Every Christian can rejoice over the choice He made, and the price He paid. Is the solution to Ruth’s situation best handled in the bed of Boaz in the middle of the night? And so Ruth’s next move is not to do whatever Boaz would tell her, but to humbly and modestly ask him to fulfill his role as the family redeemer. 13 Tamar was told, “Look, your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 14 So she removed her widow’s clothes and covered herself with a veil. 9 He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid. As alluded to above, Ruth 3:1 provides a fascinating "commentary" on the ideal state of marriage, which when entered into within God’s will, is the closest earthly approximation to rest which a human being can enjoy, for ideally a godly marriage fixes and composes the affections for life. Only Christ’s death in your behalf can pay the price for your sins, and only His righteousness bestowed upon you as a gift will meet God’s standards. When we get to Ruth’s actions and choice of words, we find that she obeyed Naomi’s command in a way that was completely honorable and consistent with her noble character.9 We should add that because Ruth responded in a godly and honorable way, Boaz could immediately recognize her piety and respond accordingly. When it comes to our text, some interpreters wish to persuade the reader that there was a common cultural practice underlying the actions which Naomi directed and Ruth carried out. Naomi is not a woman who is walking close to God. I chose to use the expression, “cutting corners,” because it is a word play. The essence of these shortcuts was for Jesus to satisfy, or please Himself, by acting independently of the Father (much as Adam and Eve had done in the Garden of Eden). Verses 6-22: The death of Elimelech and his two sons (1:3, 5), prepared the way for Naomi and Ruth to leave Orpah in Moab (1:6-14), and return together to Beth-lehem (1:15-22). 1 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? He is fully aware that he is (in my words) “an old coot.” He knows that young men would be far more attractive to a young widow like Ruth, and thus her request is but another evidence of her godliness. The problem is that no one can demonstrate this from the Bible. Samson’s relationship with Delilah is a far cry from Ruth’s relationship with Boaz. (1-5) Boaz acknowledges the duty of a kinsman. It falls short of moral high ground. Perhaps it was a familiar storythat a *scribe wrote down after King David’s death. 11 “Now, my daughter, do not fear. Doing things in a way that seems to get the job done, but which falls short of the means God requires. John Trapp Complete Commentary. 2 “Now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were? In any case, there are obviously some sexual overtones to this chapter. Ruth’s punctual observance of those directions (v. 6, v. 7). A little perfume and a nice dress (and, of course, the wine) were not going to influence his decision. t 3 Wash, u put on perfume, v and get dressed in your best clothes. CHAPTER 3. The first question, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you?” does several things. Indeed, what Naomi hoped to achieve is what will ultimately happen in chapter 4. First, some seek to convince us that in that culture there was a commonly understood practice that made this a harmless symbolic request for marriage. Our task as believers who are part of the body of Christ is to challenge our fellow believers to take the high ground and to do the hard (even impossible) things which God requires of us, through the power of His Spirit. 1 Note that both Ruth and Boaz are referred to as people of integrity. We should readily see that it is important for every Christian to discern the difference between sound counsel and ungodly counsel. 20 For where two or three are assembled in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:15-20, NET Bible). Poor Ruth: a destitute, forlorn, bereaved, homeless, portionless widow. 8 Open your mouth on behalf of those unable to speak. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative.” 10 Then he said, “May you be blessed of the Lord, my daughter. When David sinned by numbering the Israelites, God brought a plague of pestilence on the people. Let me mention one final shortcut. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Ruth 3:1-13.BY NAOMI'S INSTRUCTIONS, RUTH LIES AT BOAZ'S FEET, WHO ACKNOWLEDGES THE DUTY OF A KINSMAN. Clearly not! We know that some people who need pain medication can become addicted to it. It was Naomi’s plan that put Ruth and Boaz in the same place (even the same bed) in the middle of the night, with workers nearby. No generation has had as many opportunities to read good books and commentaries, or to listen to sermons on the radio, television, or your MP3 player. Naomi appears to be intent on seeking what is best for Ruth. Essentially, we find the same expression used in Esther 1:10 (“was feeling the effects of the wine”) that is also used in Ruth 3:7 (“and his heart was merry”). Second, if her attire was that of a mourner, wouldn’t this have been evident as she worked in the field of Boaz? III. Why is it that Boaz felt it was necessary to address the redemption of Naomi’s property first, and yet Naomi did not address this matter at all? We know that some people suffer from depression and need psychiatric drugs, at least for a time. How, then, would Boaz deal with his present circumstances? But there are also those who would rather dull emotional pain than deal with it. This indicates that up until this point God had closed her womb. The Search OF the Savior: Why Jesus Came, Part 1 (Luke 19:1-10), Bible Storying Series - Teaching The Story Of God