Monday, February 15, 2010

"Why have I found favor in your eyes?"

I am preaching through the book of Ruth and yesterday's message included Ruth's question to Boaz, "Why have I found favor in your eyes?". Boaz provides his answer in verses 11 and 12. He notes how Ruth has cared for her mother-in-law, Naomi, and how she left everything in Moab to come to Bethlehem. But, I believe Boaz is noting those two facts as fruits of what really has happened to Ruth: she has come under the wings of the God of Israel to take refuge. In other words, Ruth's actions testify of God's saving grace in her life.

As a new convert and as a new sister in the faith, Boaz has shown her favor. There is a lesson here about how those "elder" saints of God in the church should care for those new saints of God.

But I do believe it is also wise to picture ourselves as Ruth and the Lord as Boaz. We observe all the wonderful blessings the Lord has poured out on us. Such protection and provision should prompt us to ask him, "Why have I found favor in your eyes?".

God's answer to that question has been key to theological understanding for centuries. How do you believe God would answer your question?

For myself, God choosing me, saving me, and blessing me has absolutely NO answer in me. He did not choose me because He knew the potential influence I might have in my life. He did not choose me because He knew I would do good works. He did not choose me because I HAD done good works. He did not choose me because He knew one day I would repent of my sins and trust Christ for salvation. He did not choose me because I DID trust Christ for salvation. No, as I read my Bible, I come to the conclusion there is no reason IN ME for the favor God has poured out on me.

I have found favor in God's eyes simply because HE has loved me with an electing love from all eternity and has specifically, particularly chosen to be gracious and merciful to me, a sinner. Did I repent and trust Christ as my Lord and Savior? Absolutely. But both the repentence and faith were gifts of my gracious Lord without any merit from me. As He said, "You did not choose Me, I chose you".

Thank you, Lord, for your grace and your mercy! Thank you for your favor.