Evangelistic Outreach Ministries

Handfuls of Favor,
By Brian Baer

Ruth Chapter 2

There are certain aspects of Christianity that are unexplainable. One of those facets is the favor of God. In reality, the only certainty about the favor of God is where it originates. The favor of God comes at different times, to different people, in different amounts but it is all the favor of God. One of the most beautiful stories of God’s grace and favor is the book of Ruth. Enclosed in these four short chapters is a story that has intrigued the minds and hearts of Christians for many years. I want to center in on three aspects of the favor of God that are found in the book of Ruth.

First, the favor came because Ruth was in the right field. She went to glean in the field of Boaz who was a kinsmen of Naomi’s husband, Elimelech. While Ruth was reaping, Boaz noticed her and asked who she was. The reapers told him that she was a daughter-in-law of Naomi and she had been working all day in the field. He then speaks to Ruth and says, “... Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:” (Ruth 2:8). Ruth received the favor of God because she was in the right field. Other people might have cast her away because of her background. However, Boaz welcomed her into his field. Many people are starving spiritually. It just may be that they are not in the right field. If a church does not preach the truths of God’s Word, if they fail to preach the blood is the only atonement for sin, there will be no favor from God.

Second, favor is not always fair. The favor of God may cause people to be envious of your circumstance. Sometimes the people who are closest to you will be upset because God is dropping handfuls your way and they seemingly have nothing. Ruth did not deserve the handfuls. When she gathered the barley and beat out the grain, it was about an ephah, or 65 pounds, of barley. She was receiving freely, what others were working for. I have heard Calvin Ray mention on numerous occasions that God is just. However, the Bible does not say that He is fair. There are those who have been blessed with God gifted abilities. We may look at them and say, “That isn’t fair. I am trying my best and it seems that everything they do God blesses.” I have a close friend who can play about any instrument you put in his hand. Without lessons, he simply picks up the instrument and begins to play. I look at him and say, “That isn’t fair.” In reality, it isn’t fair it’s FAVOR!

Notice Ruth 2:16. The Bible states the handfuls were not “on” purpose, they were handfuls “of” purpose. It is essential for us to realize that if we pick up the provision without the purpose, we will have missed the reason why God chooses to drop the handfuls.

Let us not forget that if we take for granted the blessings of God, the favor will fade. Boaz was letting the handfuls drop so that it would get Ruth into his presence. If we do not figure out there is a reason behind the blessings of God, the favor will fade away. He blesses us with talents and abilities to draw us close to Him. You cannot live on handfuls all your life. The handfuls are a launching pad to get you into His presence. When the children of Israel were in the wilderness, God sent handfuls to sustain them in their time of need. God knew the wilderness was not their final dwelling place. In today’s society the government has instituted the welfare system to help families who are in need. They have faced a time of adversity and they need something to sustain them until they get on their feet. However, it seems some people have decided to make it a permanent way of life. I feel this was not the initial intent of the government. It is the same principle with God’s favor. It is not God’s will for you to live off handouts. When you live off handouts you tend to manipulate to receive more handouts.

Ruth realized that she was gleaning in the fields that God wanted her to own. God has so much available. I believe we put handcuffs on God. We are satisfied with a “fast food” religion instead of a good home cooked meal that will last. It is imperative that we feed on His word. It will sustain you in the sad times. It will deliver you in the dry times. It will lift you in the lean times. Blessings are the benefits of serving God. Even if He never blesses me again, I have made up my mind to serve Him no matter the cost. I’ll NEVER get over the blood that I’m under.

Preachers: Print the above sermon and use it in your ministry. The Lord will get the glory. All we ask is that you pray for us, and let us know it is helpful. Please contact us and let us know of those being saved or helped. Return to our www.calvinevans.org Web site for more sermons.