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  • Writer's pictureBro. Caleb Taft

Morning Manna | Ruth 2: | From grace to Grace

Rth 2:2  And Ruth the Moabitess said unto Naomi, Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace. And she said unto her, Go, my daughter.

The whole book of Ruth revolves very much around some gracious laws of God contained in the Torah. If we are ignorant of these laws then the Book of Ruth lacks its full weight. The law had made provisions for people In Ruth and Naomi’s position. Here are a couple of those laws that God placed there specifically for them and others like them: 

Deu 24:19  When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands.

Lev 19:9-10  And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.

Deu 25:6  And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.

Without a doubt, it was these promises that gave Ruth the faith to come to Bethlehem and to go to the fields to glean. We know that “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God,” so it was with Ruth. She had heard of the graciousness of God and placed her faith in him and his promises to people like her. This teaches us that grace is first realized by the Word of God. Grace comes as a command or a promise, even a warning, and Ruth teaches us a valuable lesson. To lay hold on the promises of God in faith no matter the circumstances.

There was no guarantee that any man would be living by this law, after all, it was the days of the judges, every man was doing what was right in his own eyes. No Guarantee, except God’s word, and that was enough for her to get up that morning, strap on her gleaning boots, and head to the fields. This morning have you enough faith to strap on your gleaning boots and see what grace lies in this day for you? Have you gleaned the field of Scripture? Here is a promise to act on, “The entrance of thy word giveth light.” Many poor souls have found grace sufficient for the day, the month, the year, and even a lifetime in the edges of this field. Are you resolved to glean in the field of service? Here is a promise you can act on “Be not weary in well doing for ye shall reap in due season if you faint not.” So go and sow and see if God won’t bless your efforts with eternal fruits. Oh that we may have the faith of Ruth to act in light of God’s promises despite all the difficulties and doubts that arise. If we go in faith we will find grace.

Ruth’s faith was going to find grace but she didn’t know what grace was, or I should say to what extent grace goes. What she says displays her limited view of grace, [Ruth 2:2]“Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace.” She was determined to find grace but she reckoned grace to be just gleaning some field and surviving. That is a measure of grace but it certainly isn’t a full measure. Her limited view of grace was because she hadn’t yet met the man who would show her what a full measure looks like.

This takes us to Boaz, a foreshadowing of our Lord Jesus. To Ruth Boaz is the Word made flesh. That is he lived out the Word of God, and that is what God’s word is for, living out. He took those promises that were in black and white and translated them into life through his works and his obedience to those commands. This was the work of Our Lord Jesus, he took all the promises of God and brought them to us, fulfilled them, and lived them out. No longer was our hope just prophecies and promises in black and white, but they were wrapped in flesh and lived out before us and nailed to a cross and resurrected on the third day, he was the Word made flesh. Boaz in a lesser sense was this to Ruth, someone who would flesh out the promises of God to her, by Him she got to realize the promises and enjoy them, so it is with us and our heavenly Boaz. I would know nothing of the promises of salvation, joy, peace, contentment, provision, or any other if it were not for the man who made these a reality to me, Jesus Christ. 

Now that we know who he is, let’s see how he defines grace. The following statements show us that Boaz has a much broader idea of what grace looks like:

“Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:”

“have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.”

“At mealtime come thou hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar. And she sat beside the reapers: and he reached her parched corn, and she did eat, and was sufficed, and left.”

“Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not:”

“let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them, and rebuke her not.”

Ruth realized something that day in the field, that her definition of Grace was lacking. She thought of Grace as someone willing to carry out the letter of the law, someone kind enough to let her glean enough mill for the day. That day Boaz taught her that grace does not just meet the letter of the law but goes beyond, to the love of the law. That grace goes far beyond all that we could ask or think. The Law said you must let them glean, but grace brings you into all the field to gather as much as you can and throws down handfuls on purpose. The Law said to help your enemies, Moabites were enemies, but Grace brought them to the table and passed them the bread. The Law says to give water, but Grace gives them the well. Oh that we may know more of Grace! 

My definition of grace at the beginning was like that of Ruth’s. I came to Jesus looking for forgiveness and salvation from eternal damnation. These past 26 years I’ve come to understand that his grace goes beyond forgiveness and salvation. He has given me peace, he has given me joy, he has given the Holy Spirit to lead and guide, and as much as I will glean! Ruth moved one day by faith to find grace but what she didn’t know was that she would be finding that grace for the rest of her life. It is too much to find in one day, sure we are introduced in a day but all of eternity won’t be long enough to “comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.”  

The Book of Ruth ends how our story ends. A gentile bride from across enemy lines married to the Kinsman redeemer. Imagine a woman from Moab, an idolater who went one day to lay hold on grace, and found that it was grace that laid hold on her. She went to glean in the field and by grace she is married to the man who owns the field and is placed into the family of Christ. This is Grace, Grace that brought us to the end of ourselves, grace that brought us the word of the Lord that gives faith, grace has a plan that makes provisions for today but also for all eternity. May the words of our verse be lodged in our hearts as instruction and encouragement "Let me now go to the field, and glean ears of corn after him in whose sight I shall find grace."

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