advice and then expect a miracle. The miraculous always follows obedience.
Throughout Scripture we find that God honours obedience. Especially, simple faith. Ruth just did as she was told and left the rest to God – her new found God, the God of the Israelites – El Shaddai – Jehovah Jireh.
We need to have an honest view of who we are. Ruth knew who she was. She told Boaz – I’m your servant and you are my kinsman-redeemer. I’m nothing – you are everything to me. Paul reveals to us in Philippians 3 that all his achievements meant nothing. Even his impeccable heritage meant nothing before God. We stand or fall entirely upon our relationship with God. We are nothing without God. With God – He becomes everything for us. We are His servants and He is our only Redeemer / Saviour. Who are you, really? Where do you get your self-worth? From work, your family line, your achievements or your wealth? Paul says they count for nothing. No. We need to be redeemed by Jesus Christ and then we become a Prince or Princess of the King. That is all the self-worth we will ever need.
Another vital question we need to be able to answer is – What do you want God to do for you? Ruth was destitute, an outcast, and helpless. She could have asked Boaz for anything – money, food and clothes. But she knew she needed much more than these – she needed a Redeemer. The other things were urgent and temporary but she was wiser; she knew she needed a permanent solution, not just a quick fix.
We have to be humble enough to admit our need of a Saviour. We have to admit that we are nothing without Jesus. We cannot breathe one breath without the grace of God. Never ever forget that! He is Sovereign; we are His servants. As you pray to your Heavenly Father today, don’t just go ‘through the motions’; don’t just repeat, parrot-fashion, your normal daily prayers – stop, think and then ask God for what you want Him to do for you. Be brave – ask Him and believe in faith that He will answer you.
Having had her encounter with Boaz and shared her heart’s desire with him, she went back to sleep. She didn’t lie awake scheming on his behalf. She didn’t exhaust herself speculating on all that might happen and covering every scenario, just in case she would have to think of something else. She went to sleep and left the problem with Boaz. He had the right and authority to fix it – she didn’t. Peter reminds us that God cares about us. We are supposed to give Him all our cares and then leave them with Him. So stop speculating and worrying. Jesus has the right and authority to fix them.
Ruth would say to us today...
Grace gives us what we don’t deserve. Yes, work conscientiously, serve God wholeheartedly but know this – God always gives us far more than we deserve.
Father, I want to thank You that You are all I need. I thank You that You are alive forever, You are a good God and You are God Almighty – there is nothing You cannot do. Please help me remember that You think I am precious too. For Your Name’s sake. Amen.
Ephesians 1:3-14; Philippians 3:1-14; 1 Peter 5:5-11.
How do we learn to give God our anxieties, etc, and then leave them there?
Write down how God’s grace has been evident in your life.
How can we hamper receiving God’s grace?