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Covered by Grace

Life hurts sometimes. The world offers us a host of strategies for dealing with that pain, but as illustrated by this passage in Ruth's journey, true rest is found only in a relationship with our redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Blake HolmesJul 21, 2008
Ruth 3

In This Series (4)
A Faith Rewarded
Blake HolmesJul 27, 2008
Covered by Grace
Blake HolmesJul 21, 2008
Under the Lord's Wing
Blake HolmesJul 13, 2008
Faith in Times of Famine
Blake HolmesJul 6, 2008

I imagine if we were to spend some time and allow each of us to speak up and talk about the burdens we feel, each one of us could speak of loneliness or worry or doubt or fear or insecurity or guilt or shame or hurt or sorrow. It's all of our stories. Right now, we may be going through a season of respite, but I can assure you it's coming, where that pain is going to be real, that hurt is going to be real. We've all experienced it before, and more is bound to come.

That has been true of my life over this past year, in particular, as you've heard me talk about my son who's battling leukemia, and this year having to watch that and just the sorrow and the hurt and the doubt and the fears and the insecurity that has brought to me and to my family. That's why I picked the book of Ruth. It's a small little book tucked away in the Old Testament. I love people's reactions to me teaching the book of Ruth.

I've had people come up to me and go, "Blake, you pick the oddest books. First, it's always the Old Testament. Why is that?" Well, let me answer that for you. Usually it's the Old Testament because, first, I don't get very many shots up here, and second, because my belief is if I can help you understand the significance and meaning of the Old Testament, then you will fall in love with this book and have greater confidence that you can read it and understand it for yourself.

You look in a little book, four chapters long, called Ruth and read about this little woman, a Moabite, a foreigner of God's people, widowed, who experienced famine and loss and grief, and you read her story, and if you understand her story and how it relates to you, I think it brings hope. It brings hope in the midst of our famine and time of our sorrow.

Over the past couple of weeks, we've looked at chapters 1 and 2. In the first week, we discovered that trials reveal the true nature of our faith. If we really want to know how strong our faith is, buckle up when trial and persecution comes, and then we'll know the strength and the depth of our faith. In the second week, we talked about the Lord works through the seemingly ordinary moments of our day so we might either help others or receive the help we need.

He works through these seemingly ordinary moments, providentially guiding the events of our day, so we can either be a Boaz to other people and be a source of help and strength or we can receive the help we need and be like a Ruth and just happen to find ourselves in the field that God superintended and ordained for us to discover and glean in. Today, we're going to see that true rest and security is found in a relationship with our Redeemer.

Turn with me if you would. We're going to look at Ruth, chapter 3. This chapter is, like the others, easily divided into three parts. You have Naomi's plan in verses 1-5, which will get some people's attention, and then you have Ruth's proposal and Boaz's reaction to this proposal in verses 6-15, and in the last part you have Naomi's reassurance to Ruth that Boaz is going to do exactly what he promises to do. That's in verses 16-18. So let's jump in. Naomi's plan in verses 1-5. Read it with me.

"Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, 'My daughter, shall I not seek security [rest] for you, that it may be well with you? Now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were? Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight. Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. It shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do.' She said to her, 'All that you say I will do.'"

This is where the women will insert their mother-in-law joke at such an odd request as this and where all of the guys quickly woke up. You might have been asleep this whole morning, but then "Uncover his feet, go down there in the middle of the night while he's asleep," and what is that about? "Is that in my Bible?" Yes, it is. I'm going to explain what it means here.

If you were to unpackage this, you would see that Naomi is telling Ruth, her daughter-in-law, to do six things. The first thing is she says, "Hey, bathe and put on your best clothes. Make yourself ready before you appear to Boaz." My assumption is that they're not living in a time of plenty. This has been a time of hard work and labor, and she's saying, "Put on your best clothes."

In fact, perhaps the idea here is "Remove your clothes of mourning," because during the time in the Old Testament, people who were mourning would actually wear clothes that would be different, that would show their grief. She's saying, "Remove your clothes of mourning. Go to the threshing floor." Now, the threshing floor is much like what you see here onstage, literally.

