Ruth: 3:1-5; Naomi’s plan, Ruth’s confidence, and the joy of God’s people.
length: 82:56 - taught on Feb, 18 2018
Title: Ruth: 3:1-5; Naomi’s plan, Ruth’s confidence, and the joy of God’s people.
RUT 3:1Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you?
RUT 3:2 "And now is not Boaz our kinsman [moyda - relative], with whose maids you were? Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight.
The joy of threshing is used by God to communicate hope.
There is always hope when seeds are planted. What will be the harvest?
Be anxious for nothing. Can we find the joy of God’s harvest in every part of our lives, no matter what is going on at the time? Are we sure of our harvest?
RUT 3:3 Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.
RUT 3:4 And it shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do."
RUT 3:5 And she said to her, "All that you say I will do."
It would have been easy for Ruth to conceal herself since no one had ever seen her cleaned up and primped. Once Boaz had lied down and fallen into a deep sleep, Ruth was to go from blending in to action. She was to uncover his lower limbs by laying back the edge of the large mantle in which he slept. In guarding the grain, Boaz would be sleeping on the threshing floor and would have covered himself with his cloak against the cool of the night. Ruth was to uncover his feet so that he would awaken when his legs got cold enough. This would happen at a time in the night when all others were asleep.
In LEV 18:6-20, uncovering nakedness does imply sexual union, but that does not happen here. If they had had sex then Boaz was obligated to marry her, but there is the problem that there is a closer kinsman, and so sex would have been very inappropriate.
Since there was a closer kinsman, consummating the marriage that night would have been very inappropriate.
EXO 22:16 And if a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife.
DEU 22:28 If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered,
DEU 22:29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl's father fifty shekels of silver [roughly $300], and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.
It has no place in it, neither in the character of Ruth or Boaz that we have seen. They both would have deserved death. And if Ruth had done anything like implying sexuality, he would have rebuked her, but he rather commends her. This is simply a gesture or a symbolic act.
Ruth’s uncovering the feet of Boaz and lying down at his feet is simply a symbolic act, meaning that she was requesting Boaz to fulfill the duty of kinsman-redeemer and marry her.
She had already described herself to Boaz as less than the lowest servant, and now, after Boaz awoke deep in the night from his cold feet, he would find Ruth lying diagonally at his feet, which was the position of a servant to a master. Such a position is a lowly one.
Not long ago we saw the Lord teach a bunch of guests at a Sabbath dinner not to take the first seat and then have to be moved, but to rather take the last seat. Humility is such a huge part of the Christian life.
Once discovered in the servant position, Ruth was not to say a word. She was to await further instructions from Boaz.
Boaz got “cold feet” before the wedding.
The plan worked. Ruth and Boaz would not speak of such an important thing as kinsman-redeemer until they were totally alone and the only ones awake.
In view of the time, there is nothing immoral going on. Boaz shows absolutely no shock or offense at her actions, but instead saw it as further evidence of her virtue.
So, the question begs, why would Naomi concoct such a plan? Could Naomi, as destitute as she was, confront Boaz openly and ask him to redeem Ruth? For a man of honor like Boaz, this would have been out of line, and so Naomi was aware that open confrontation was out of line. The barley harvest was over and Naomi knew that the window of opportunity was closing, and she devised a shrewd plan.
Boaz once commended Ruth for taking refuge under the wings of the God of Israel. On the threshing floor, she put herself under his wing.
God is here working through the righteous acts of His saints. Their good decisions enable God’s providence to work in a righteous way. God can bless them in the way that pleases Him because they wait on Him.
This book is such a beautiful picture of the romance between each believer and Christ. Cover me. Redeem me. Be my Husband. Love and protect me forever. This is truly our relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Good decisions in accordance with God’s commands enable God to walk with us and not in opposition to us. Simply, we will get farther along the journey of life and righteousness.
Ruth’s humility and actions in goodness allow God to move her along the path of blessing.
God is not rewarding us as payment for what we do. Our capacity to learn and grow are enabling Him to teach us more and take us farther. If we are obstinate, prideful, and self-seeking, then we allow God to only oppose our way and correct us with discipline, which He will do faithfully. How much easier it is to instruct a humble child than an obstinate one. God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
PSA 25:8 Good and upright is the Lord;
Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
PSA 25:9 He leads the humble in justice,
And He teaches the humble His way.