Ruth: 2:8-17; the humility of Ruth.

Title: Ruth: 2:8-17; the humility of Ruth.


Boaz has instructed Ruth that she need not go to any other fields to glean, that she can follow the reapers, meaning that she will always be the first to glean, and so collect the most, that she may remain with the maids and drink from their water. He will also feed her and he will instruct the reapers not to bundle all of the crop, but to intentionally leave some for Ruth.


Rut 2:10 Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground and said to him, "Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?"


Ruth never asks why the hard times have come upon her; she only asks why such good things have been given to her.


Rut 2:11 And Boaz answered and said to her, "All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know.


Rut 2:12 May the Lord  reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge."


Rut 2:13 Then she said, "I have found favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants."


Ruth considers herself lower than the lowest slave.


Everyone desires promotion. We should all desire to increase in strength and wisdom and virtue. We could consider increase as promotion. Is it important that others recognize our increase in something good? In some ways yes, since others should see the gospel. We are told by the Lord that others should see our good behavior, but He also told us not to do it for that reason.


Which is more important, wisdom or people recognizing wisdom?


God carefully instructs us to do nothing out of pride. We are to do all things as unto the Lord. It is up to the Lord to set up the witnesses. It is up to us to only walk in the Lord’s way. If we seek self-promotion we are not deferring to God’s choice of the ones who are to witness. Jesus didn’t ask to stand in front of Pontius Pilate. The Father set up that meeting and Pilate asked Christ, “What is truth?”


In deferring to God’s will it is extremely important that we consider ourselves the lowest rather than an esteemed person who deserves something.


Luk 14:1 And it came about when He went into the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread, that they were watching Him closely.


Luk 14:2 And there, in front of Him was a certain man suffering from dropsy.


Luk 14:3 And Jesus answered and spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?"


Luk 14:4 But they kept silent. And He took hold of him, and healed him, and sent him away.


Luk 14:5 And He said to them, "Which one of you shall have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?"


Luk 14:6 And they could make no reply to this.


What is the difference between fighting for a higher position and forsaking all selfish ambition and being promoted to a higher position by God?


Luk 14:7 And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table; saying to them,


Luk 14:8 "When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him,


Luk 14:9 and he who invited you both shall come and say to you,' Give place to this man,' and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place.


When you fight for a higher position, there are always many others fighting for the same position. Your reward, if you achieve the position, is based on your effort and cunning, but you must always watch your back.


God’s promotion is the only one untainted by selfish ambition. It is the only real promotion. Only God has the wisdom and righteousness to do this perfectly.


Promoting oneself is not as much a promotion as it is a grasping, and usually involving the hurt of someone. Grasping is an actively voiced verb while promotion is a passive action. To be promoted is to be promoted by another, and when God does it, it is the only real promotion since He is the only One who can do it with all knowledge and in perfect justice.


If I promote myself, I am overruling God’s will, and so that promotion will always contain some error. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious as long as it is not selfish. We can be ambitious and also patient in waiting on God’s timing. In order to teach you this, God will force you to wait.  


Ruth will be promoted, Boaz will be promoted, and Naomi will be as well, because they knew who they really were, fallen sinners saved by grace. They knew that they deserved nothing, and yet God would still bless them in His way and in His time. They, in essence, sat at the last seat. Nowhere to go but up from there.


Luk 14:10 "But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, 'Friend, move up higher'; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you.


Whether promoted up one spot or ten, he has been promoted by the master in the sight of all. The height of the promotion is only relative.


If such a person moved up one seat position or ten seat positions, the impact is the same, the master has promoted him in the sight of all. He was humble and was promoted farther than anyone expected. The height of the promotion doesn’t matter.


To be promoted at all, to any position by the Lord, means that the person has wisdom, virtue, and divine love to some extent.


1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,


1Pe 5:7 casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.


Luk 14:10 "But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, 'Friend, move up higher'; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you.


Then Jesus Christ gives us the Master’s master principle.


