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Ruth 2:1-23



       The book of Ruth is a unique book in the Bible. It is a love story but never mentions the word love. It does not command any doctrine, and does not contain any commands for Ruth or us to obey. One reason it does not contain any commands for Ruth resides in the attitude of submission maintained by Ruth.

       How important is attitude in all we do? Last night I took my wife out to eat at the Fishing Hole in Greenville. At the cash register they have a sign that reads, “prices may change according to the attitude of the customer.”

Have you heard “Your attitude determines your altitude?” The attitude of submission is very important. I want to call out the attitude of submission and the Grace of God in the life of Ruth.


1.   Ruth Found Grace in Submission To . . Naomi. 2:2-3 


       A.   Note The Submission In Her . . Plea. 2:2

2 So Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, "Please let me go

to the field, and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor." And she said to her, "Go, my daughter."


       B    Note The Grace In The . . Place Of Her Gleaning. 2:3

3 Then she left, 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 family of Elimelech.


KJV       Ru 2:3 and her hap was to light on a part of the field

        belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech.


Let me tell you about an event that I experienced in the parking garage of our hotel in Louisville Ky. Last Tuesday. As we prepared to pull out of the hotel garage and come home the underneath of the front of my car scraped the concrete bumper that stops the cars from going into the next parking place.  My friend Jim McNiel said, “oil is flowing out all over the floor.” We assumed the motor pan had a hole in it.

Well we went in and got a tow truck arranged to come tow my car to a Chrysler Dealer. When we went back out to the car, one of the hotel maintenance men was under the car and said my problem was only a busted oil filter. He could get a filter and the oil and have it fixed before a tow truck could get there.

I cancelled the Tow truck and got my car fixed for $60.00. Did that just happen? Should I say, “well as my hap was their was a maintenance man near by who could fix my car?

If I ask the Lord to continue watching over me; I should expect He will, watch over me? Shouldn’t I expect His GRACE OF PROTECTION? Now what if I had to have the car towed? I would have expected God to bless in another way.


Ruth didn’t see her work as drudgery. While being submissive she found Grace.


2.   Ruth Found Grace in Submission To . . Reapers. 2:4-9


A.   Note The Submission In Her . . Plea. 2:4-7

              4 Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, "The Lord be with you!" And they answered him, "The Lord bless you!" 5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, "Whose young woman is this?" 6 So the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered and said, "It is the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. . . .

7 And she said, 'Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.' So she came and has continued from morning until now, though she rested a little in the house."


B    Note The Grace In The . . Privileges In Her Gleaning. 2:8-9

8 Then Boaz said to Ruth, "You will listen, my daughter, will

you not? Do not go to glean in another field, nor go from here, but stay close by my young women. 9 Let your eyes be on the field which they reap, and go after them. Have I not commanded the young men not to touch you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink from what the young men have drawn."


       1.    For Boaz it was love at first sight. (J Vernon McGee)


       2.    Command to young men. Possibility of Obscene Remarks unwanted sexual passes.


Illustration         It Is How You Ask

A grouchy man walked into a café. After sitting down, he couldn't find on the menu what he was hungry for. Ten minutes passed and still no one had waited on him. Finally he yelled to a waitress who was walking by, "Hey! Do you serve crabs here?"


She said, "Yes, sir. I'll get to you in a minute."


Illustration         The Cathedral 

The noted English architect Sir Christopher Wren was supervising the construction of a magnificent cathedral in London. A journalist thought it would be interesting to interview some of the workers, so he chose three and asked them this question, “What are you doing?”

The first replied, “I’m cutting stone for 10 shillings a day.”

The next answered, “I’m putting in 10 hours a day on this job.”

But the third said, “I’m helping Sir Christopher Wren construct one of London’s greatest cathedrals.” Source unknown


Ruth didn’t see her work as drudgery. While being submissive she found Grace.


3.   Ruth Found Grace in Submission To . . Boaz. 2:10-17


A.   Note The Submission In Her . . Position. 2:10 a

“So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground,

and said to him, . . .”


B.   Note The Submission In Her . . Probing. 2:10 b

"Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should

take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?"


       1.    Who am I that He should bleed and die for?


C.   Note The Grace Given Because Of Her . . Pedigree. 2:11-12

11 And Boaz answered and said to her, "It has been fully

reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. 12 The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge."


D.   Note The . . Persistence Submission To Boaz. 2:13

13 Then she said, "Let me find favor in your sight, my

lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants."