The threshing floor was where people would go and where the wheat would be separated from the chaff, and they'd have a large animal that would walk around that would break up the wheat from the chaff, and then a man would take something like this. Literally, this is what they would do. They would have a big rake like this and pick it up and just throw it in the air. That's a threshing floor.

So she's saying, "Go down to the threshing floor where you know Boaz is going to be tonight, and wait until he has finished eating and drinking." This suggests a time of celebration. He's going to have a few drinks. He's going to have a big ol' feast. Remember, they've gone through a time of famine, and now is a time where there's grain in the barn, so to speak. There's a time where they can eat. After he has worked all day, he's going to celebrate.

"So just watch him. When he's finished eating and he's finished drinking, that time of celebration is over, you go down there, and notice where he lies down and falls asleep." Now, it's only speculation why he would be sleeping down there. There are one or two thoughts I've had. First, it's a public place, so he's going to sleep there to protect his grain. He's not just going to leave his grain there for somebody to pick up; he's going to sleep there, so if somebody should come and rob and steal and startle him, he can go, "Hey, whoa, whoa, whoa! That's mine."

Or because it's a public place, he might be there to sleep to wait his turn in line to where he gets to use the threshing floor. Then you have this statement, "Uncover his feet and lie down." There are some people who look at this and see it as some perverted idea. I don't think biblically that's merited. It's symbolic of "Go and submit to him, and wait until he tells you what to do."

It's clear that Naomi had a presumption that Boaz would know how to respond, which suggests that this was customary. Not necessarily to go in the middle of the night and do it, but there is a reason you were to go in the middle of the night here, Ruth, and submit yourself to him. If this isn't an indecent proposal, and I don't think it is, because it is in a public place and because Naomi does assume Boaz will know what to do… It must have been a custom.

We're going to see in verse 11 that once Ruth does do this, Boaz's response to her is, "You are a woman of virtue," which seems highly unlikely, if this was an indecent proposal, that would have been his response. So just to remove the mystery here, what would be her motivation? I think it's found in verse 1. Let's look again.

It says, "Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, 'My daughter, shall I not seek security for you…'" I think the better word translated here is rest. "…for you, that it may be well with you?" This calls to mind Ruth 1:9. You remember. Ruth's husband has passed away. Her father-in-law has passed away. Her brother-in-law has passed away. It's a time of famine, and she has a choice whether or not to remain in her land or to follow her mother-in-law back home to the Promised Land.

In chapter 1, verse 9, you see that Naomi says, "May the Lord grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband." There's a quest here for rest. When times are hard, when it's a time of suffering, that's what we long for. We long for peace. We long for security. We long for rest. Naomi's motivation here is "Go and find rest. You're going to find it through marriage to Boaz." If we know a little bit about the Old Testament custom and the idea there, a widow really had a hopeless future.

She didn't have land rights. She couldn't own property. She was in trouble. Ruth was just that: a widow with a hopeless future, but the Mosaic law made a provision that the nearest of kin to the blood relative could marry a brother's wife. He would marry her to secure property for the family, to continue the family name of the deceased, and to protect the widow's future. You see this in Deuteronomy 25:5-9.

"When brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband's brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. It shall be that the firstborn whom she bears shall assume the name of his dead brother, so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel." He has a choice, though.

"But if the man does not desire to take his brother's wife, then his brother's wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say…" This becomes more significant in chapter 4. Don't read ahead. We'll get there next week. *"'My husband's brother refuses to establish a name for his brother in Israel; he is not willing to perform the duty of a husband's brother to me.' *

Then the elders of his city shall summon him and speak to him. And if he persists and says, 'I do not desire to take her,' then his brother's wife shall come to him in the sight of the elders, and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face; and she shall declare, 'Thus it is done to the man who does not build up his brother's house.'" All of the ladies said, "Amen."

That was the custom. What Naomi is telling Ruth to do is "Go and propose. Propose to this man, our kinsman, our near relative, our redeemer, and should he marry you, it will secure your future. You're going to find rest." Now, I think there are two reasons Naomi would have encouraged Ruth to take the initiative here instead of just waiting to see if this plays out.

