Ruth: 3:1-9; the spirit of mercy in the hearts of the devoted.

Class Outline:

Title: Ruth: 3:1-9; the spirit of mercy in the hearts of the devoted.   


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.


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."


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.


PSA 25:10 All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth

To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.


MAT 11:28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.


MAT 11:29 "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. 


MAT 11:30 "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."


Those who take His yoke and learn from Him will find rest. Those who oppose God will only find war until they get on the path of righteousness.


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.


Salvation, growth, learning, maturity, all point to the decisions of man. God enables all of it, but man can accept it or refuse it. God grants the gospel to the world and He grants the word and Spirit to every believer as well as election and predestination, and as beautiful and powerful as they are, they do no good to the person who rejects them.


God is able to move Ruth along with her decisions rather than opposed to them.


Now, getting back to Naomi’s plan.


Redeeming land (Lev 25) has no obligation of marriage. Redeeming a widow (Deu 25) fell upon a brother-in-law, which Boaz is not. What is about to happen is in the spirit of the law: mercy.


Redeeming land as instructed in the Law, Lev 25, did not connect with the obligation of marrying the childless widow of the owner. Redeeming a widow fell upon a brother-in-law, which Boaz is not to either Naomi or Ruth. So, what is about to happen is not according to the letter of the Law, but it is certainly in the spirit of the law.


What is about to happen is not in accordance with the letter of the Law, but the spirit of the Law.


As with the Laws concerning gleaning, so redeeming widows or the land of the deceased is in keeping with the spirit of mercy, which is the spirit of the Law (greatest commands).


When in doubt about “law,” go with the spirit of mercy.


What are the commands that sum up the whole Law? All 613 commands can be summed up: You shall love the Lord your God and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. These reflect God’s mercy and the mercy that His children should have.


Naomi had no legal claim on Boaz and she would have known that there was a nearer kinsman than him.


The situation in Ruth does not involve a brother-in-law. Naomi bemoans the fact that she cannot produce any more sons to take that role.


RUT 1:11But Naomi said, "Return, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands?


She is specifically referring to levirate marriage here.


Whatever may seem impossible on the surface may not be. Of course, all depends upon God’s will, but we must remember that “can’t” is not a word that can ever be used in reference to God ability.


“Old man can’t is dead. I helped bury him.” [Myers Anderson, Clarence Thomas’ grandfather]


There are many things that we may want to do, but cannot, but that is only because they are not a part of God’s will. Though disappointing, we have to let them go and at the same time open up our hearts to the impossible that God is going to do with us. This again all boils down to humility. His will over ours.


But there is no mistaking what Ruth will propose to him - that he will redeem Naomi’s land, thus keeping her husband’s name on it, and redeem Ruth, providing her with providence and security.


We must understand that this takes such courage in Ruth. She is less than a nobody in Israel, but she trusts in the God of Israel. As Boaz said to her, she has sought refuge under the wings of the God of Israel. She loves Naomi and will do anything to provide for her.


Trust in God and love for people gives us great courage. 


There are numerous examples of this in the Bible from Abraham, to Moses, to David, to Jesus, to Paul.


Think of the coward or the times that you have been a coward. What was swimming around in your soul instead of trust in God and love for people? Abraham when he portrayed Sarah as his sister; Moses when he struck the rock twice; David when he took another man’s wife; Paul when he was burdened with grief after Athens; are all examples of great biblical men doubting God and exhibiting cowardice. The only one that we don’t have an example of cowardice for is, of course, Jesus.