Good morning! I’m glad to welcome you to worship today at Hillcrest Baptist Church.
In Ruth 1 we discovered how Naomi had become barren of hope, due to bitterness in her life as a result of her and her husband Elimelech, seeking their own way and provisions in a time of famine, rather than seeking God. Without question, God’s providential hand was at work (Ruth 1:6), even in the midst of their self-seeking, disobedient ways and bitter losses. Finally, the famine was over in Judah, and God made a way for Naomi to return to Bethlehem (The House of Bread), and Ruth had committed herself to care for Naomi the rest of her life. In our study last week, we discover how God’s providence began moving Naomi and Ruth from barrenness towards blessings greater than either could image.
This morning in Ruth 2, God’s glorious mercy begins to shine through in such a way that even bitter, self-focused Naomi begins to see it. Both Naomi and Ruth had need of God’s merciful protection and provision. Naomi’s needs would be met in ways she couldn’t have dreamed of, and Ruth would begin to meet their needs by simply requesting the rights of the poor in Israel—to glean from the fields as they were worked. Ruth was willing to put action behind Naomi’s request, and the results would all be part of God’s merciful plan, not just for Naomi and Ruth, but ultimately for the glory of God.
It is God’s mercy that led Ruth to the field of Boaz during the harvest. It is God’s mercy bursting forth in Naomi’s soul that moves her from bitterness to fresh blessing and enables her to say, “Blessed be he of the Lord, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!” (v. 2:20) It is God’s mercy that Boaz would meet Ruth, and God would overwhelm them as they enter into the linage of the Messiah.
Today in our message, “Seeing the Mercy of God”, we find hope renewed, Ruth under the wings of God, Boaz the kinsman redeemer, and Naomi exalting and praising God. What a difference from the events of chapter 1 to chapter 2!