The first is perhaps Boaz doesn't realize she is through with her time of mourning and doesn't know she's available, and she's saying, "Go and let him know you are available. Make yourself available to him." The second thing is Boaz is probably twice her age, and he's probably thinking, "What does a good-looking girl like that want with me? I don't stand a chance with her."

So Naomi says, "Hey, go and see him in the middle of the night so you can find rest from the heartache and the struggles we continue to experience because of loss, because of famine, because of loneliness. Go find rest." Our circumstance isn't much different than Ruth's, because we, too, are in need of rest. We're in need of rest.

Some of you guys are here this morning, and this is your first time to come to Watermark. This is the one shot I have to talk to you. Maybe a friend said to you, "Hey, you are in need of rest. This marriage relationship you have that is on the rocks, that is not what you ever dreamed it would be, has brought heartache and pain to you, and now this is your last resort, and you're in need of rest."

Financially, the hard times you're experiencing… You've tried everything. You've tried to find peace and rest everywhere but in a relationship with the one true God, and you're tired of running your own offense, and you're left feeling a need for rest, a need for peace, so you've come to see if you could give "religion" a shot.

I talk to people a lot whose life is in a tailspin, and as the last resort, they come and go, "Tell me what the Bible has to say about… Because I'm in need of rest. Stop the bleeding and just help me." Some of us are suffering the consequences of managing life on our own apart from the Lord, and it's painful. Some of us are suffering the consequences of just living in a fallen world, a broken world, where 5-year-olds get cancer, where children are abandoned, where fathers are paralyzed, where people are lonely. We live in a broken world, and we're in need of rest.

The world says, "I have a good deal for you. You can find that peace. You can find that rest. Let me tell you where you can find it. You can find it in overeating, overspending, overindulging. You can find it out there. Just buy this, do this, sleep with her, give yourself to him, and man, you're going to find rest and peace and security." So we look for it. We all do it, in little ways and great ways.

Every day, we buy into the lie that somehow rest can be found apart from a relationship with our Redeemer. I'm just telling you, it is a lie. I have the scars to prove it from the foolish decisions I've made. Proverbs says, "As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly." Have you ever felt like a fool? Made the same mistake twice, three times, four times over. "Like a dog that returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly." We're in need of rest. We're tired of managing on our own.

The Scripture says only the Lord can provide a rest and a peace which transcends all understanding. Matthew 11:28 says, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." In John 14:27, Jesus says, "Peace I leave with you; My peace [rest] I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." I wonder how many people in right relationship with Jesus Christ does rest, does peace mark your life because you're so closely knit with him.

We're looking for rest. The world is dying for rest and peace, just like Ruth. She needed rest. This past year, I have longed for rest, not just for me but for my son. I'm not talking about "You just need a weekend getaway to light a spark for your marriage, Blake, or you need a date night or to take your boy to Disneyland." I'm not talking about distraction; I'm talking about rest. I'm talking about peace that buying new clothes isn't going to satisfy, that a promotion at work is not going to quench. I'm talking about rest for a heart that is empty.

Ecclesiastes says God has set eternity in our hearts. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, is saying, "Look. There's only one thing that's going to fill that God-shaped vacuum in your heart, and that is a relationship with the Redeemer. You're not going to find rest apart from him." You can keep looking, but you're just not going to find it.

We like to say around here, "If you like what you've got, keep doing what you're doing." But guess what. You're going to end up right back where you are right now: in need of rest, just with more scars to prove poor decisions we've made. Our phone call is going to come. Trials and tribulation we are promised, but peace can be found.

Naomi loves her daughter-in-law, and she's saying, "Go, find security. Find this peace. Find this rest." Let's look ahead. Verse 6 and following. We see in verses 6-7 that Ruth does exactly what Naomi instructs her to do. "So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law had commanded her. When Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came secretly [quietly] , and uncovered his feet and lay down."

Then you have in verse 8… In Hebrew there is no exclamation mark, so the writer uses a "Behold!" a sense of surprise. The old man is lying down out there at the threshing floor, and notice what he discovers. "It happened in the middle of the night that the man was startled and bent forward; and behold [to his surprise, what a shock] , a woman was lying at his feet." He's startled.

