Ver. 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. She listened to instructions (Ru 3:1-4), obeyed (Ru 3:5-9), believed what her redeemer said (Ru 3:10-14), received his gifts (Ru 3:15-17 ), and waited in patience for him to do the rest (Ru 3:18). 4 As for your nativity, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you were not rubbed with salt nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. I believe it is reasonable to infer from Deuteronomy 16:13-15 and Hosea 9:1-2 that there was a certain amount of celebration associated with the threshing floor, because this threshing took place at the end of the grain harvest. Ruth is to bathe, put on perfume and a dress (presumably the best one she has), and then present herself to Boaz at just the right moment – that moment being after he has eaten and after he has had sufficient wine to be “cheerful” (for his heart to be merry), and after he has settled down in bed. It would have been assumed that immorality was the reason for such a liaison. I am not saying that all prescription drugs are wrong. He was (both in fact and in her mind) God’s provision, and thus she phrased her request with these most appropriate words. 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. Let me mention one final shortcut. Boaz has not told Ruth to do anything; he has asked who she is. 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? (11) If the purpose of Naomi’s plot was not merely to see Ruth married to Boaz, but also the birth of a child, one has to wonder if this could have been achieved in a way that did not honor God. 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? 12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who labor among you and preside over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them most highly in love because of their work. This is not set forth as a question, but as a statement: “Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight” (verse 2). The author takes up his account at the point that Boaz lies down for the night after eating and drinking and being merry in heart. And this is why he refuses to become intimate with Ruth that night, and why he gave the nearest kin the opportunity to do the right thing the next day. Then she went into the city (Ruth 3:6-15, NASB95). No, Ruth was not seeking her own interests; she was seeking the interests of her mother-in-law and her deceased husband (and father-in-law). We are not told about Ruth’s compliance with the first part of Naomi’s instructions – the bathing, putting on of perfume, and a nice dress. This story of Ruth is one of the most beautiful accounts in all of the Bible of a man’s relationship with a woman. Hollywood should be licking its chops to do this as a movie. Ruth 1 Commentary: Verses 6 and 7 6 ¶ Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread. (19-21) Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem. But the reality is that we see no such practice in the Bible – anywhere! It falls short of moral high ground. I am reminded of Paul’s description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:7: [Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:7, NET Bible; emphasis mine). Clearly not! And even before that – in Genesis 17 God tells Abraham that kings will come forth from him and his wife Sarah. Finally, we can learn a great deal from the answer to this question: “Is the counsel being given challenging me to do the difficult (even humanly impossible) thing that is right, or is it justifying me doing the easy thing that I (in my sinful flesh) really want to do?” God’s will is almost never the “path of least resistance.” God’s will was expressed in the law, but we know from Romans 7 that we cannot do it by mere will power or fleshly effort. The indications we are given regarding Naomi’s spiritual condition in chapter 1 are far from encouraging. (5) Our text should teach us to beware of taking shortcuts. So what is the point of calling attention to the fact that Boaz will be at the threshing floor that evening? Boaz would do everything he could for Ruth, but he would do so as God’s law prescribed. 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. The book of Ruth is a beautiful story. 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. I said that drugs can be misused as a shortcut. When David sought to purchase the property on which the threshing floor was located, Araunah offered to give it to David. 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”). Ruth 3:1-2. Naomi’s plan strongly suggests that apart from her meddling and Ruth’s feminine wiles, this redemption would never have happened. (5) Naomi’s plan seems to deliberately bypass and exclude the nearest kin, giving preference to Boaz instead. In His mercy, God stopped short of destroying all. Many young men seem all too willing to go as far as the young woman will permit. After Judah was consoled, he left for Timnah to visit his sheepshearers, along with his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 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. (3) Beware of ungodly counsel that comes from people who appear to be pious and to have our best interest at heart. I think of the Corinthian church and the ungodliness of the culture in which those saints were called to live. Sometime later, Naomi takes matters into her own hands. I will, however, give a brief And when she came to her mother-in-law.] 