That as Boaz dealt with Ruth, so Christ deals with every one of his repentant, believing people: As she cast herself at the feet of Boaz, so we cast ourselves at the feet of Christ. The other relative could not redeem â but Boaz could and did. But I’ll tell you what is indispensable: virtue and integrity. And that is not what we’re saying at all. She went home, and she told her everything that Boaz had done for her, and she added, “And he gave me these six measures of barley, saying, ‘Your empty days are over.’” And Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. And also, you recognize that Naomi wasn’t one of these old women who grudge younger women the comforts and advantages which they themselves are now too old to enjoy or to relish. There is a place for concealment. In Ruth 2:1, he is described as a kinsman and â¦ Does the story of Ruth and Boaz prove your theory wrong of men initiating dating relationships and women responding? Boaz immediately took the opportunity to confirm before many witnesses that he was next in line and would take the land and Ruth as his wife. And here she comes again. And if not, why not tonight? copyright Â© 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. They’re not. She should lay down at the feet of Boaz. When he lies down, note where he is; then go, uncover his feet, and he will tell you what to do.” So she’s done everything, uncovered his feet, he wakes up, he says, “Who are you?” She says, “I am Ruth,” and then, before waiting for him to tell her what to do, she starts asking him to do something for her. Yes, you may have to divert your plans and your expectations. But there are some things you shouldn’t completely give up for the other person. In fact, the kind of things that most people are going to say are not the kind of things that you want written on your résumé or sent home in a note to your mother. NO, Boaz did NOT take what was ***NOT*** his. He did not date Ruth to see if he was ready to get married. The Jewish laws would have to be in place concerning marriage. And we discovered that Naomi’s concern was, in chapter 3, as it had been in chapter 1:11, that in this instance her daughter-in-law Ruth would be provided for, that she would be settled in her life. If she had waited until she had all the details, she would never have gone ahead. Yet it is set in dark times: the final verse of the book of Judges, which precedes Ruth in the Bible, tells us that âin those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.â As one commentator writes, the time was marked by âviolent invasions, apostate religion, unchecked lawlessness, and tribal civil war.â It is against this backdrop of strife and chaos that Ruthâs story unfoldsâa story of ordinary people in Bethlehem facing everyday events, from loss and dislocation to marriage and family life. They want details before they’re prepared to trust God. Something that you are contemplating doing, a place that you are planning to go, a venture that you’re undertaking, someone to whom you’re going to speak—whatever it may be—that is all about faith. Get it resolved. We have been discovering some very important and practical lessons that have emerged from looking at this section of the Bible, and I think, in much the same way as when we studied Joseph, we have found ourselves greatly stirred and encouraged. There’s lots of people there. Gentle persuasions and serious advice may frequently be put to good use. And they’re in the waiting room, and they’re waiting to make sure that all of the implications of their actions are detailed for them—that the eventualities of what would happen if they went there, and then, of course, if the road divided here and they took a right, then that would of course place them here, which would in turn make it difficult for them to get there, and so on. Boaz recognized this and blessed Ruth by saying, "May the LORD reward your work, and your wages be full from the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge " (Ruth 2:12 NASB). We must see this that there is no redemption except through Jesus Christ. The book of Ruth ends by showing that Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David, from whom Christ came. permission. You don’t want her? And yet she proceeds. Ruth was NOT his when she went to the threshing floor. If she was vulnerable in the barn, she’s going to be more vulnerable outside of the barn in the middle of the night. NO, Boaz did NOT contradict himself by protecting Ruthâs safety in the day only to then around to violate her in the night. She dependent upon Boaz’s mercy; we dependent upon Christ’s mercy. And, of course, the instruction that has been given to Ruth and which she has been in accord with is that she should go down to the threshing floor, not interrupt Boaz while he’s having his meal, but make sure that she finds out where it is that he lies down, because once he’s gone off to sleep and under cover of darkness, she’s actually going to show up and uncover his feet. You see, even good men and women can give bad examples. Truth For Life is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Verses 6-13. [I’ll] do for you [whatever] you ask. Thanks for your question. I want you to have children. You don’t need to let guys initiate all the conversations or otherwise be a shrinking violet. The book of Ruth ominously warns us of the dangers an unprotected young woman faced during the period of the judges, but it also introduces Boaz as a God-fearing man who respects and protects women. And Ruth, ’cause her mother-in-law said, is going down, and next she has to uncover