Then you see Ruth's proposal for marriage in verse 9. "He said, 'Who are you?' And she answered, 'I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative.'" Literally, covering… A better translation here is "Spread your wing over me." Yes, it's his garment, and to spread a garment over someone like that is used a few times in Scripture in connection to the marriage relationship. You see this on several occasions.

In Deuteronomy 27:20 it says, "'Cursed is he who lies with his father's wife, because he has uncovered his father's skirt [his garment] .' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'" Deuteronomy 22:30: "A man shall not take his father's wife so that he will not uncover his father's skirt." Ezekiel 16:8 (the Lord speaking): "Then I passed by you and saw you [Israel] , and behold, you were at the time for love; so I spread My skirt [garment] over you and covered your nakedness. I also swore to you and entered into a covenant with you so that you became Mine…"

"You became my wife." There's a marriage relationship between the Lord and Israel, his people. So, to cover over with a garment was implying, "Marry me. Protect me." It's the same word that's used in chapter 2, verse 12, where Boaz speaks of Ruth's faithfulness and says, "May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord , the God of Israel, under whose wings[garment]you have come to seek refuge."

Ruth sought refuge under the God of Israel, and now she's going to Boaz and saying, "Protect me. Marry me." Literally, "You are my close relative." The better word here is literally, "You are my redeemer. You're the one who can buy me back. You're the one who can care for me. You are my redeemer." The verse could be translated, "I am Ruth, your maid, so spread your wing over your maid, for you are my redeemer."

Again, Ruth's circumstances are not much different than our own, because we know from Scripture that rest only comes when we bow at our Redeemer's feet and seek his covering of grace. The first point I want to make is that we're in need of rest. Everybody can agree with that, but not everybody agrees with where to go find that rest.

I'm telling you to find that rest at your Redeemer's feet, but you have to ask him. You have to ask him for that rest, because he is your Redeemer. That's a word that's foreign to many of us in this context, but to redeem is to deliver upon payment of a price. Scripture says we're in bondage to sin, we're slaves to sin, that all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God…you, me, all of us.

The wages of sin is death. We've been separated from God. We don't just die a physical death, but we die a spiritual death. We're slaves to sin, and God, in his goodness, in his love, demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, while we were in bondage to sin, Christ died for us. He was our Redeemer. He bought our freedom, he paid our penalty, and we have been redeemed through his blood.

Ephesians 1:7 says, "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace…" There's the word: redemption. In Mark 10:45, there's this picture of payment. "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom [a payment] for many."

First Corinthians 6:20: "For you have been bought with a price [redeemed] : therefore glorify God in your body." Gang, our worth is not found in what we drive, where we live, how much money we make, material possessions. Worth is found in God's love and value of you, which he obviously esteems because of his gift to you through the precious blood of his Son.

Then we see in verses 10-13 Boaz's answer to this proposal. "Then he said, 'May you be blessed of the ** Lord **, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich.'" In other words, "You were kind to Naomi, and now this is even greater kindness. I am so honored, so flattered, so moved that you chose me, an old man, because of your loyalty to Naomi and your household."

Verse 11: "Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence." It's the same word that's used in Proverbs 12:4. Proverbs 12:4 says, "An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones." An excellent wife, a woman of virtue. "Ruth, you are an excellent wife."

Proverbs 31:10: "An excellent wife [a Ruth] , who can find? For her worth is far above jewels." You wouldn't know it from reading the English, but this is also the same word that's used of Boaz in chapter 2, verse 1. We denote that they're equally yoked. "Now Naomi had a kinsman of her husband, a man of great wealth…" A man, really, of excellence. The translator makes it of great wealth, but it's really, "You are a man of excellence. You're a man of virtue." "…of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz."

"Ruth, you're a woman of excellence, and everybody knows it." The city gate was a public place where people went to talk and to trade and do business. "Everybody knows of your virtue and your excellence." But here's the problem. We keep reading. "Now it is true I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I." Uh-oh. You mean there's somebody else in line?

"There's somebody, Ruth, who actually has the first right of refusal if we're going to do this the right way. See, I can't just marry you until we check with a closer relative and give them the option." Now the suspense is just heightened all the more. Oh man! We've longed for this poor woman to find rest. She has lost her husband. She has lived through famine. She has moved from a foreign land. Now she goes and submits herself in the middle of the night, proposes marriage, and she gets an, "Eh, maybe."

