Today’s passage: Ruth 3:1-18
- Some believe Naomi was trying to get Ruth to beautify herself in preparation for her meeting with Boaz, but it is quite possible that the bathing, perfuming and changing of clothes signified that Ruth was no longer in her state of mourning after becoming a widow. David did a similar thing after mourning the death of his first son with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:20).
- Naomi’s instructions for Ruth were very risky. Given the nature of the time in which they lived, Ruth’s actions could have been viewed as something far different and sinful. However, the kind of dress Naomi told Ruth to wear would have been for covering (In the cold of night), not for enticing. Ruth’s actions could have been perceived as an offer of sinful interaction…or as a very unconventional proposal of marriage. These ladies left it up to Boaz to decide and respond appropriately.
- Ruth did ask Boaz to marry her, “Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”
- Boaz said yes…as long as one complication could be resolved, a nearer redeemer.
- Boaz also praised Ruth for her devotion to the Law of Israel and her respect for the family she had married into. In a time when Israel had abandoned the Law (Really…the LORD!), this Moabite woman pursued the Lord’s commands without fear or hesitation.
- Boaz’s instructions to Ruth further protected her honorable reputation. Leaving the threshing floor at midnight or shortly thereafter would have made her look like she had come for no good purpose.
- His commitment to do the right thing (Going above and beyond the “letter of the law” to the “spirit of the law”) further showcases Boaz’s integrity and heart for the Lord.
Questions to consider:
- How have Ruth’s actions shown that covenant faithfulness is a matter of the heart and not physical heritage? (Romans 2:28-29)
- What had become Ruth’s reputation among the people of Bethlehem which ended up allowing Ruth and Boaz to be a right fit in marriage? How had she come to have this reputation? How was Ruth a right fit for Boaz in ways that matter far more than social class and wealth?
- What was Ruth able to do after she had obeyed and pursued the Lord’s will? What does following the Lord and partnering with godly people allow us to do even when we don’t know what may transpire?