The Master’s master principle: The greatest among you shall be your servant.


Luk 14:11 "For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted."


God gives grace to the humble and He makes war with the proud. Think of all of the arrogant and proud people in the Bible that God has made war with.


The fear that tempts you is that you will never get promoted and so you have to fight for it, to make it happen, and get noticed, but you must ask why you want the promotion if that temptation is strong. Selfish ambition leads nowhere, and will only bring pain and misery. Self is alone without God. Self is corrupt and wicked - no one can understand it, not even himself. Think of the difference between having something that you attained alone and the same thing given by the God of creation.


Humility before God, rich or poor, promoted or standing on the last rung of society, is a loss of self to Him. It is a complete dependence upon Him, who is worthy of being depended upon. To such people God promises that He will give grace and they will be rich in his kingdom, no matter how much they have in the kingdoms of the earth.


“It is the nature of self-esteem and of the human self to love only oneself and to consider oneself alone. But what can a man do? He wants to be great and finds that he is small; he wants to be happy and finds that he is unhappy; he wants to be perfect and find that he is riddled with imperfections; he wants to be the object of men’s affection and esteem and sees that his faults deserve only their dislike and contempt. The embarrassing position in which he finds himself produces in him the most unjust and criminal passion that can possibly be imagined; he conceives a mortal hatred of the truth which brings him down to earth and convinces him of his faults. He would like to be able to annihilate it, and, not being able to destroy it in himself, he destroys it in the minds of other people. That is to say, he concentrates all his efforts on concealing his faults both from others and from himself, and cannot stand being made to see them or their being seen by other people.” [Blaise Pascal]


Luk 16:15 "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.”


Think of the reason for why that is. Why are the things that are highly esteemed among men so out of line with what God loves? What does man, independent from God, long for?


1Jo 2:15 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.


1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.


1Jo 2:17 And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.


What is man without God? He is nothing. He is destined for judgment. He can produce nothing that is lastingly good. I think of some of my favorite paintings or architecture and they are good and lovely, but they are made by things that are decaying. If we saw one painting from God or a building made in heaven, would we still revere such things on earth? I guarantee you that they would look base and drab. Man can do nothing, Rom 3. But, the will of God abides forever. Remember Isa 51: look up to the sky, now look down to the earth:


Isa 51:6 "Lift up your eyes to the sky,

Then look to the earth beneath;

For the sky will vanish like smoke,

And the earth will wear out like a garment,

And its inhabitants will die in like manner,

But My salvation shall be forever,

And My righteousness shall not wane.”


Solomon, with all his riches and wisdom attempted to do things on his own, without God, to create, to make something good and lasting.


Ecc 1:1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.


Ecc 1:2 "Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher,

"Vanity of vanities! All is vanity."


Ecc 1:3 What advantage does man have in all his work

Which he does under the sun?


Ecc 1:4 A generation goes and a generation comes,

But the earth remains forever.


Ecc 1:5 Also, the sun rises and the sun sets;

And hastening to its place it rises there again.


Ecc 1:6 Blowing toward the south,

Then turning toward the north,

The wind continues swirling along;

And on its circular courses the wind returns.


Ecc 1:7 All the rivers flow into the sea,

Yet the sea is not full.

To the place where the rivers flow,

There they flow again.


Ecc 1:8 All things are wearisome;

Man is not able to tell it.

The eye is not satisfied with seeing,

Nor is the ear filled with hearing.


Ecc 1:9 That which has been is that which will be,

And that which has been done is that which will be done.

So, there is nothing new under the sun.


Ecc 1:10 Is there anything of which one might say,

"See this, it is new"?

Already it has existed for ages

Which were before us.


Ecc 1:11 There is no remembrance of earlier things;

And also of the later things which will occur,

There will be for them no remembrance

Among those who will come later still.


Ruth has learned humility from Naomi's teaching her about the ways and works of Yavah. Naomi has forgotten them in her sorrow, but Ruth is going to return the favor and teach them back to her.


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