God

Ruth: God’s Providence

So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech. (Ruth 2:3 ESV)

And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.” And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the LORD, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.” (Ruth 2:19-20 ESV)

The writer of Ruth sets the scene in Ruth 2:3 of a very coincidental experience for Ruth. By happenstance she came to the part of the field that just happened to belong to Boaz, who just happened to be of the clan of Elimelech, who happened to be her father-in-law. So just a few coincidences strung together. The writer leaves it as this and allows us to create our own conclusions of the events in Ruth 2.

What we see is God’s providence, his control over everything and how everything works together as he would have it. God placed Ruth in that field, it wasn’t by happenstance that she was in the field belonging to Boaz. God had plans for Ruth and for Boaz and it started by placing her into Boaz’s field. Often times we don’t see God’s plan and we most definitely don’t understand it but we can trust that He knows what He is doing. Imagine being in Ruth’s shoes; you marry a guy with a cool name, his dad dies, then he dies and his brother dies. So it’s you, your sister-in-law and your mother-in-law. Your mother-in-law is heading back to her hometown, and she has told you about her God and you have adopted her God as your God; but she tells you to go back to your family, back to your gods, back to your comfort zone, back to a place where you will be well taken care of. If you follow Naomi you’ll be broke, have nothing and have to work to get by, plus you will have to take care of your mother-in-law. Recall Luke 14 when it talks about counting the cost; you have to imagine Ruth thought about these things. She gave up a lot to follow Naomi and her God.

So Ruth puts her head down and gets to work in the field to provide for her mother-in-law and herself; but God has a bigger better plan for her. He places her in one of the fields of Boaz, who just happened to be one of their redeemers. God has control over everything and he has plans for his people, even Ruth the Moabite.

Come All You Weary: a look at Matthew 11:28

So it's been 2 months + 2 days since I last posted. Life is busy, but that is no excuse, it's not like that really ever changes.

If you were at Applewood last night this was my sermon but most of you weren’t. I sometimes find it difficult to come up with a new idea for a sermon but I had been enjoying this song by Thrice (Also Dustin Kensrue is the man).

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest

-Matthew 11:28

Here are a few highlights:

Labour and are heavy laden

When Jesus calls those who labour to come to him, he is calling those who have become weary from trying to become right with God on their own. The immediate context is those who were trying to uphold the law to make them right with God but that becomes very tiring very quickly, because our nature is one that is constantly turning away from God. For those who try to obtain salvation on their own, they will become weary because they will constantly be trying to achieve something that isn’t possible.

I have never personally heard anyone use this phrase that they are ‘heavy laden.’ I didn’t really know what it meant too well before looking it up. It means to be heavily burdened. The realization of sin causes heavy burdens. Realizing that you are responsible for your sins before an almighty God who cannot have sin in his presence is a weighty thing. C.H. Spurgeon says that “a soul which has to bear the load of its own sin, and the load of divine wrath, is indeed heavily laden.

An interesting aspect of this is the use of a active verb and a passive verb. Labour is active meaning you are doing something and are heavily laden is passive meaning that this is something that has happened to you. Those who actively try to work for their salvation and those who realize the heavy burden that lies upon them are both called by Jesus to come to him.

Come to me

This invitation is to come to Jesus, not just know about him but to establish a personal relationship. Only those who have acknowledged that they are weary, because they can’t do anything themselves to gain eternal life, and heavy laden, because they carry a tremendous burden, are able to be saved. If you don’t realize these things, you probably won’t see a need to be saved.

I will give you rest

The verb here ‘will‘ is indicative. This is a factual statement, it doesn’t provide room for any doubt. It doesn’t say maybe or could give you rest. This rest is a gift, not that we deserve it but that we receive it from placing trust in Jesus. This rest is that Jesus has done everything already. On the cross he declared “it is finished” and he meant it. There was nothing left for us to do but to trust that Jesus paying for sin was adequate and God doesn’t not require anything further, just trust in what has been done. This is eternal rest, there is a freedom from becoming weary and freedom from the burden of sin.

The gospel doesn’t end here. The lives of those who are saved are changed and these next few verses give guidance in that, but I’m not going to discuss them.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

-Matthew 11:29-30

Ruth: Her Decision

And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” And when Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more. (Ruth 1:15-18, ESV)

After Naomi’s husband and sons die she decides to return to Bethlehem, her home, with her daughter-in-laws.  But Naomi, realizing the situation,  told her daughter-in-laws not to come back with her because she had nothing to offer them, she had no more sons for them to marry and could not support them either. After they said their goodbyes Orpah left and went back to Moab; but Ruth didn’t. Instead she clung to her. (Ruth 1:14)

Here we see Ruth make a decision. This is her confession of faith. This is her decision to turn from the false gods of Moab and trust in the God of Naomi. Your God, My God”. This statement goes back to the covenant that God made with his people the Israelites: “I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God,” (Exodus 6:7)

Ruth decided to put her faith in God.

Today making a decision is still just as important.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, ESV)

We are all sinners, which makes us positionally not right with God because God cannot have sin in his presence. Sin has separated us from God. (Isaiah 59:2) This is why God sent his son Jesus Christ to the earth, so that he would pay for sins, the perfect for the imperfect, so that we can be brought to God. (1 Peter 3:18)

Is Jesus Christ your Saviour? Everyone who trusts in Him will be saved. (Romans 10:9; Romans 10:13)

And remember He saves you in 3 ways:

Capture 1