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). I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence” (Ruth 3:10-11, NASB95). THREE WIDOWS IN A WASHPOT. No wonder King Lemuel was warned about the dangers of wine: 5 lest they drink and forget what is decreed. Ruth 1:6 "Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lord had visited his people in giving them bread." In other words, we take shortcuts in order to solve a problem the easy way, as opposed to God’s way. This suggests to me that Naomi, like Boaz (3:12), knew there was a closer relative. From the city of Bethlehem, from her mother-in-law's house there, to the threshing floor of Boaz, which was at some distance from it, and lower. And, it is worth noting, this foreign widow mirrors God’s own faithful love, God’s. More evidences of providential care are yet to come in the Book of Ruth. We know that some people suffer from depression and need psychiatric drugs, at least for a time. 6. 19 See Matthew 5:16; 2 Corinthians 4:6; 6:14; Ephesians 5:1-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:5; 1 Peter 2:9. This explains why Boaz will later insist that no one know that “a woman came to the threshing floor” (Ruth 3:14). All is pure to those who are pure. If Boaz is a prototype of Christ, our Redeemer, then should he not have been trusted to assume a leadership role in redeeming the family property and marrying Ruth? The more important matter has to do with the boldness and integrity exhibited by both Ruth and Boaz. Exegesis and Syntax: (3:1-6) This pericope begins after a period of time lasting roughly three months. Thus, he would not become intimate with Ruth until this matter was resolved properly, in broad daylight, in the city gates, in the presence of the nearest kin and the elders of the city. Ask Jacob about that.7 So, Naomi’s plan was to coax Boaz to become the family redeemer by having sex with Ruth (under the influence of wine). Just what kind of shortcuts might I be talking about that you and I might face today? 13 “Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. It is hard to believe that she did not also realize that she would gain from this arrangement as well. 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. Circumstances were far from ideal here, but that did not prevent these two people from living in a way that should command our respect. 3 I believe it is significant that the word Naomi uses here is not the word (gaal) that is used in verses 9 and 12. It is inconceivable that Naomi would not have known who the nearest kin was.8 In addition to this, the word Naomi used in Ruth 3:2 to describe Boaz as a relative was not the term she should have used for the closest relative. (6) Naomi’s scheme needlessly put the reputation of two godly people at risk. Yes, “feet” sometimes are a euphemism in the Bible. Tamar knew that when Judah, her father-in-law, went to Timnah to “shear his sheep” this would be a similar time of celebration, a time when Judah might be expected to use the services of a prostitute, and thus she dressed as a prostitute and was “hired” by Judah in this capacity. 20 For where two or three are assembled in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:15-20, NET Bible). We come to the end of chapter 3 with a sigh of relief. 8 It happened in the middle of the night that the man was startled and bent forward; and behold, a woman was lying at his feet. 9 He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid. We do not know who wrote Ruth. Because of this, Boaz vowed to do everything in his power to honorably fulfill her request. The problem is that no one can demonstrate this from the Bible. On the other hand, Boaz showed compassion toward the poor by not cutting the corners of his field. I could say the same for Tamar in Genesis 38 and for Mordecai (Esther’s uncle) in the Book of Esther. Think of the destitute circumstances of a bereaved sinner, when awakened to find out how deplorably he is ruined and utterly undone under the fall. God’s will can only be accomplished when His Spirit gives life to our flesh which is dead with respect to righteousness.20. Her counsel sets forth a plan which would seemingly provide Ruth with the security and blessings of a husband, a home, and an heir. They attend not to the concerns of their souls, but reject the salvation of Christ, for fear of marring their inheritance. 15 When it became the turn of Esther daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai (who had raised her as if she were his own daughter) to go to the king, she did not request anything except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who was overseer of the women, had recommended. I have participated in the funeral service of at least one Christian who committed suicide as a shortcut. Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. She spends the night there and leaves before dawn. We should begin by noting the author’s choice of words in verse 6. So he placed the royal high turban on her head and appointed her queen in place of Vashti (Esther 2:12-17, NET Bible). We seek to find shortcuts because of the level of difficulty we perceive, but it is God who raises the level of difficulty in order to demonstrate His power and His grace. See also Habakkuk 2:15. 5 This is not an attempt to categorically condemn wine; it is merely an effort to show that wine can be misused to take advantage of another, or to dull one’s judgment or skills. 