Here is the question: Do you, like Ruth, want more?
The third scene of the book:
- (1) Moab
- (2) Field in Bethlehem
- (3) Threshing Floor
- (4) City Gate
- It is similar to scene 2 — a setting, a back and forth between Ruth and Boaz, and waiting with Naomi.
Christ is our redeemer. Notice 5 things today.
Naomi’s Plan (1-7)
1 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you?
Naomi wants something for Ruth. Everything she says seems to go beyond her own redemption, or Elimelech’s, but is now centered upon Ruth.
Are you seeing the shift in Naomi’s focus? From self to Ruth. She is turning into a different person. This is crucial to ultimate happiness (joy).
- Philippians 2:3–4 (ESV)—3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
2 Is not Boaz our relative, with whose young women you were? See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3 Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 But 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.”
Is this sexually charged?
- With what we know of Ruth, how could it be? This would never her style.
- With what we know of God’s Word, how could it be? This would never be glamorized.
- This isn’t an improper procedure, but a way to initiate with Boaz where he could still refuse.
- This seems to be a way for Ruth to communicate that she is available to Boaz, no longer a mourning widow.
5 And she replied, “All that you say I will do.”
1. Offer yourself to Christ.
If you want more of Christ there is a preparation of life.
- James 4:8 (ESV)—8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her. 7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down.
7 His heart was merry: Hebrew idiom — This phrase is used in the Bible to describe feelings of euphoria brought on by a wide variety of causes (good job offer, national holidays, days of youth, wonderful meals). It likely means something like “at peace with the world.” This was a happy time of his life.
Boaz’s Response (8-13)
8 At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! 9 He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”
9 I am Ruth, your servant: She does not identify herself as the Moabite or wife of Mahlon. This indicates that she is in this for more than just the classic redemption (male line, fields stay in the family), but because she wants Boaz (a marriage).
2. Boldly request of Christ.
- 1 John 5:14–15 (ESV)—14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
- Her request was based on a word — Ruth 2:12 (ESV)—12 The Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!”
- Get into the Word and you’ll see what God has promised you!
10 And he said, “May you be blessed by the LORD, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich.
Here we learn why Boaz hadn’t pursued Ruth.
3. Rejoice over the joy of Christ.
The attitude of Christ toward His church — Ephesians 5:25 (ESV)—25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, / 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church…
God rejoices when you refuse to “go after” the more visibly attractive elements of this world.
- 1 John 2:16 (ESV)—16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.
11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman.
4. Note what is important to Christ.
Other translations: Noble character (HCSB, NIV), woman of excellence (NASB), virtuous woman (NKJV, NLT).
Proverbs 31:30 (ESV)—30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
12 And now it is true that I am a redeemer. Yet there is a redeemer nearer than I. 13 Remain tonight, and in the morning, if he will redeem you, good; let him do it. But if he is not willing to redeem you, then, as the LORD lives, I will redeem you. Lie down until the morning.”
Another reason Boaz hadn’t pursued Ruth. He’d done his homework, more than Naomi, and realized he was no t the first one qualified to redeem Ruth.
Ruth & Naomi Wait For Boaz (14-18)
14 So she lay at his feet until the morning, but arose before one could recognize another. And he said, “Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15 And he said, “Bring the garment you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley and put it on her. Then she went into the city.
5. Happily celebrate men of Christ.
The narrator had described Boaz as a “worthy man” (2:1), the same description Boaz used for Ruth. So they belong together!
- Boaz didn’t drag his feet.
- Boaz didn’t touch her sexually.
- Boaz would work hard for her.
- Boaz was grateful for her.
- Boaz became serious because of a serious woman.
16 And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her, 17 saying, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said to me, ‘You must not go back empty-handed to your mother-in-law.’ ” 18 She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today.”
Now it was time for the hard work of waiting.
- Exodus 14:13 (ESV)—13 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again.
Do you know of your value to Christ?
- 1 Peter 1:18–20 (ESV)—18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you…