Chronologically, Bible Teaching Ideas: The Ten Commandments And Ten Fingers, Ruth: A Story of Redemption -- A Study of the Book of Ruth. But can you honestly read Naomi’s words to Ruth as the wise and principled counsel of a godly Israelite woman? Why not hasten the process and gain heaven now? IV. He said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother-in-law — There is no mention made before of Boaz thus speaking to her, but it is not unusual for the sacred writers, in the relation of a fact or event, to omit many little circumstances which they occasionally mention afterward. We do not know how long it has been since her husband died, but it would appear to be long enough that her mourning had long since ended. Somehow Ruth and Boaz are able to navigate the moral minefields of this situation and come out unscathed. First, I believe that the text is to be understood as it appears. But having said this, I would hasten to say that when the chapter ends, neither Ruth nor Boaz have compromised their character. The goal was a good one. By this, Naomi claims to be intervening in order to bring about what is best for Ruth. — A settlement in a house of thy own, and thereby rest in comfort and safety, under the care of a good husband. If he listens to you, you have regained your brother. I believe there is a very close link between humility and wisdom.14 Arrogance clouds one’s ability to see things clearly, while humility enables one to see things as they are. Boaz seems to have immediately perceived this to be the case, as we see from his response to Ruth: 10 Then he said, “May you be blessed of the Lord, my daughter. What, Ruth, didn’t realize was that the owner of the field was a relative of, Naomi. The two questions Naomi asked seemed to justify her intervention (meddling/matchmaking). (10) The “transaction” for which Naomi wanted no witnesses (3:3-4) was set aside by Boaz for a “transaction” that had numerous witnesses (4:9-11). In other words, Ruth is asking Boaz to be God’s answer to her prayers by redeeming her. Medication (both illegal drugs and prescription drugs) can be a shortcut. No wonder Boaz will settle the matter of who will redeem Naomi’s property and become Ruth’s husband in broad daylight at the city gate in chapter 4. Then she arose with her daughters-in-law.] If we would appreciate the piety of Ruth and Boaz, then let us reread the story of Samson. I further believe Ruth understood that the provisions in the law for the poor, and for the widows (including redemption/levirate marriage), were a part of the protection God provided for those who sought protection under His wings. Second, I believe that the Scriptures provide me with all the supporting information I need to understand what I find in any biblical text. They attend not to the concerns of their souls, but reject the salvation of Christ, for fear of marring their inheritance. (14-18) Commentary on Ruth 3:1-5 (Read Ruth 3:1-5) The married state should be a rest, as much as any thing upon earth can be so, as it ought to fix the affections and form a connexion for life. Then he gave them new gifts to makethem glad. He then sent her away with all the grain she could carry.16 Anyone who works hard at finding some indication of “romance” in chapter 3 has a lot of explaining to do regarding this hefty load of grain. Ru 1:6-18. 17 And the king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she met with his loving approval more than all the other young women. Naomi had already encouraged Ruth to remain in Moab and to marry a Moabite. The directions given to Ruth by Naomi. It urged Ruth to seek a husband in a questionable and compromising manner. Then she went into the city. We come to the end of chapter 3 with a sigh of relief. The LORD do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me: Ruth had little knowledge of the true God, the God of Israel – but she knew He was a God of fairness and justice, so He could be called upon to hold Ruth accountable to this promise. Lie down until morning.” 14 So she lay at his feet until morning and rose before one could recognize another; and he said, “Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15 Again he said, “Give me the cloak that is on you and hold it.” So she held it, and he measured six measures of barley and laid it on her. Ruth is also one of the few places in the male-dominated world of Scripture where women play the major roles and are the central characters. Allow me to suggest several factors that may have influenced Boaz. On three occasions, the devil presented our Lord with three shortcuts, all of which our Lord refused, basing His decision on the Word of God. John Trapp Complete Commentary. My friend, because our Lord refused to take a shortcut around the cross of Calvary, there is no way that God will accept any shortcut to salvation that you may choose to avoid the cross. But our Lord refused the easy path and chose the path of shedding His blood as the payment for our sins. 4 “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.” 5 She said to her, “All that you say I will do.”