Tri-Village Sermon 8.13.17
Big Picture Refresh: God uses the ordinary and mundane along with the suffering to bring about good for all who trust in Him (Romans 8:28). Just like Ruth, we cannot see now how God is using the circumstances in our lives for good, but like Ruth we need to trust in God’s providential care and work in our difficulties and our ordinary days.
Defining our Terms: Last week, Brad said, “God’s providence basically means how his Control and his Care come together.”
Background: Read Deuteronomy 24:19-22.
* What does this text say about how the Israelites were to take care of the poor?
Leaders: Discuss how does this relates to the situation Ruth finds herself in.
Read verse 2: And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.”
* What are some steps we can take to make faith-filled decisions in the midst of no obvious signs from God?
Leaders: Jeremy gave us a few steps to consider in our decisions making process. 1. Ask what does the bible say
– pray about it, asking God to bring wise people into your life. 2. Seek counsel from people who love Jesus and are wiser or more mature than you. 3. Consider the circumstances of your life; they aren’t random or inconsequential. Sometimes our circumstances are god-given boundaries. 4. Make the best decision in faith believing that God loves us and is on sovereign control of all the details. This is what Ruth does!
Read verse 3: 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.
* What do you think the author means by his use of the word “happened”?
* How has God used the mundane circumstances in your own life to lead you, and provide for your good and His glory?
* Do you know people (or have you embraced this mindset in the past) who wait for “signs” from God? What is wrong with thinking?
Read verses 4-7
* What is the significance of the way Boaz greets his men? What about the way his men react to the greeting?
* How does Boaz’s initial provision for Ruth showcase his character? What attributes of Christ do we see manifested in Boaz at this point in the story?
* In your own words, talk about how Boaz’s kindness to Ruth specifically points to the kindness of God to us.
Leaders: the godly character of Boaz is made manifest in his reaction to the news about Ruth, and the way in which He talks to his men and his men talk to him. Boaz’s kindness to Ruth is a picture of God’s kindness to us because while we were far off, foreigners to the promises of God, He reached out to us and reconciled us to Himself through the gospel truth that Christ died for us (the unrighteous!).
In the sermon, Jeremy mentioned that no one is too far off to be brought near to God. Boaz displayed his kindness to Ruth, a foreigner – but not just any ordinary foreigner, one of the hated Moabites.
* How does Boaz picture God’s love for men and women of all races and ethnicities?
* What are the implications for our interaction with men and women of other races or ethnicities?
Read verses 17-23. Jeremy said that the providence of God drives us to worship and praise.
* Encourage each other by sharing how God has worked in past circumstances of your life to bring hope and worship.
Takeaways: Are there sinful obstacles in the way of me pursuing the people in my life with the grace of God? Do I see the poor, and the lost through the eyes of Christ, as Boaz demonstrates here? Do I see the mundane circumstances of my life as sovereignly ordained by God? Do I step out in faith to make decisions after seeking wise counsel, and spending time in the word and in prayer?