Just put yourself in her shoes. "What? There's somebody else?" There's somebody else. He goes on and says, "Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the Lord lives. Lie down until morning."

The idea here, as I said before, there's nothing here which I think is promiscuous. He tells her to lie down because he knows that according to Jewish custom, if a man was suspected of having slept with a Gentile woman during this time, he would be prohibited from marrying her. I think he protects her so people don't talk and people aren't saying things and accusing her just to make her life that much more difficult.

I think he covers her and protects her. "Just stay here, and when it's time, I'm going to let you get out of here, and no one is even going to know you were here." I just thought about this. I thought about the fear, the anxiety she must have had, he must have felt. Here he is in a total position of authority. This is just kind of an aside. This is my own little Blake's CliffsNotes, I guess, as I've thought about this and pondered the scene.

Here he is in a position of authority and would have the means to take advantage of her. In a world where it's like "First come, first serve; just delight yourself; look after number one," that's just not the man he is. I wonder how many women in here feel as if their man looks after their best interests first. How many men in here may want it to be described of you that you are a man of excellence and you protect the vulnerability of the women you're dating and how you care for them. Just a thought.

He refuses to take advantage of her, and he makes provision for her in verses 14-15. "So she lay at his feet until morning and rose before one could recognize another; and he said, 'Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.'" No one knows… Was he talking to somebody, a servant of his? "Hey, don't let anybody know she's here." Which, again, would allow you to realize there's nothing promiscuous here, but he's just looking at his servant going, "Hey, we have to get her out of here." A trusted adviser? Did he say it to himself? We don't know. Verse 15:

"Again he said, 'Give me the cloak that is on you and hold it.' So she held it, and he measured six measures of barley and laid it on her. Then she went into the city. When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, 'How did it go, my daughter?' And she told her all that the man had done for her." Ruth shares with Naomi her provision. Again, her constant care for her mother-in-law. You see here a great passage. Keep reading.

"'How did it go, my daughter?' And she told her all that the man had done for her. She said, 'These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said, "Do not go to your mother-in-law empty-handed."'" Do you remember in chapter 1 when Naomi was in her bitterness? Do you remember what she said? "I am empty." We see a reversal here. The author wants us to understand that Naomi's empty days are about to come to an end. Through Boaz and his provision, we're about to see a turning point.

We see Naomi's reassurance. "Then she said, 'Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today.'" Naomi has complete confidence. "Hey, Ruth, this is going to work out. I know he said there's another. I'm just telling you, Boaz is going to work this out, but you have to wait. Rest assured. Trust him." I want to argue today that we, too, can rest assured that our Redeemer will do what he says, so long as we surrender to him. He will forgive, he will protect, he will guide, and he will one day return, but we have to wait. And it's hard to do.

I have a friend who was recently training for an Ironman. I think he's crazy. That is a long swim, followed by a long bike ride, followed by a long run. You're looking at a two-and-a-half-mile swim, an over 100-mile bike ride, and then a marathon. That's a long race. During this training, it was getting closer to the end of his training, and he was out at White Rock Lake. Let me just tell you, you don't see a lot of people swimming in White Rock Lake. It's pretty dirty, for obvious reasons.

He sees this guy out in the middle of the lake. Actually, these two women call his attention and go, "Look! That man needs help. He needs help." He was kayaking, and somehow he got turned over, and one bad decision led to another. He couldn't swim. He literally found himself completely at someone else's mercy. So the women go, "He needs help! He needs help!" They're on their cell phones about to call 911, and he is screaming for help.

So I asked my friend, "What did you do? It's not like you can't swim." He's sitting there going, "You know, I'll be really honest. There's a thought in me that just goes, 'All right. I'm about to get in White Rock Lake, but I have no choice.'" So he takes off his shoes and his gear and jumps in the water and swims out there. I go, "Then what did you do?" Because if it's me, I'm terrified the guy is just going to grab me.