his feet, which she does. I want you to have a husband. Ruth pursued Boaz. They grow old, and instead of being able to rejoice in what is happening to those coming up behind them, they’re constantly bemoaning the fact that it isn’t happening to them, or that they’re no longer able to enjoy it, or that they’re not going on vacation, or that they no longer have the companionship. Your other question was essentially, “If that’s true, now what?” Is it sin for a woman to ask a guy if he wants to grab coffee? However, there was someone else who was closer kin than Boaz, but we know that Boaz took care of that situation. But given the way this thing has unfolded, he recognizes that the best thing for her to do is stay put. Ruth was Naomiâs âride or dieâ. “That you are a woman of noble character.” Well, that’s worth everything, isn’t it? Those obligations included “redemption” (thus, “redeemer”) of family lands, protection of the widow from poverty, and in certain appropriate contexts, marriage to a male relative’s widow. Before Tristan and Isolde, before Romeo and Juliet, and even before Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth of Pride and Prejudice, there were Boaz and Ruth.Their love story, dating from approximately 1000 BC, is still powerfully relevant in the twenty-first century. You understand? The Boaz and Ruth story in the Bible is a very fascinating and romantic love story. You don’t know the eventualities, and you don’t know the implications. That man declined, allowing Boaz to marry Ruth. Is it OK to sleep together without having sex? I will pray for the Lord to give you wisdom (and patience) as you continue to think through these things. But there’s a problem. Did you ever think of this? Whether the young man was rich or whether he was poor, whether he was tall or short, fat or thin, whatever, you could have looked with absolute freedom out over the panorama of opportunity. !- but Boaz ultimately took the reins directly after. Now, I love this next phrase: “Then she told her everything.” “Then she told her everything.” Listen, girls: beware of doing anything that you would not want your affectionate mother to know. Fine. Whatâs remarkable about this plan was that Boaz was suited as a âkinsman-redeemerâ to take her as his wife. Boaz was in a position to marry any woman he wanted. All rights reserved worldwide. Boaz taking her to himself and making her his bride; Christ the Bridegroom taking us to himself and making us his bride. Then trust the providence of our good and sovereign God about a relationship with any particular guy. Boaz Did Not Pursue Ruth at First Despite Boaz being the stereotypical encouragement for Christian women to hope for in a husband, Boaz did not follow the typical man pursuing woman call. She was not wealthy â in fact, she was less than a servant girl. Notice that throughout the story Boaz is careful to pursue Ruth in the right way. Boaz also had witnesses (4:9) to confirm that he acted with integrity. Of course not. This is why Naomi and Ruth were such “buds,” you know. “Is this the little girl I carried? Because I’m gonna guarantee the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.” Paraphrased: “He’s hot to trot! For sermons preached before And here I have some plans and ideas for you. She might have said, “You know, you really want me to go down in there and go in the middle of the night, in amongst a bunch of men in a barn?”, Because, after all, think about this: I’m not sure that we would want to use this now as a model for giving advice to our daughters about finding a husband. After all, he knows her motives, she trusts his integrity, everyone else is asleep. Because this man needs to have a fair shot at the game, as it were. In honoring her request, Boaz foreshadows Jesus, our Kinsman-Redeemer. In fact, he couldnât even rest until the matter was properly settled (3:18). At that point, we have to trust God and venture out on the basis of his Word. It’s not uncommon to find well-meaning believers who, frankly, have made very little progress in their Christian life. Therefore, that is why, as we trace our line through here, it’s very important for us to recognize that behind this process here, behind this unfolding drama—and certainly this is the high point of the story of Ruth here in chapter 3—behind these highly unusual actions, what we discover is a sincere trust in Yahweh’s care and protection. Boaz does all his account settling with a âcloud of witnessesâ so there will be no further claims on Naomi and Ruthâs lives. But I tell you, it will stand you in good stead. “‘Who are you?’ … ‘[I’m] your servant Ruth,’ she said.” Wow, okay! Thank you. ‘This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier.’” What was the kindness that she showed earlier? In the loss, for example, of your mother, then she may have had a particular friend. We know that when she was instructed to head to the threshing floor to meet Boaz. In fact, a much closer modern analogy would be a woman who asks her father (or another male Christian relative, or a pastor or couple in her church) to provide oversight and protection for her by vetting potential suitors, providing counsel during a dating relationship and helping see her through to marriage. And the same is true for the bereaved. In chapter 2 we are introduced to Boaz, the Christ figure. You want her? Or that we would use it as a strategy, calling our daughters at university and saying to them, “Listen, I just read an amazing story in Ruth chapter 3. … if [he’s] not willing, [then I] as surely as the Lord lives … will do it.”