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. Preaching Series on Ruth (Week 3 of 4) Week 3: August 5, 2018 Preaching text: Ruth 3:1-18; accompanying text: Matthew 7:7-8 Ruth 3: Daring to Act Sometime later, Naomi takes matters into her own hands. The owner’s name was, Boaz. This is not the way it happened in our story. Anyone is at liberty to use this lesson for educational purposes only, with or without credit. and wine to those who are bitterly distressed; 7 let them drink and forget their poverty. I can boil the essence of my hermeneutics down to a couple of points. Until destruction passes by (Psalm 57:1, NASB95). When David sinned by numbering the Israelites, God brought a plague of pestilence on the people. That is the way she perceived it. 9 Open your mouth, judge in righteousness, and plead the cause of the poor and needy (Proverbs 31:3-9, NET Bible).5. on StudyLight.org This is the edited manuscript of Lesson 3 in the series, Ruth: A Story of Redemption, prepared by Robert L. Deffinbaugh on January 31, 2010. 3 “Wash yourself therefore, 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. She was between the two countries. The two questions Naomi asked seemed to justify her intervention (meddling/matchmaking). Some things are best left to mystery. 2 “Now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were? Now it was up to Ruth to carry out her mission. Here was the biggest shortcut of all time, a shortcut around the cross. You (and I, and every man) should be the kind of moral leader who takes the moral high ground, protecting the purity and reputation of those women with whom we associate. 13 “Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. On the one hand, it refers to a shortcut. The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings Read more. It would be foolish to assume that God would open Ruth’s womb if her marriage was brought about in a dishonorable way. This indicates that up until this point God had closed her womb. But our Lord refused the easy path and chose the path of shedding His blood as the payment for our sins. His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark (Psalm 91:4, NASB95). Her response to the inquiry of Boaz is a masterpiece: He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Her return to her mother-in-law . 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. But there are also those who would rather dull emotional pain than deal with it. Naomi begins by asking two questions which are intended to persuade Ruth to take her advice and carry out her scheme. 7 When Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came secretly, and uncovered his feet and lay down. Humility is, in fact, seeing things as they are. — Or rather, Is it thou, my daughter? Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as a shortcut to that knowledge that would make them “like God.”23 Abram and Sarai grew weary of waiting for God to give them a son as He had promised, and so, at the prompting of Sarai, Abram slept with Hagar, resulting in the birth of Ishmael24 – a shortcut for which we are still paying the price. cutting corners), I decided to do a search on the Internet to see what kind of shortcuts I could find. The book of Ruth is short, so you should read it. And she told her all that the man had done for her. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s bidding conveyed through the eunuchs. If we would appreciate the piety of Ruth and Boaz, then let us reread the story of Samson. In our culture, it is sometimes assumed that men will be the aggressors and that it is the woman’s role to “put on the brakes.” This is often the case in dating. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich. 17 She said, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said, ‘Do not go to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’ ” 18 Then she said, “Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today” (Ruth 3:1-18, NASB95). 7 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! This statement is meant to justify her specific proposal and the plot she seeks to set in motion this very night. It reminds Ruth that she is her mother-in-law, no insignificant fact in those days, and perhaps in ours as well. News had reached her that Yahweh had visited ( pāqaḏ, niv 's “come to the aid of” ) Judah. And once that union was consummated, there was no turning back. Because it is about ordinary people, this story can helpus today. But it was Boaz who took the moral leadership so as to protect the purity and reputation of Ruth. I have no doubt that Naomi knew who the nearest kin was. 15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault when the two of you are alone. Ruth told her all that had transpired throughout the night and what Boaz had done for her. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. The first question, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you?” does several things. I do not believe that the interpretation of any text hangs upon information (alleged or true) that has been discovered outside the Bible. Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight. As much as Boaz wanted to comply with Ruth’s petition, there was something that he could not overlook as a man of principle, as a man who was intent on obeying God’s law. If he listens to you, you have regained your brother. (4) Naomi’s plan does not call for thought and reflection, but rather for impulsive, irreversible action. The author lets the reader assume these things took place. But having said this, I would hasten to say that when the chapter ends, neither Ruth nor Boaz have compromised their character. Just the position of a soul awakened. Ruth 3:1. It is not a shortcut for all, but it can be for some – the spiritual study of others. We are told in Ruth 4:13 that God enabled Ruth to conceive. I chose to use the expression, “cutting corners,” because it is a word play. She consistently took the moral high ground, as Boaz bears witness in 3:10-11. What, Ruth, didn’t realize was that the owner of the field was a relative of, Naomi. Such people need to carefully consider whether their medication is truly a solution to their problems or a shortcut around them. (She did this because she saw that she had not been given to Shelah as a wife, even though he had now grown up.) 