He says, "Well, I told him, 'Calm down, and stop fighting.' I didn't let him get close to me until I could convince him to turn over on his back. He had to trust me. He had to surrender." It is counterintuitive when you are drowning and you can't swim to go over on your back and allow somebody to embrace you, to grab you, and pull you to safety. It's counterintuitive, but that's exactly what the man did.

He said, "Just turn over on your back, and I'm going to grab you, and I'm going to get you to shore." He had to trust that his redeemer was going to do exactly what he said. It was going to be a position of vulnerability. It was going to be a position of fear. "I'm going to go on my back. I'm going to quit trying. I'm going to quit working. I'm going to quit struggling. I'm going to quit swimming so somebody else can save me."

What I want to tell you today, gang, is you are looking for rest, and you are drowning running your own offense, living according to what seems right to you. You can keep doing what you're doing, but you are going to continue to long for rest and peace or you can be brave enough to go, "Man, I need to get on my back," because there's somebody who has entered into that water. There's somebody who has entered into this world, and his name is Jesus Christ, and he is your Redeemer, and he will grab you and carry you to the other side.

We long for rest, and it is troubled waters. I get that, but you won't get that rest until you start with surrender. That's just first saying to the Lord, "I cannot do this on my own anymore. I cannot lead this marriage. I cannot lead this business. I cannot get out of this financial hole. I cannot get rid of this addiction, this doubt, this worry, this fear, this sickness. I cannot do it.

So I'm going to do something that seems terrifying. I'm going to submit myself to you, Lord. I'm going to, by faith, believe you're able to do what you say you're going to do, that you're able to provide the peace which you say only you can provide. I'm going to surrender, and I'm going to lie on my back." You have to start with surrender, gang. It doesn't come with conditions. You're in no position to bargain. You are drowning.

The man out there in White Rock Lake didn't look at my buddy and go, "Hold on. Hold on. Time-out. Let's talk about this. Now, I'm going to do this, but then you owe me." "Nope. If I'm going to save you, you have to turn over." That's what the Lord asks of us. If you want rest, you have to surrender. You have to first admit your need, that you need a Savior, and you have to come to him and acknowledge your sin and your rebellion against him and that he is your only Redeemer.

That's where the analogy breaks down. Boaz says, "Hey, there's actually another one in line who has the opportunity to redeem you." Scripture teaches there is only one Redeemer and salvation is found in no one else. There is only one name under heaven which has been given among men by which we must be saved. There's only one, because there's only one who is both fully God and fully man…fully God so as to be perfect and fully man to serve as our substitute.

As the God-man, he builds that bridge which we cannot cross on our own. I'm not talking about religion. I'm not talking about getting your life right first. I'm talking about just simply surrendering and recognizing that it's not about your doing, it's not about your swimming; it is about his grace that covers you and his ability to get you to the other side. Let's pray.

Father in heaven, we bow our heads before you, because we acknowledge, Lord, we're in need of rest and we're in need of security. There are those of us here, Lord, who don't know you. Father, we've been operating for a long time our own offense, and we've made a mess of our lives, and we are suffering the consequences. There are those of us, Lord, frankly, who are living like the Prodigal Son, living amongst the pigs. We need to surrender and come home and quit drowning out at White Rock Lake and trust, Lord, that you are able to deliver us to the other side.

Father, thank you that rest is found in our Redeemer but only when we bow at his feet and allow him to cover us by his grace, and we thank you that we can rest assured that you're going to do what you say and that one day, Lord, you will return and you will take us home and, Father, that rest we long for will be ours. In Christ's name, amen.


About 'The Story of Ruth'

She was a homeless foreigner, a childless widow and a pauper. By all accounts her story should have faded into obscurity thousands of years ago. Yet this short, rarely studied book of the Old Testament paints an unforgettable picture of the grace, reward, redemption and hope we can find in the Lord. It's a story of perseverance in the face of despair, joy in the midst of mourning, provision in a time of want, and restoration when hope seems futile. <br />&nbsp;<br />But the story of Ruth recounts not only the tale of one woman's remarkable faith. It also foretells the much greater story of God's plan of salvation through His Son, which we are living out still today. If you find yourself in need of hope or peace, this study of Ruth's journey will encourage you to rest in the provision of Christ and the assurance that His grace is sufficient for all our needs.