Ruth and Boaz have their climatic scene in chapter 3 of the Bible’s most famous love story. It is here on the thrashing floor that redemption is worked out, courage is rewarded, and love is forged.
Ruth, following Naomi’s instructions goes to Boaz in the middle of the night and shares with him the desires of her heart. Let’s break down this whole scene and discover the Biblical lessons we can all use to establish and improve our own relationships.It is here on the thrashing floor that redemption is worked out, courage is rewarded, and love is forged. Click To Tweet
When I first started checking out my husband, one of the things that immediately stood out to me was how different our meals looked.
I was raised on meat and potatoes.
He was raised on meat and Sadza.
He immediately recognized that I was interested in him when I took the time to learn how to cook his favorite food. This one simple action made a way for me and now I enjoy cooking sadza almost every day.
Ruth And Boaz: The Wait
Ruth made a similar conclusion.
Following Naomi’s instructions, she waited until Boaz had eaten and was in good spirits.
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.
When people say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, they’re not joking.
Think about your own experience, how many times have you been grumpy, irritable or angry, just because you’re hungry. Sometimes a little common sense when dealing with others goes a long way.
For example; Did you know that prisoners are more likely to be granted parole earlier in the day? And if you want a good haircut, book your appointment before lunch.
Timing is everything. And this crucial meeting between Ruth and Boaz is perfectly timed.
It’s at the end of two full harvest seasons. The wheat and barley are out of the fields and being put away. Boaz is enjoying his abundance. He is feeling good about all the hard work he and his laborers have done. He’s enjoyed a good meal, and he is lying down for a well deserved rest.
In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!
Ruth and Boaz: The Look
In the middle of the
“Who are you?” he asked.
So she answered, “I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative.”
Look at this; Ruth doesn’t get shy or play games. She is clear and honest. She tells him who she is and what she wants. Ruth wants Boaz to redeem her and Naomi.
Check this out!
Ruth uses Boaz’s own words to make the request.
The Lord repay your work, and a full reward
begiven you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”
That line, Under your wing, is packed with meaning.
On the surface, she is literally asking him to cover her with his blanket. And this makes sense because it’s the middle of the night and she’s cold.
At the same time, she is expressing honor. She is basically saying, if God is going to help us, He will use Boaz to do so.
Ruth and Boaz: The Proposal
Finally, she is making a marriage proposal.
So for everyone who thinks that a woman should never be the one to initiate a conversation about marriage, the Bible appears to be okay with it.
And, apparently Boaz appreciates the proposal.
In fact, he is truly flattered.
All of that packed into one little short and sweet line.
Now, let’s look at how Boaz responds.
Ruth 3: 10- 13
“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. 12 Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I. 13 Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.”
Boaz begins by blessing her. He tells her that he is flattered. He also acknowledges that she could have gone after other men. But because she chose to be faithful to Naomi, and come him with her request, he acknowledges her request and promises to fulfill his duty.
But, Boaz also decides to do things properly. There’s a closer redeemer who has first dibs on Elimilech’s property, which includes Ruth.
Ruth and Boaz: The Plan
Now, remember how Orpah returned back to Moab because she was afraid that there was no one to marry in Bethleham?
Here we can clearly see how fear based decisions lead to poor choices.
It’s dangerous to jump to conclusions based on fear. God clearly warns us not to do this throughout the Bible. And when we fail to obey that clear instruction we miss opportunities to do the will of God.
Finally, Boaz gives her rest. He doesn’t send her back home in the middle of the night. He invites her to lie down and sleep. Nothing more could be done at that hour, and when we have done all we can, it’s time to rest.
Although her heart was undoubtedly racing with excitement and anticipation of what else would come, there comes a time when we must be still and know that God is the one doing all the work behind the scenes.
Ruth and Boaz: Before Sunrise
So she lay at his feet until morning, and she arose before one could recognize another. Then he said, “Do not let it be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15Ruth 3:14-15
Alsohe said, “Bring the [dshawl that is on you and hold it.” And when she held it, he measured six ephahs of barley,and laid it on her. Then she went into the city.
After everything that happened, Boaz continued to protect Ruth’s reputation. Of course they knew that things could be misinterpreted by gossips and so he is careful to make sure she is gone before anyone can recognize her. He protects her both physically from dangers at night, and from people who would enjoy slandering.
Finally, Ruth and Boaz parted ways with a plan for what to do next. Ruth left blessed, carrying six ephahs of barley back home. Basically as much as she could carry without becoming exhausted.
Boaz left with a plan to go and make arrangements to marry Ruth.
IS THAT YOU?
When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “Is that you, my daughter?”
Have you ever been so blessed that your whole expression changes? You’re walking on air. Nothing can bring you down.
That’s how Ruth greeted Naomi.
After following all of Naomi’s instructions, Ruth comes back in with great news of success and redemption.
Then she told her all that the man had done for her. 17 And she said, “These six ephahs of barley he gave me; for he said to me, ‘Do not go empty-handed to your mother-in-law.’ ”Ruth 3: 17
Boaz: A Great Catch!
Boaz is such a stunning example of a godly husband because he goes above and beyond, considering the needs of Ruth, and Naomi. He shows honor and respect by blessing the family immediately.
Finally, the chapter comes full circle with more instructions from Naomi.
Then she said, “Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.”Ruth 3: 18
Naomi reminds Ruth that it’s not settled yet, and without quenching her enthusiasm she encourages her to maintain her composure and prepare for the next stage of her life. One way or another she will be married by the evening because Boaz will not rest until the issue is resolved.
Chapter 3 of the Book of Ruth is both pure and romantic. It’s contains subtle suggestions and direct instructions.
One of the biggest reasons that the Book of Ruth has resonated and inspired so many is because it demonstrates the beauty of balance.One of the biggest reasons that the Book of Ruth has resonated and inspired so many is because it demonstrates the beauty of balance. Click To Tweet
Ruth and Boaz establish their relationship based on mutual respect and blessings, honor and a love of God.
This is why every modern Christian woman who is looking to get married, or wants to improve her marriage, needs to spend time studying this love story.
God offers us so many opportunities to enjoy His divine love. In my opinion, God creates the most impact through covenant marriage. When we get that, we are able to understand God in a profound new way.
Love and sex become sacred… dare I say… an act of worship.
Satan has done a thoroughly good job making sex profane, vulgar and sinful. But as we will see in the final chapter of the Book of Ruth, God uses or attraction and love and sexual desire to bring about His plans and to bless His chosen people.
I’d love to hear what you think, please share your answers to the following questions in the comments below. AND feel free to add your own.
- What do you think of this chapter of the Book of Ruth?
- How has dating / courting changed and what do you think the benefits/ disadvantages are?
- What do you think of Ruth’s marriage proposal?
Are you looking for your Boaz?
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