Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz did not live during an ideal time of history. But they were part of God’s master plan to change history. God used them to establish the beginnings of something new in Israel.
And although the trio did not understand their unique position at the time, each responded to God in faith, doing the best they could to live their lives according to God’s Will for them. Their faith to respond to God when they lived a hidden life in the hills of Bethlehem of Judah offers us hope. Life is full of periods, but God is at work. He always has a plan, even when the world does not understand or recognize Him.
After the marriage of Boaz and Ruth, all the characters in this story find fulfillment. However, Scripture emphasizes the fulfillment that came to Naomi. She is emply and unfilfilled at the beginning of the book with no obvious source of support. At the close she receives provision and protection through the marriage of her daughter-in-law Ruth to Boaz, and she is blessed by the birth of the son named Obed who will continue the line of her husband Elimelech and herself.
Boaz determines everything will be in order before he takes Ruth as wife, so he arranges a meeting where he reminds the other kinsman-redeemer or obligations and rights.
It was enough. Boaz establishes his position and takes care of the competetion. Accomplishing his purpose requires moving carefully and wisely through the legal procedures of the time.
Boaz understands that if he marries Ruth, the inheritance of her dead husband’s land affects their relationship and any children they might have. This post looks at cultural practices, instituted by God, that affects their future together.
Did Boaz have an inkling ahead of time?
We don’t know, but we do know his response. Yes, he’s interested. However, he cannot ignore details, and he must attend to them.
So Ruth learns about another aspect of faith. Sometimes we step out, only to discover we must wait for God’s answer.
Ruth followed Naomi’s advice when she approached Boaz on the threshing floor. She let him know she was interested, and she reminded him of his position as kinsman-redeemer. A romantic incident couched in teh culture of the time.
This post focuses on one verse, Ruth 3:3. Naomi, the one who knows, offers instructions to Ruth when the young woman prepares to meet Boaz. Because the meeting could be life-changing for all three parties, every detail is important. Naomi even tells Ruth what she must do before she leaves their home. She must wash herself, anoint herself, and put on her cloak or new clothing.
These would be normal preparations today, but they would have required major effort in Ruth’s time. Each offers obvious physical benefits. But they also represent spiritual realities, because each uniquely prepared Ruth to meet the challenge before her.
Because some might wonder if putting on new clothing could actually refer to a spiritual truth, I included additional Scripture references: Zechariah 3 and Ephesians 4:22-24. You might also appreciate Job 29:14 and Colosians 3:12-16.