The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our March 20, 2022 message Divine Serendipity.
LISTEN TO THE SERMON
Don’t forget to listen to the sermon again as you work through this sermon-based study guide. You can download the sermon through a variety of venues.
- The easiest way to listen to the sermon and get information about our church is on our church app. You can get information on our app at https://thechapelnj.org/church-center-app/.
- Or you can always listen to our sermons on our church’s website http://www.thechapelnj.org/sermons.
Pastor Doug continued our new series, entitled “God’s Providence in Perilous Times” from the Book of Ruth. Doug preached from Ruth 2:1-23. From his message, we see:
- Two Problems as the chapter begin
- The problem of little food for an older woman and a foreign woman
- The problem of no descendants for Naomi’s family.
- Background: the narrator tells the reader about Boaz, a near kinsman (Ruth 2:1)
- Inciting incident: Ruth receives Naomi’s consent to glean in a friendly field (Ruth 2:2)
- First act: Ruth experiences unexpected favor from Boaz because Yahweh protects and provides (Ruth 2:3–17)
- Second act: Naomi expresses unexpected joy because Yahweh extends His faithful love through Boaz (Ruth 2:18–23)
Principles to Consider
- Remember it is no coincidence, luck, or chance, but it is the providence of a loving and gracious God.
- Remember that sometimes God’s providence is bitter and sweet.
- Remember that God has acted climactically for us in giving us His beloved Son.
- Remember that God continues to providentially act out His covenantal love through the kindness of others.
- Remember that God chooses to use His people to be conduits of His kindness to others.
Key Takeaway: Our God providentially reveals His covenantal provision and protection through the kindness of others.
BRINGING IT HOME: (REFLECT, REQUEST, RESPOND)
REFLECT: QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
- Read through the book at least once this week.
- What are your thoughts about the gleaning laws found in Leviticus 19:9–10; Leviticus 23:22; and Deuteronomy 24:19-21?
- Why is it that the most vulnerable in our population tend to be the ones that are most taken advantage of?
- Who are people in your life who have come in to provide protection and provision for you in some of your most dark days?
- How have you seen the providence of God in times that seemed very bitter, dark, and hopeless, but God providentially brought about sweetness, light, and hope?
- What is one thing you can do today to show someone, who may tend to get overlooked by others, that you are aware of them and that you care about them?
REQUEST: PRAYER AND PRAISE
- Ask God to help you to grow in God’s grace and enablement.
- Confess and repent of any sins that are in your thoughts, words, or actions that hinder your growth in grace.
- Ask for the Holy Spirit to enable you to love others by believing and living out the gospel.
RESPOND: APPLYING WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED
- How can you love God more through what you have learned?
- How can you love others more through what you have learned?
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED RESOURCES
Suggested Scripture Study:
- Gleaning: Leviticus 19:9–10; Leviticus 23:22; Deuteronomy 24:19-21
- The “wings” of God (metaphorically, God catching Israel upon His wings and sheltering them as a mother bird does): Exodus 19:4; Deuteronomy 32:11; Psalm 17:8; 36:7; 57:1; 61:4; 63:7; 91:1, 4; Ezekiel 16:8
- Guardian – redeemer: Leviticus 25:25–28; Numbers 35:6–28; Deuteronomy 19:14–12
- Care for the poor: James 1:27
- Boaz pictures Christ as a fellow brother (Hebrews 2:17) and redeemer of those caught in sin (Romans 6:15–18) and are alienated from God (2 Corinthians 5:18–21).