I had the opportunity to preach through the book of Ruth over the last few weeks @ Grace Bible Church. In my preparations I listened to sermons by Voddie Bachaum, David Platt, Alistair Begg, and Mark Driscoll. Much of what I shared comes form these resources as well as a commentary that I wrote many years ago based upon several commentaries as well as some of my own thoughts as I studied.
On March 19th of his series of evening devotionals, Charles Spurgeon refers to Jesus as “our glorious Boaz.” I just finished studying the book of “Ruth,” and couldn’t agree more. Jesus really is “our glorious Boaz!” Check out all the things Boaz did that foreshadows Jesus:
Boaz came to survey his field. Jesus came to survey his field, the earth.
Boaz looked out and saw Ruth. Jesus has seen us.
Boaz pursued Ruth. Jesus has pursued us.
Boaz spoke to Ruth kindly. Jesus spoke to us kindly.
Boaz went beyond the requirements of the law and even offered grace to Ruth. Jesus has gone beyond the requirements of the law all the way to grace for us.
Ruth found favor in the eyes of Boaz. We have found favor in the eyes of Jesus.
Boaz was considered a “man of standing” among his people. As a sinless man, Jesus stands high above all other men.
Boaz was a “near kinsman” to Ruth, and Jesus stepped out of heaven and took on flesh to become our near kinsman.”
Boaz was able to redeem Ruth. As a sinless man, Jesus alone was able to redeem us.
Out of his love for her (not obligation to the law), Boaz was willing to redeem Ruth. Out of Jesus great love for us, he too was willing to redeem us.
Boaz paid the price to redeem Ruth. Jesus paid the high price of his own life and death on the cross to redeem us.
Boaz took Ruth as his own bride. In the same way, Jesus will return to take his bride, the church.
In addition to Ruth, Boaz also redeemed the land. When Jesus returns, He will also redeem the earth and everything in it.
Anyway, I just love this stuff. Long before Jesus was roaming the earth, God was preparing us and working to show us His character. Even in the midst of crazy times (Ruth took place during the time of the Judges), God was at work. Those are the kinds of things that really give me hope for our situation right now. I’m hanging on to stories like Ruth ’cause I need some redemption too.
OK – I finished my study of Ruth and thought I’d post the commentary that I ended up putting together as my notes for teaching it. Just right click and select “save as” to download. Here’s the link: Ruth Commentary (or the direct link is: http://stevecorn.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Ruth-Commentary.pdf)
I’ve been studying the book of Ruth lately and it’s been speaking to me in huge ways. Here’s one way:
Ruth 2:3 says “it just so happened” that Ruth was in Boaz’s field. What??
“It just so happened” that Ruth decided to go glean in the barley fields.
“It just so happened” that the young single poor foreign girl was in the rich single Godly man’s field.
“It just so happened” that he came to his field that day.
“It just so happened” that he noticed her.
“It just so happened” that he had already heard of her sacrifices and her character.
Hmm. . .”it just so happened?” Really?? It was all accident??? I’m not buying it. I think there was something else going on. The original Hebrew language does too. God was at work. His invisible hand of providence was working overtime.
Here’s another story about the time I got my first full-time youth ministry job in Tomball.
“It just so happened” that I was realizing music education wasn’t my calling and knew I needed to find another path.
“It just so happened” that the choir director at my church signed me up to go to Choir Camp.
“It just so happened” that the choir camp people lost my registration and offered to let me stay if I would work with the elementary kids.
“It just so happened” that I was placed in a cabin with some kids from Tomball.
“It just so happened” that I worked with another adult from Tomball. (Susan Bryant)
“It just so happened” that Tomball needed a youth minister.
“It just so happened” that the pastor called me during my prayer time where I was seeking God’s guidance.
I can look back on the situation and see that God made “it just so happen. . .”
After Miranda and I come through the other end of this crazy insecure “not-sure-where-our-ministry-is” time in our lives, I’m sure we’ll use that same phrase. “It just so happened” that . . . . . I’m just wondering which moments we’ll be referring to when we say it? I’m keeping my eyes focused and my ears attentive – looking for God.
These are scary times. These are moments where we get the opportunity to exercise our faith. These are exciting times. These are times when I’m grateful for a God who works behind the scenes so that it can “just so happen.”
PS – If you’re interested, I’ll upload the commentary that I’ve been putting together on the book of Ruth sometime soon. I’ve got one more chapter to go.