who was of the kindred of Elimelech. Ruth 2:3
1. The first step is to reduce her to the deepest necessity. She has arrived with Naomi in Bethlehem. But they are there in great poverty, and with no apparent means of relief. How this very necessity brought out a proof of the excellence of Ruth! Love for her mother constrained her to seek a supply for their need. And she came to the field, as a poor stranger, to gather up the scattered heads of barley which the reapers had left in their path, and in the corners of the field. It could have been the result only of extreme necessity. Thus God brings the soul that He has loved and saved to an experience of utter want. He makes every hope to fail, every means of spiritual safety to depart. The sinner must be thus brought down to feel himself lost and perishing. And when the Spirit has accomplished this, it is an important and blessed step toward a full revelation of the riches of grace already prepared for him.
2. The next step is to take away all feeling of rebellious pride in their state of want. Ruth had great self-respect, a dignity of character that would have honoured any condition in life. But she had no pride that rebelled against her condition. “Let me glean after him in whose sight I shall find grace.” This is a most happy and a most exemplary state of mind. She demanded and expected nothing as a claim of merit or right. How important to you is such an example. But it is thus God leads the sinful soul to its great Kinsman. His gracious plan is to give everything freely, and to make man receive His free gifts with grateful acknowledgment that he has deserved nothing. But how long do we struggle against this spirit! How hard it seems contentedly to depend on mere grace to the ungodly! This is one main obstacle in the way of our salvation.
3. The next step is one of gracious providence, to bring her, as it were by accident, to an unexpected introduction to her rich kinsman. Ruth is wholly ignorant of him or of the location of his fields. She is equally ignorant of the exalted connection she is to have with him. To her the future of life is darkness. But God, her gracious God, in whom she trusts, is light in whom is no darkness at all. What an encouragement to us does this ignorance of hers afford! How abounding may be God’s provided mercies for us! Ruth goes out into the harvest-field of Judaea, separated among its various owners only by landmarks, which could not be distinguished at a distance, not knowing to whose field she might be led. But God had disposed and prepared her way before her. “Her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging to Boaz.” It was God’s own plan for her, another part of which was now coming out to her view. And when at last she finds the gracious end to which the whole is brought, she could look back upon this, and say, “Now I know why I was made so poor, and led to Boaz’s field to glean.” How often is the gracious providence of God thus manifested in bringing the poor and perishing soul under the ministry of the Word. How applicable to our purpose is this illustration! The first sight of a Saviour is attractive and lovely to the seeking, sinful soul. The sinner comes into the midst of his flock, and is struck with the precious blessings which they enjoy. The Shepherd stands in their midst. Jesus is there, to awaken, instruct, sanctify, and feed His people. The hearts of all are evidently refreshed by Him. He blesses them, in the ministry of His Word, by the teaching of His Spirit. They praise Him with grateful homage in return.
2. Again, I see in my text the beauty of unfaltering friendship. A rare devotion of unwavering trust and love in the face of adversity.
3. Again, I learn from this subject that paths which open in hardship and darkness often come out in places of joy. And so it often is that a path which starts very darkly ends very brightly. When you started out for heaven, oh, how dark was the hour of conviction—how Sinai thundered, and devils tormented, and the darkness thickened! All the sins of your life pounced upon you. After a while you went into the harvest field of God’s mercy; you began to glean in the fields of Divine promise, and you had more sheaves than you could carry, as the voice of God addressed you, saying, “Blessed is the man whose transgressions are forgiven and whose sins are covered.” A very dark starting in conviction; a very bright ending in the pardon, and the hope, and the triumph of the gospel. So, very often, in our worldly business or in our spiritual career, we start off on a very dark path. We have to ford the river, we have to climb the mountain, we have to storm the castle; but, blessed be God! the day of rest and reward will come.
4. Again, I have to learn from my subject that events which seem to be most insignificant may be momentous. Can you imagine anything more unimportant than the coming of a poor woman from Moab to Judah? Can you imagine anything more trivial than the fact that this Ruth just happened to alight—as they say—just happened to alight on that field of Boaz? Yet all ages, all generations, have an interest in the fact. So it is in your history and in mine; events that you thought of no importance at all have been of very great moment. That casual conversation, that accidental meeting—you did not think of it again for a long while; but how it changed all the phase of your life. (S. H. Tyng, D. D.)
Note: The Holy Ghost has spoken to me that He wants this prophetic message posted here, because it is relevant to our day now; I pray anyone who reads it, who is a believer in Christ, will take this as encouragement, and comfort in the days ahead. The Lord knows who are His, and will cover us with His presence.
March 4, 2001
This prophetic message was given by me-Lorna Couillard-with permission of two pastors of Promise Land Church
Come and lay at my feet, let me cover you with my garment. Rest with me, you are precious to me. Every drop of my blood that fell to the ground, cried I love you, I forgive you, you are mine. Let me hold you close to myself, I AM your kinsman Redeemer, let me protect you, cover you, provide for you. For consider this: Am I not greater than Boaz?"
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
How blessed would it be, if, in wandering in the field of meditation to-night, our hap should be to light upon the place where our next Kinsman will reveal himself to us! O Spirit of God, guide us to him. We would sooner glean in his field than bear away the whole harvest from any other. O for the footsteps of his flock, which may conduct us to the green pastures where he dwells! This is a weary world when Jesus is away-we could better do without sun and moon that without him-but how divinely fair all things become in the glory of his presence! Our souls know the virtue which dwells in Jesus, and can never be content without him. We will wait in prayer this night until our hap shall be to light on a part of the field belonging to Jesus wherein he will manifest himself to us."