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. I also read about a number of people who have taken shortcuts when participating in a marathon race. He recognized that had she sought to merely satisfy her physical desires, she would have looked elsewhere – to someone younger. Indeed, what Naomi hoped to achieve is what will ultimately happen in chapter 4. 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? I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence. And yet, the vast majority of times it is translated, it pertains to “wings.” Thus, I prefer the rendering of the ESV here. I find it hard not to assume that since Naomi knew that Boaz would be at the threshing floor that evening, she anticipated that this would likely be a more vulnerable time for Boaz. So why did she choose the words that she spoke to Boaz? In other words, Ruth is asking Boaz to be God’s answer to her prayers by redeeming her. The plan is really simple. (2) Men are called to be moral leaders in their relationship with the opposite sex. The goal was a good one. Spread your wings11 over your servant, for you are a redeemer” (Ruth 3:9, ESV). 17 She said, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said, ‘Do not go to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” 18 Then she said, “Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today” (Ruth 3:16-18, NASB95). David refused this shortcut, insisting that he could not offer a sacrifice that cost him nothing.30. He could not escort her home without raising all kinds of questions, nor could it be known that any woman was there on the threshing floor that night. Naomi Returning Home, Ruth Accompanies Her. In spite of Naomi’s scheme, Boaz sees nothing in Ruth’s words or deeds which change his opinion of her. Bob was born and raised in a Christian home i... More, 4. 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. Stated in a different way, Naomi’s proposition (as she coached Ruth to carry out her plan) did not appeal to one’s moral high ground. So with that background in mind, let’s start reading Ruth 3:1. 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. Now I say this to forewarn you that I do not believe that Naomi’s proposition meets muster. 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. But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the Lord lives. Remember that marriage was not consummated by the declaration of a preacher, or elder; marriage was consummated by the sexual union of a man and a woman. 12 “Now it is true I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. In any case, there are obviously some sexual overtones to this chapter. This in… Shortcuts are a way to bypass the blessing of seeing God powerfully at work in our lives. 6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing. 16 There is a good bit of discussion as to just what the quantity of grain was, but it seems fair to say that it was a generous gift, which would be as much as a woman could carry. 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. (7) Naomi’s plan wrongly implied that Ruth needed to take the initiative in this matter of redemption and levirate marriage, as though Boaz would not have done so on his own. Then she arose with her daughters-in-law.] She made a point of calling attention to the barley that Boaz had sent with her, indicating that these were a gift from Boaz to Naomi. We cannot accept the “watered down” (pardon the pun) rendering of the NET Bible here: “When Boaz had finished his meal and was feeling satisfied.” It is just too obvious that Naomi was anticipating that the wine would have a dulling effect on Boaz’s judgment. Come on, that’s just trying too hard to avoid the obvious. But they would fail to appreciate the virtue of both Ruth and Boaz in their zeal to capitalize on the sexual nuances of Naomi’s plan. For the danger of the way, being so early before day; (2.) At the outset of his public ministry, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to fast and to be tested by the devil. Robert L. (Bob)Deffinbaugh graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with his Th.M. like a stag prancing into a trapper’s snare (Proverbs 7:21-22). 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. Every Christian can rejoice over the choice He made, and the price He paid. 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. Folks, when a woman bathes, puts on perfume and dons her best dress, and then secretively climbs under the covers with a man who has had his fill of food and wine, I don’t think anyone in any culture would read this in any way but what we all assume. Then she went into the city. Ruth 3 Commentary: Verses 1 – 5. Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her After the harvests were over, and so gleaning likewise; when Naomi and Ruth were together alone in their apartment, the mother addressed the daughter after this manner: my daughter, shall I not seek for thee, that it may be well with thee? I think this was a “male celebration,” with no women present.
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