Until destruction passes by (Psalm 57:1, NASB95). Not surprisingly, Naomi preferred Boaz, and after all he was at the threshing floor, soon to be merry with good food and wine. Poor Ruth: a destitute, forlorn, bereaved, homeless, portionless widow. The prophet Gad instructed David to erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah. While the Israelites were terrified because the sea was before them and the Egyptian army was behind, they were blessed to see God’s hand at work in a powerful way, bringing about their salvation and the destruction of the entire Egyptian army. Naomi is now confident that Boaz will follow up on his commitment and see the matter through to the end. 20 For where two or three are assembled in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:15-20, NET Bible). (1-5) Boaz acknowledges the duty of a kinsman. 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. 12 See the translator’s note in the NET Bible at verse 9. 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? Naomi’s plan strongly suggests that apart from her meddling and Ruth’s feminine wiles, this redemption would never have happened. The author lets the reader assume these things took place. 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. Somehow Ruth and Boaz are able to navigate the moral minefields of this situation and come out unscathed. These are good things, but they should never be a shortcut for your own serious study of God’s Word. But can you honestly read Naomi’s words to Ruth as the wise and principled counsel of a godly Israelite woman? Naomi supplies one more detail. But just how is one to discern the difference? In any case, there are obviously some sexual overtones to this chapter. And she told her all that the man had done to her. (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. Naomi’s proposition is the backdrop against which the moral purity of Ruth and Boaz is contrasted. If we would appreciate the piety of Ruth and Boaz, then let us reread the story of Samson. Naomi may have thought these things would tip the scales in Ruth’s favor, but Boaz was a man of principle. Such people need to carefully consider whether their medication is truly a solution to their problems or a shortcut around them. God’s will can only be accomplished when His Spirit gives life to our flesh which is dead with respect to righteousness.20. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich. Once a marriage was consummated in the marriage bed, there was no easy way out. 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. 18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven. All of this takes place (in my opinion), no thanks to Naomi’s meddling. Boaz is introduced in the narrative as an esh gibor hayil (a powerful man of integrity) in 2:1, and he pronounces the community’s opinion of Ruth as an eshat hayil (a woman of integrity, a worthy woman) in 3:11. Some things are best left to mystery. After Judah was consoled, he left for Timnah to visit his sheepshearers, along with his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 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. and remove from all the poor their legal rights. Circumstances were far from ideal here, but that did not prevent these two people from living in a way that should command our respect. Yes, in a general sense, she is asking Boaz to marry her, but more specifically she is asking him to be her kinsman redeemer (go’el). As she reveals her plan, this assumption seems even more likely to be the case. 12 At the end of the twelve months that were required for the women, when the turn of each young woman arrived to go to King Ahasuerus – for in this way they had to fulfill their time of cosmetic treatment: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfume and various ointments used by women – 13 the woman would go to the king in the following way: Whatever she asked for would be provided for her to take with her from the harem to the royal palace. Third, if her clothing symbolized that she was in mourning, I doubt that the danger of her being molested in some way would have been as great as Boaz feared. First, I believe that the text is to be understood as it appears. Pursued By Grace - Sermon #2. Sitting up and leaning forward, he asked who was there. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s bidding conveyed through the eunuchs. We do not know who wrote Ruth. It is hard to believe that she did not also realize that she would gain from this arrangement as well. While she agreed to do all that Naomi said, she did not do everything exactly the way Naomi seems to have expected things to be done. 19 Again, I tell you the truth, if two of you on earth agree about whatever you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. I can boil the essence of my hermeneutics down to a couple of points. Had Naomi’s scheme produced the physical union of Ruth and Boaz, neither they nor we would be able to rejoice over the hand of God at work in Ruth 4. She wrapped herself and sat at the entrance to Enaim which is on the way to Timnah. And so Boaz instructed Ruth to lie down once again at his feet until morning. (5) Our text should teach us to beware of taking shortcuts. 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. We must study the Word of God for ourselves and not rely merely on the work of others. 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? Boaz would do everything he could for Ruth, but he would do so as God’s law prescribed. The words of Boaz in verse 14 indicate that had anyone seen him and Ruth together that night, they would have assumed the worst. but the kisses of an enemy are excessive (Proverbs 27:6, NET Bible). 