. I think one thing a lot of us overlook is that when Ruth approached Boaz, she didnât do so because he was the one she desired or because he paid attention to her. Ruthâs declaration is a leaving off of everything else to pursue a course with Naomi, her people, and her God. Others may have used it as an opportunity for reproach, to condemn the woman harshly, to wake everybody in the barn up and say, “Hey, hey! He provides. I have been meditating on this word picture in which Godâs care of his children is compared to that of a bird taking care of her baby birds. You find that in people. Policies We’re grateful for them all. Copyright Â© 2020, Alistair Begg. You get one little thing like this, and you’re off into some kind of Islamic trip. In fact, I think, as much as I am commending Ruth for her obedience, I was hoping during the week that she might have had just a little bit more savvy herself—that she might have challenged this notion. They may never have read their Bible in seventeen weeks, but as soon as they find a passage like this, they’re off to the races. All rights reserved. Boaz was second in line. Ruth was a Moabite woman had come to Israel as the widow of an Israelite man. Ruth did her work as unto God and not for the applause of others and in the end, she reaped benefits that she could not have ever imagined (Col 3:23-24). In seeking to apply Scripture to our lives, it’s obviously hugely important that we correctly consider the genre, context and authorial intent of the book or passage we’re reading. I canât express how precious that moment was, but I just couldnât stop saying how good and loving God is to me. Compulsion belongs not to a parent but to a tyrant. You see, also, to take all of the kind of sensuality out of this, all of the sort of twenty-first-century-and-post sexuality—the idea of Ruth going down to the threshing floor, sort of strutting her stuff, you know, all dressed up to the nines and ready for action—is just nowhere in the passage. My girlfriend says sleeping together is something she absolutely needs or she thinks it will be impossible to continue the relationship. I find when I’m watching Boaz or observing his responses… I don’t know. You can get a bad example from a good person. Again, I totally understand the temptation to read Ruth in the way you described. And why don’t you go ahead and do this, and follow my advice, and proceed on the journey.”. Used by permission. Right? Naomi and Ruth did not pursue a scheme by which Boaz would be enticed into immorality and then become entrapped so that he would have to marry Ruth. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after So the story is not like the front of a Hollywood set that exists so that some story can be told on the basis of a fabrication. Did you ever think of that? Lest we spend our lives very safe, very comfortable, very cold, very refrigerated, stuck in the waiting room. He’s certainly pushing grain around like crazy. Copyright 2014 Scott Croft. Naomi is about to lose Elimelechâs land and has no son to care for her and Ruth (Ruth 4:1â4), and so she asks Ruth to pursue Boaz in 3:1â5 in order to keep the property and produce an heir. I have always taken the story of Ruth and Boaz to be an example of a woman initiating and pursuing a relationship with a godly man, and I have found it to be very freeing as a woman seeking a husband in the Christian dating world. Now, I know that on the leap years or something, apparently, women can propose to men. That’s the kind of flavor here. “What do you mean, she goes off-line?” Well, this wasn’t in the script. It’s not an ideal situation. You need to look up and beyond the horizon. Sacrifice is a significant part of any healthy relationship. You don’t know what happens. You want a rule of thumb? All concealment isn’t lying. “Well, it’s…” and so on.  Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, “Sunrise, Sunset” (1971). So Ruth was vulnerable. And if he starts to go with her and stirs the whole place up, then it’s going to be a fiasco if he gets one of his servants, and they go plowing around through the middle of the night—who knows what will take place? And Naomi said, “How did it go, my daughter?”. Then instead of sitting in a pool of pity, agonizing over your own loss, recognize that this friend of your mother’s has also had a great loss, and you may now show your esteem and affection for your mother by caring most directly for the one who is also aware of loss. 316.) As a matter of scriptural interpretation, Ruth’s approach of Boaz on the threshing floor (Ruth 3:1-13) is not an example of romantic initiation by a woman toward a man. That’s your second out. And it is a reminder to us in passing that the best proof which you and I can give of our affection for someone whom we loved and who has been taken from us is to show proper attention to the happiness and the comfort of the persons who were dearest in life to the one who has been taken. Within lifeâs humdrum and routine events, we discover His loving hand at work. As I’ve written before (including in the article you referenced) the Bible clearly teaches that men are to be — and in fact, are, whether they do it well or badly — the initiators and leaders within marriage (see Genesis 2, 1 Corinthians 11, Ephesians 5). Boaz is said to be a relative. That’s him, you know: “Sunrise, sunset. I’ve had my wife come into the bedroom in the middle of the night, and I go, “Who are you?”, “I’m your wife. “Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and [he] sat there.” So they’re both waiting now. 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