. As I was thinking about shortcuts (a.k.a. Young men, this is the standard for you. When I think back on the origin of the Moabites in Genesis 19, the mother of Moab (Lot’s oldest daughter) sounds a lot like Naomi, and nothing like Ruth. Humility is, in fact, seeing things as they are. w Ruth supported herself and Naomi and came into contact with Boaz (1:22 Œ 2:3) w Boaz redeeming Ruth (3:1-5) w The origin of the lineage of David and eventually Christ (4:17; cp. 15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault when the two of you are alone. It is hard to believe that she did not also realize that she would gain from this arrangement as well. Until destruction passes by (Psalm 57:1, NASB95). We are no friend when we encourage others to do “what feels right;” we are only a friend when we encourage them to trust and obey God. Her return to her mother-in-law . Ruth then produced the six measures of barley explaining that Boaz had said, “Do not go empty to your mother-in-law.” We must almost certainly see, in view of the next verse, that Naomi recognised in this gift an acceptance by Boaz of the proposal that had been made, a … On the other hand, it must be noted, there’s no explicit mention of sexual relations here (as there is, for instance in 4:13). Her counsel sets forth a plan which would seemingly provide Ruth with the security and blessings of a husband, a home, and an heir. Providentially, Boaz lays down at “the end of the heap of grain.” In other words, Boaz lays down some distance removed from the workers, providing the kind of privacy that enabled Ruth to slip under the covers at his feet, unnoticed by anyone (even Boaz, for the time being). Ruth 3:1-6 King James Version (KJV) 3 Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee? But to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their minds and consciences are corrupted (Titus 1:15, NET Bible; emphasis mine). Here was the biggest shortcut of all time, a shortcut around the cross. There are many lessons to learn from our text, and I will conclude this message by pointing out a few of them. 16 Then Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus at his royal residence in the tenth month (that is, the month of Tebeth) in the seventh year of his reign. If Jesus would simply bow down and worship him, the devil offered to give Him authority over all the kingdoms of the world. It can become a shortcut to avoid the emotional pains of life. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face (Genesis 38:12-15, NET Bible). Boaz is introduced in the narrative as an esh gibor hayil (a powerful man of integrity) in 2:1, and he pronounces the community’s opinion of Ruth as an eshat hayil (a woman of integrity, a worthy woman) in 3:11. It is not a shortcut for all, but it can be for some – the spiritual study of others. The plan is really simple. In this particular funeral, the fellow was reading the last chapters of the Book of Revelation as he killed himself. 14 But I myself am fully convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another (Romans 15:14, NET Bible). He was (both in fact and in her mind) God’s provision, and thus she phrased her request with these most appropriate words. Fortunately, Boaz was committed to doing the right thing the right way. (19-21) Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem. 5 No eye pitied you, to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you; but you were thrown out into the open field, when you yourself were loathed on the day you were born. 6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law had commanded her. While she agreed to do all that Naomi said, she did not do everything exactly the way Naomi seems to have expected things to be done. 12 “Now it is true I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. No wonder King Lemuel was warned about the dangers of wine: 5 lest they drink and forget what is decreed. Now it was up to Ruth to carry out her mission. I read about an older (well, 69, which isn’t that much older than me) man in Europe, who tried to take a shortcut home by cutting across an estuary and finding himself up to his knees in mud. This story of Ruth is one of the most beautiful accounts in all of the Bible of a man’s relationship with a woman. Yet Esther met with the approval of all who saw her. Biblical Commentary Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17 EXEGESIS: THE CONTEXT: Understanding the context is critical to understanding this lectionary reading. Two godly people would have been the subject of gossip, as though they had acted improperly. We would do well in evaluating the counsel of others if we asked this question: Is the counsel I am being given coming directly from the Words of Scripture, or is it the opinion of the counselor? I have participated in the funeral service of at least one Christian who committed suicide as a shortcut. Verses 1-5 Here is, I. Naomi’s care for her daughter’s comfort is without doubt very commendable, and is recorded for imitation. Such people need to carefully consider whether their medication is truly a solution to their problems or a shortcut around them. Please, no shortcuts when it comes to your eternal destiny. The more important matter has to do with the boldness and integrity exhibited by both Ruth and Boaz. Then she went into the city (Ruth 3:13b-15, NASB95). And she told her all that the man had done to her. I believe that when Boaz commended Ruth for seeking God’s protection (under His wings) in chapter 2, Ruth seized on his words when seeking his protection in chapter 3. 18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven. She instructs Ruth, “Now wash 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.When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do” (Ruth 3:3-4). So let us read on and rejoice. 22 See Romans 8:13; 1 Corinthians 10; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 2:1-10; Colossians 3:5. 13 “Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. Others may need both. Boaz was a “pure” man, and thus he was not predisposed to assume impurity on the part of Ruth. 1 Copyright © 2010 by Robert L. Deffinbaugh. Then the king became extremely angry, and his rage consumed him (Esther 1:10-12, NET Bible; emphasis mine). 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