Ruth 3:1-18 One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for. Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 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. 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.” “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do. 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. In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet! “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 of our family.” “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. 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. Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I. 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.” So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, “No one must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.” He also said, “Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out.” When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and placed the bundle on her. Then he went back to town. When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?” Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her and added, “He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”
Dear God, first, we don’t spend enough time reading the stories of the Old Testament. These are just some great reads. Yes, they are dated and tell us about customs that seem weird to us, but they are still instructive and they are also fun to read.
That being said, everyone’s responses to their situation are very similar to what we would do now. Naomi is trying to solve some big problems for her and for Ruth and she is strategizing. Ruth is being obedient to Naomi as well as being loyal to her. As Boaz says, “All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.” Her reputation precedes her.
And then there is Boaz. He has a good idea he is being used here, but he legitimately sees it as an opportunity to help a good person. He knows Ruth doesn’t mean anything negative by it. It’s the way of their world. But Naomi and Ruth trusted Naomi’s plan because they knew what kind of man Boaz was.
All the while, unbeknownst to them but knownst to us, this is all paving the way for David and Jesus’s earthly lineage. How cool is that? You took the time to share David’s back story and tell us about. Some good people in a hard time.
Father, help me to be a good person. Help me to be wise. Help me to be generous. Help me to simply let go of myself and love you.
In Jesus’s name I pray,