The Princess and the Frog – Ruth 3:1-18 – Sermon Notes

Ruth’s guide to catching your man!

Ruth has gone out to get Boaz. She offers herself to him in what is a seedy scene. When he wakes he finds Ruth waiting for him. At first he doesn’t recognise her. She is eager to belong to Boaz. She’s asking Boaz to give her some of his comfort. She knows that belonging to him will cost him. Boaz couldn’t be happier; he uses the most complimentary word possible. The word ‘kindness’ describes how God loves us. As she leaves, Boaz gives her some barley to give to Naomi.

What do we learn from duvet-gate?

The covenant love is being displayed by Ruth more and more. She’s beginning to imitate the kindness of God. Naomi has changed since chapter one. As we get to know God more and more we will change. If we want to know him we will experience what he’s given us more and more. How are we extending this kindness that we see in Ruth to other people? Boaz is breaking the law by asking Ruth to marry him.

Not a Hollywood romance

Boaz isn’t the hero here. There seems to be an assumption that Ruth could’ve done better. There’s the idea that there’s a place where Ruth can be safe. We’re tempted to run after other redeemers. Jesus put our rest first. He will not rest until redeeming us is done.

So, a guide to catching your man?

No. Right direction, wrong detail. The more we have experienced the kindness of God the way we relate to everyone should be shaped. Every relationship we have is about modelling this kindness.

The Proposal – Ruth 4:1-22 – Sermon Notes

Ruth is like a look behind closed doors; it’s a picture of what God is really doing when all we can see is chaos, hurt and pain.

What is God really like?

An amazing relationship of love, ever widening the circle. He’s interested in taking all types of people and through them experiencing, loving, appreciating his kindness, his grace, his covenant love, changing them to be like that and so widening this relationship of covenant love. God is particularly interested in organising the world.

Dealing with the cliffhanger

Bows wins the right to take Ruth as his wife but it is not without cost. There is financial obligation and lifetime of obligation to Naomi. Why is this little episode in chapter 4? Why is it not sewn up in a more straightforward way?

Firstly, this passage shows us the cost to Boaz of his decision to redeem Ruth. We are only bought back by God because a great cost was paid. Secondly, we see God’s sovereignty hemming in the whole of Ruth and Naomi’s lives. At key events in their lives, God hasn’t been absent. He has been working out his purposes through tragedy and triumph.

‘As it turned out..’

Boaz won the right to marry Ruth, much to the celebration of all who witnessed it. Home she thought she would find with Naomi’s God, as it turned out, God’s own quiet working, as it turned out, it happened. Sometimes we can’t see the whole picture. Naomi couldn’t see the end. Yet in the bits we do see, God is providentially working in the bits that still seem unresolved.

Israel was in chaos, yet behind the scenes God was working through the lives of an individual family. Always true. Remember that we can thank God for what we can see and trust God for what we can’t see.

It gets better

God is working to do something really good. It’s not just a happy ending. The child, through Ruth, is going to be the grandfather of King David. God is interested in bringing people from far away into his amazing circle of love and then working out his plans to bless and love and redeem the world through these strangers, who have no right at all to his love.

Ruth is without visible miracles, yet totally miraculous. It gets even better because the writer wants to underline even more of this truth about God. He points out that the family includes an earlier guy called Perez – a son born back in Genesis when a father in law raped his son’s wife because he thought she was a prostitute. God is sovereignly quietly working. To do what? Bring salvation to the world, reestablish his rule through a great redeemer King.

We can be in God’s plans. We can be a display of God’s kindness and expand his ever widening circle of love, no matter how bad or how messed up you feel. It gets better than just God has a plan, God has an amazing plan to win the nations through winning outsiders like us into his circle and turning them into people who are used to welcome more people in.

In our weakness we can point others to the kindness of our redeemer and so bring people into God’s ever expanding circle of love.

We have a choice. We can look at the mess of the world and write our own story. God is always writing. It can be uncomfortable and messy but from the joy of Ruth 4, it’s well worth it.

Remember that you have the same God as Ruth has. And with a God like that, who knows how it may turn out?

Valentine’s Day – Ruth 2:1-23 – Sermon Notes

Naomi can only see what God isn’t giving her.

Is it Valentine’s day? Ruth is taking advantage of a God given law for his people. She’s admitting she has no hope. She’s saying to God she’s now relying on these people and the situation she’s in.

God is always working. God is already providing. He is silently but definitely extending his circle of love.

What is Boaz like?

Boaz appears in a flurry of religious devotion. He protects and offers his kindness to her. Once Naomi has eaten, she completely changes her tune about God. Boaz goes out of his way to love his neighbour. We see he is a godly law keeper and a redeemer.

Who is Boaz like?

Boaz is a picture of no matter where you’ve come from or what you’ve done, there is a redeemer who has paid the price. If we’re anyone, we’re not Boaz, we’re Ruth or Naomi. The Bible is full of stories that show what it means for Jesus to be our redeemer. Boaz deliberately shares his food. Once we’re one of God’s people there is kindness and provision. Boaz is in some ways is different to Ruth and Naomi but also similar as the kinsman. Naomi feels his kindness and the blessings that she feels undeservedly and so puts her trust in God. We are supposed to see the joy of how God protects those who come under his wings.

How is your heart in regard to Jesus?

It’s Complicated – Ruth 1:1-22 – Sermon Notes

This story is all about reality. No one was really ruling at this time as the country was falling apart. The question that Ruth is answering is ‘what is God doing when the world is chaotic and in a mess?’. In our world now, it is a real question. We discover that a family had been through a famine and not done the right thing, they married the wrong people. This family hear rumours of the kindness of God.

Grace is in the air

Naomi finds herself in these places because of bad choices she made. It must’ve been hard when she found out that God had rescued people in Judah. She says the Lord is against her. Orpah understandably leaves but Ruth is determined to stay. Naomi defines her own life by wanting to change her name by bitterness. In the midst of her bitterness, grace is in the air.

Naomi: Kindness for the bitter insider

Naomi claims to come back empty after leaving full after a famine. She is angry because of the way her life is. She’s only back because she’s desperate. God wants us to see his kindness through Jesus. He’s always working for our good.

Ruth: Kindness for the pagan outsider

God is always working to extend the circle of love. He allows her to cling to Naomi and to come into the people of God herself. Even in our weaknesses he uses us to draw people to him. It’s important to reach out to outsiders. If we don’t, we aren’t representing God.