I apologize for being a day late with this post. 🙂 This is the third of a four part series on the book of Ruth. Today we’re concentrating on chapter three, which you can read here if you would like.
The third chapter of Ruth opens with Naomi revealing her plan to find Ruth a husband. At Naomi’s instruction, Ruth dresses her best and goes to the threshing floor where she remains hidden from Boaz until he has eaten and drunk his fill. She lies down at the sleeping Boaz’s feet and waits to do whatever he says.
At some point during the night, Boaz awakens and asks, “Who are you?” Ruth answers and then she asks him to spread his garment over her since he is a guardian-redeemer (or kinsman-redeemer in some versions) of the family. Essentially, Ruth is asking Boaz to marry her. This is a very bold request, and Boaz appears to be moved by it. He speaks a blessing over Ruth and tells her that there is one more closely related than he is and that he (Boaz) will speak to this other man about the matter in the morning. He confirms that he will redeem Ruth if the other man will not do it. He is a man of integrity and he wants to be sure to do things the right way. He also compliments Ruth by saying that all the town knows that she is a woman of noble character and he tells her to stay the rest of the night. This protects her; he said this so that nobody gets the wrong impression about what she was doing on the threshing floor.
She leaves before dawn, but not before Boaz can give her six measures of barley to take home with her. Once again, Boaz has provided lavishly for Ruth and Naomi. After this, Boaz heads into town to find the other guardian-redeemer. Ruth returns to Naomi’s home and tells her all that has happened, and Naomi assures Ruth that Boaz will not rest until the matter of her redemption has been settled.
Once again, there are parallels between Boaz and Jesus. Like Jesus, Boaz is providing for Ruth’s needs. He provides protection of her reputation. Also, Boaz is eager to redeem Ruth just as Jesus is eager to redeem each of us. Just as Boaz will not rest until Ruth has been redeemed, so Jesus is always working towards our redemption and the redemption of our families. He never rests until our redemption is complete.
There are also parallels between Ruth and all of humanity. We are all in need of provision, protection and redemption. God is eager to do these things for us, but I believe He is especially moved when we go out of our way to find Him and ask Him for these things, in the same way that Boaz was moved when Ruth went out of her way to find him and make her request of him. God is a good Father who loves to give good gifts to us!
What stands out to you about this chapter? What are your observations and insights? Please share them in the comments and join the conversation!