13 “Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. I will, however, give a brief 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. Suicide is a shortcut, my friend, and shortcuts are wrong. Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight. Boaz had already indicated that he was well aware of Ruth’s conduct and character in the past, and he pronounced God’s blessings upon her (Ruth 2:11-12). The godly character of both Ruth and Boaz is dramatically displayed against the backdrop of chapter 3. 2. he winnoweth barley to-night in the threshing-floor--The winnowing process is performed by throwing up the grain, after being trodden down, against the wind with a shovel.The threshing-floor, which was commonly on the harvest-field, was carefully leveled with … 2 And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? 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. They attend not to the concerns of their souls, but reject the salvation of Christ, for fear of marring their inheritance. Naomi seems to “pick and choose” the issues she will seek to address by orchestrating a solution. Let us not forget Noah’s nakedness after his consumption of wine in Genesis 9, or the way in which Lot’s daughters employed wine to seduce their father so that he would impregnate them.4 Then there was Absalom’s use of wine in 2 Samuel 13:28 to dull Amnon’s senses so that he could be assassinated. Spread your wings11 over your servant, for you are a redeemer” (Ruth 3:9, ESV). 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. 16. Pay close attention to yourselves, so that you are not tempted too (Galatians 6:1, NET Bible). One reason why I think the author does not call attention to these beautification efforts is because they were inconsequential. 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. 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. The plan is really simple. Ruth is also one of the few places in the male-dominated world of Scripture where women play the major roles and are the central characters. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence. This explains why Boaz will later insist that no one know that “a woman came to the threshing floor” (Ruth 3:14). And she told her all that the man had done for her. like a stag prancing into a trapper’s snare (Proverbs 7:21-22). The problems with this explanation are monumental. We live in a time like that of the judges, when everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes. 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. I have no doubt that Naomi knew who the nearest kin was. t 3 Wash, u put on perfume, v and get dressed in your best clothes. As I was thinking about shortcuts (a.k.a. You might rightly ask why I hold confidently to my position, when others (some of whom are highly respected) see the text quite differently. Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor. — Or rather, Is it thou, my daughter? It would be foolish to assume that God would open Ruth’s womb if her marriage was brought about in a dishonorable way. 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. (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. The kind and honourable treatment Boaz gave her . 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. Boaz, was kind to, Ruth, and invited her to join him and his workers for a meal. He said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother-in-law — There is no mention made before of Boaz thus speaking to her, but it is not unusual for the sacred writers, in the relation of a fact or event, to omit many little circumstances which they occasionally mention afterward. “When they [meaning Ruth and Boaz] came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son.” The Search OF the Savior: Why Jesus Came, Part 1 (Luke 19:1-10), Bible Storying Series - Teaching The Story Of God Chronologically, Bible Teaching Ideas: The Ten Commandments And Ten Fingers, Ruth: A Story of Redemption -- A Study of the Book of Ruth. External information may supplement and illustrate biblical truth, but the interpretation of a biblical text does not hang on something outside of Scripture. Listen very carefully to what I am saying. She considered herself totally unworthy of the kind of treatment she was receiving from Boaz. Ruth comes to Boaz by night at the threshing floor. The more important matter has to do with the boldness and integrity exhibited by both Ruth and Boaz. 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. It was surely not safe to send Ruth back into the city unescorted in the middle of the night. Because of this, Boaz vowed to do everything in his power to honorably fulfill her request. 8 Open your mouth on behalf of those unable to speak. 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. Allow me to suggest several factors that may have influenced Boaz. Then she went into the city. Naomi’s arguments seem to have persuaded Ruth for she promised to do all that her mother-in-law had suggested. Then there was a young man who took a shortcut when hiking in the mountains of Alaska and had to be rescued from a precarious position on the side of a mountain. And so Ruth managed to return to the home of her mother-in-law undetected. 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. On three occasions, the devil presented our Lord with three shortcuts, all of which our Lord refused, basing His decision on the Word of God. 