E.   Note The . . Packaged Expressions Of Grace. 2:14-17

14 Now Boaz said to her at mealtime, "Come here, and eat of

the bread, and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar." So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed parched grain to her; and she ate and was satisfied, and kept some back. 15 And when she rose up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, "Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. 16 Also let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her." 17 So she gleaned in the field until evening, and beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah [E fa] of barely.


       1.    v 14a     Where she sat.

       2.    v 14b     Dip your bread in the vinegar.

       3.    v 15a     Where she is allowed to glean.

       4.    v 15b-16       The command to the Young Men.

       5.    v 17       The privilege to glean all day.

       6.    An Ephah equals approximately 1 bushel.

       7.    Ruth was a hard worker. Her attitude caused this.


Harry Emerson Fosdick once told how as a child, his mother sent him to pick a quart of raspberries. Reluctantly he dragged himself to the berrypatch. His afternoon was ruined for sure. Then a thought hit him. He would surprise his mother and pick two quarts of raspberries instead of one. Rather than drudgery his work now became a challenge. He enjoyed picking those raspberries so much that fifty years later that incident was still fresh in his mind. The job hadn't changed. His attitude had, though, and attitude controls much.

Dynamic Preaching, June, 1990


Ruth didn’t see her work as drudgery. While being submissive she found Grace.


4.   Ruth Found Grace in Submission To . . God. 2:18-23


The over ridding attitude of submission came from her growing relationship with the God of Israel.


A.   Note The Submission In Her . . Presentation. 2:18-19

18 Then she took it up and went into the city, and her

Mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. So she brought out and gave to her what she had kept back after she had been satisfied.

19 And her mother-in-law said to her, "Where have you gleaned today? And where did you work? Blessed be the one 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."


B.   Note The Grace In Naomi’s . . Perception. 2:20-23

20 Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, "Blessed be he of

the Lord, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and the dead!" And Naomi said to her, "This man is a relation of ours, one of our close relatives." 21 Ruth the Moabitess said, "He also said to me, 'You shall stay close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest.'" 22 And Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, "It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that people do not meet you in any other field." 23 So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law. NKJV


       1.    Boaz a blood relative. Very Important for the future.


       2.    `The Harvest lasted two months.


Illustration         The Formula for Becoming Godly

"Do you want to know how to become godly? Just hang around God a lot." --Peter Lord


A large sum of money was given to Rowland Hill to dispense to a poor pastor. Thinking that the amount was too much to send all at once, Hill forwarded just a portion along with a note that said simply, “More to follow.” In a few days the man received another envelope containing the same amount and with the same message, “More to follow.” At regular intervals, there came a third, and a fourth. In fact, they continued, along with those cheering words, until the entire sum had been received.

C. H. Spurgeon used this story to illustrate that the good things we receive from God always come with the same prospect of more to follow. He said:

“When God forgives our sins, there’s more forgiveness to follow. He justifies us in the righteousness of Christ, but there’s more to follow. He adopts us into His family, but there’s more to follow. He prepares us for heaven, but there’s more to follow. He gives us grace, but there’s more to follow. He helps us to old age, but there’s still more to follow.”

Spurgeon concluded, “Even when we arrive in the world to come, there will still be more to follow.” Source unknown

Conclusion   Grace, That Saves: Story

A story from Scotland tells of a mother's dramatic rescue of her child. Workmen were blasting rock in a quarry. One day after they had attached the fuse and retired to a safe place and gave the alarm they saw a three year old child wandering across the open space where danger threatened. Every passing second meant death was closing in on the child.

The workmen called to the child and waved their arms, but he only looked on their strange antics with amusement. No man dared run forward knowing the explosion was only seconds away. The child most certainly would have been killed, had not his mother appeared at this moment of crisis.

Taking in the situation at a glance she did what her mother's heart dictated. She did not run toward her son or yell to frighten him. Instead, she knelt down, opened wide her arms and smiled for him to come. Instantly the child ran towards her. Shortly later the area shook with the force of the explosion, yet the child was safe in his mother's arms.

What a picture of the grace of God and of the cross. With outstretched arms on the cross Jesus gives his gracious invitation to the world. Indicating we are to come to him for eternal safety. Will you come to Jesus? - Pulpit Helps

My favorite Invitation Hymn says:

If you’ll take one step toward the Savior

my friend you’ll find His arms opened wide