April 2015 | Grace Reformed Church
Today, in our series of messages in the book of Ruth, we come to chapter 3. In chapter 2 Ruth, who had come from Moab with her mother-in-law Naomi as a widow, went out to glean for grain. The Lord led her to the fields of Boaz, a godly man who was very kind and generous to her and whom Ruth discovers is a kinsman, or a near relative. Naomi’s advice to Ruth is to stay gleaning in the fields of Boaz, which she does all through the summer until the end of the fall harvest.
Today, in our series in the book of Ruth, we are going to look at the second part of chapter 2. I have entitled this message “Hope for Those Who Are Empty.”
Earlier in the book Naomi had been brought back by God to Canaan after she and her husband sinfully moved away from the promised land to Moab. She comes back a widow and brings back with her Ruth, a daughter-in-law, who is also a widow. They come back poor, empty. And even though there is a plot of ground that is rightfully theirs, it is not of much use to them. It will provide them no food on their return.
Today we are going to look at the first seventeen verses of Ruth 2.
One of the most important themes in the book of Ruth is the truth of the providence of God. In His providence, God sovereignly sustains and directs all things to serve His purposes. The purpose of God in all things is the salvation of His elect people in Jesus Christ. So He uses everything in their lives also for their eternal good and salvation.
I’m going to tell you a little secret. It might surprise you, but this message is going to be about a resurrection. Shocker! A resurrection. Easter. Yes, you came into these doors, perhaps for the first time. I don’t know many of you here, but some no doubt are visiting. What you are not walking into is something similar to, reaching back a couple thousand years along with this text, and even prior, is Plato’s Academy.
It’s nice to be back with you this evening, on Maundy Thursday. Of all the Easter celebrations, this is the one least attended, the least publicized, and the service that churches least undertake. They obviously celebrate Easter Sunday and Good Friday, but not Maundy Thursday.
This is reflected in the exchange I had with my children. I told them I was going up to preach on Maundy Thursday. They looked puzzled and asked, “Which is it, Monday or Thursday?”
“No, I said, it’s Maundy Thursday, M-A-U-N-D-Y.” Then we talked about that just a little bit.