Day 4 - Ruth 3:1-11
Naomi may not be gleaning in the fields, but she has been busy…matchmaking. Check it out:
1 One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home[a] for you, where you will be well provided for. 2 Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3 Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”
5 “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. 6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.
7 When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. 8 In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!
9 “Who are you?” he asked.
“I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer[b] of our family.”
10 “The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. 11 And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.
There are places in the Bible (specifically in the Old Testament) where cultural differences make it difficult to understand the meaning of a story. This is one of those passages.
According to Deuteronomy 25:5-10, one of a kinsman redeemer’s responsibilities was to marry a childless widow in order to carry on the family name. By approaching Boaz, Ruth was claiming her God-given right of marriage. Naomi instructed Ruth to lay at his feet so Boaz would see her as a humble servant, trusting in his goodness. An act we might see as forward or inappropriate would have been like Ruth saying, “I respect you and I trust you. My fate is in your hands.”
Let’s zoom out for a moment and remember where Ruth is - she stayed with Naomi even though it nearly guaranteed that Ruth wouldn’t have a life full of connection and prosperity. She would be a widowed foreigner in a land where she was likely to always be seen as an outsider. Yet, she meets a man of incredible character in Boaz, who provides for her and Naomi in incredible ways.
Doesn’t it seem like following God’s direction can sometimes feel like it will put us in a place where we’re missing out? Be honest. We can often believe the lie that “the grass is greener on the other side.” But Ruth serves as a fantastic reminder to what we read in Matthew 6:33 - if we seek God and His kingdom first, God will truly take care of everything else.
Do you find yourself struggling to believe God’s way is the best way? Do you truly believe that God will fulfill His promises?
Let’s revisit part of verse 11. In talking about Ruth, Boaz says, “All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.” Wow! Ruth’s godly reputation was known around town, and even though she was an outsider, she gained the respect of the people through her character.
Be challenged by Ruth’s example to consider a few questions today:
Where are you struggling to have godly character?
Are you living your life in such a way where people can’t help but see your godliness?
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