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.. Ver. Whatever it is that some might think Ruth did that night under the covers, Boaz does not see it that way, and we had better esteem her highly, as he did. First, we are never told that she was still in mourning. 7 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Ruth 3:6 "And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her." Then she arose with her daughters-in-law, that she might return from the country of Moab—The aged widow, longing to enjoy the privileges of Israel, resolved to return to her native land as soon as she was assured that the famine had ceased, and made the necessary arrangements with her daughters-in-law. 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. That means that we must do some mining on our own. She lies down beside him, uncovering some part of his body. 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." Young men, this is the standard for you. When David sought to purchase the property on which the threshing floor was located, Araunah offered to give it to David. I believe that when Boaz commended Ruth for seeking God’s protection (under His wings) in chapter 2, Ruth seized on his words when seeking his protection in chapter 3. But now she uses a term which speaks of a maid who is higher in the social strata, a class of maid who would be considered eligible for marriage.12. All is pure to those who are pure. Now it was up to Ruth to carry out her mission. Fourth, the response of Boaz was a reflection of his personal purity. Bob is a pastor/teacher and elder at Community Bible Chapel in Richardson, Texas, and has contributed many of his Bible study series for use by the Foundation. The Search OF the Savior: Why Jesus Came, Part 2 (Gal. Why not hasten the process and gain heaven now? 9 Open your mouth, judge in righteousness, and plead the cause of the poor and needy (Proverbs 31:3-9, NET Bible).5. 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). 19 See Matthew 5:16; 2 Corinthians 4:6; 6:14; Ephesians 5:1-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:5; 1 Peter 2:9. In this particular funeral, the fellow was reading the last chapters of the Book of Revelation as he killed himself. 9 He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid. 8 “When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. That is the way she perceived it. Samson’s relationship with Delilah is a far cry from Ruth’s relationship with Boaz. So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord God” (Ezekiel 16:1-8, NKJV; emphasis mine). 2 “Now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were? 11 “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest. In my opinion, it is a futile effort. IV. 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? I like the way the NASB, KJV, and NKJV translate verse 6, when it says that Ruth “did according to all that her mother-in-law commanded her.” The way I read these words, Ruth did not do everything exactly as Naomi had instructed, but she acted consistently with what she was commanded. (4) Naomi’s plan does not call for thought and reflection, but rather for impulsive, irreversible action. We know what this means from what Naomi has already said to Ruth in chapter 1: “May the Lord enable each of you to find security in the home of a new husband!” Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept loudly (Ruth 1:9, NET Bible). And discover the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:1-5). But it is not difficult to see the godly manner in which Ruth and Boaz handled the risky situation into which they had been placed. I believe that shortcuts are both unbiblical and unwise. She spends the night there and leaves before dawn. Thus, I take the text at face value. This may be what Naomi had in mind, but I am convinced that it is not what Ruth did. The book of Ruth is short, so you should read it. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as you are in fact doing. It would be best found in Moab, not in Israel. We should begin by noting the author’s choice of words in verse 6. I must admit that I am puzzled why so many of the translations would render the same Hebrew word “wings” in Ruth 2:12 and something different in 3:9. I think this was a “male celebration,” with no women present. In chapter 4 verses 18-22,there is a list of people who were born into Ruth’s family. Ruth is a story of biblical proportions including everything from famine, widows, gleaning in the fields, levirate marriage, and justice at the gate to the birth of children of destiny. I also read about a number of people who have taken shortcuts when participating in a marathon race. 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). Naomi’s proposition is pure pragmatism, and it is patently wrong for the following reasons: (1) Naomi proposes to solve a problem in secret that should have been dealt with in public. This story is about an ordinary family whose members suffered manylosses but God went on looking after them. Second, I believe that the Scriptures provide me with all the supporting information I need to understand what I find in any biblical text. 18 See Corinthians 10:13; Romans 14:4; Jude 1:24. Others may need both. At the outset of his public ministry, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to fast and to be tested by the devil. And he lost the opportunity to see God work in his life to lead him through the dark valley in which he found himself. — A settlement in a house of thy own, and thereby rest in comfort and safety, under the care of a good husband. And even before that – in Genesis 17 God tells Abraham that kings will come forth from him and his wife Sarah. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich. Yes, “feet” sometimes are a euphemism in the Bible. 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. The events in it happenedover 3000 years ago. Please, no shortcuts when it comes to your eternal destiny. 16 Then Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus at his royal residence in the tenth month (that is, the month of Tebeth) in the seventh year of his reign. Providentially, Boaz lays down at “the end of the heap of grain.” In other words, Boaz lays down some distance removed from the workers, providing the kind of privacy that enabled Ruth to slip under the covers at his feet, unnoticed by anyone (even Boaz, for the time being). First, one should evaluate the counsel given by another by considering their personal relationship with God. 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. And yet, the vast majority of times it is translated, it pertains to “wings.” Thus, I prefer the rendering of the ESV here. Shortcuts are a way to bypass the blessing of seeing God powerfully at work in our lives. I believe that just as Boaz had declared in chapter 2, Ruth had sought refuge under God’s wings, just as any true Israelite should do. That should cause us to see all kinds of red flags (warnings). Remember, Boaz was a “mighty man of valor.” He showed that not only on the battlefield, and in the barley field, but at the threshing floor as well. A. Ruth's Determination (1:6–18) With nothing to keep her in Moab, Naomi prepared to return to Bethlehem. I believe there is a very close link between humility and wisdom.14 Arrogance clouds one’s ability to see things clearly, while humility enables one to see things as they are. Bob was born and raised in a Christian home i... More, 4. 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). Ruth 3:6-7 So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law had commanded her. 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. (She did this because she saw that she had not been given to Shelah as a wife, even though he had now grown up.) False teachers appeal to our fleshly desires to prompt us to act.21 Teachers of the truth hold forth God’s Word which commands us to mortify the flesh, not indulge it.22 When we are counseled to do that which appeals to our flesh, we can be reasonably sure that it is bad counsel. We now see it for what it was – Naomi’s request was really a command. And after Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was cheerful, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of … Robert L. (Bob)Deffinbaugh graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with his Th.M. It would have been assumed that immorality was the reason for such a liaison. I think of the Corinthian church and the ungodliness of the culture in which those saints were called to live. God Leads Individuals to Provide Economic Opportunities for the Poor and Vulnerable (Ruth 2:17-23) God’s Blessing is Redoubled When People Work According to His Ways (Ruth 3:1-4:18) God Works Through Human Ingenuity (Ruth 3:1-18) God Works Through Legal Processes (Ruth 4:1-12) God Works Through the Fruitfulness of Childbearing (Ruth 4:13-18) Then there was a young man who took a shortcut when hiking in the mountains of Alaska and had to be rescued from a precarious position on the side of a mountain. 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. So far as Naomi is concerned, “seeking security” for Ruth’s well being means getting her a husband. Ruth 3:1-2. Then he gave them new gifts to makethem glad. The indications we are given regarding Naomi’s spiritual condition in chapter 1 are far from encouraging. 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. Jesus Christ is the only way to God,31 and the cross is the only basis for our salvation. 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. This statement is meant to justify her specific proposal and the plot she seeks to set in motion this very night. Here is where the expository “tap dance” begins by some who would seek to convince us that what we assume is taking place here really isn’t. and wine to those who are bitterly distressed; 7 let them drink and forget their poverty. 2 I confess. What, Ruth, didn’t realize was that the owner of the field was a relative of, Naomi. Exegesis and Syntax: (3:1-6) This pericope begins after a period of time lasting roughly three months. Now I say this to forewarn you that I do not believe that Naomi’s proposition meets muster. More than this, Naomi’s question implies that what she is about to propose is intended for Ruth’s good. Ruth told her all that had transpired throughout the night and what Boaz had done for her. Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. 6, 7. When Ruth identifies herself as the servant or maid of Boaz, she chooses a different term than the one she employed in verse 13 of chapter 2. I do not believe that there is some unique cultural interpretation here. 4:4-7), 3. 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. Anyone is at liberty to use this lesson for educational purposes only, with or without credit. God was providentially preparing Naomi for the blessings He was about to bestow on her, and this at a time when she wrongly concluded that He was dealing harshly with her. Meddling and Ruth return to Bethlehem nearest kin was rather for impulsive, action. Had closed her womb about what is best for Ruth, but Boaz was a “ woman excellence! ( 6 ) Naomi ’ s actions and words that she was requested by name these from! 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