Archive for February 18th, 2015

Ruth 3

Ruth 3 has Naomi coaching her daughter in law about taking action to be redeemed.  She was trying to provide security for Ruth through a kinsman.  Over the period of the harvests, Ruth and Boaz got to know each other pretty well – by seeing what kind of person the other was.  Boaz was a strong leader and respected man in his tribe.  Ruth was a very hard working young woman who served her mother in law well.  Boaz is working late on the threshing floor, and Naomi advises Ruth to go and see what Boaz tells her to do.

The plan was simple.  Ruth was to wait until Boaz had finished his work, ate his supper and had a drink and gone to bed on the threshing floor.  She was to “uncover his feet and lie down”.  This was not a plot to try and trick Boaz into taking Ruth as a wife.  But it was a fulfillment of his position in the family based on the Hebrew word goel, the kinsman-redeemer, was responsible to safeguard the persons, the property, and the posterity of the family.  Boaz was the man who carried that duty towards Elimelech (though he was now deceased).

It was necessary to protect the family and name of Elimelech, otherwise it would perish. Perpetuating the family name of Elimelech (and every man in Israel) was thought to be an important duty. This protections showed how important it was to God to preserve  the family – and that it is also important to Him today.  Boaz awakes to find Ruth at his feet and says “And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman. And now it is true that I am a redeemer. Yet there is a redeemer nearer than I”.

Boaz rightly calls out the fact that there is another relative closer than he in the lineage, so that has to be addressed before he can fulfill the role of goel for Ruth.  Boaz and Ruth were not trying to hide anything; it was just that Boaz didn’t want this nearer relative to learn that Ruth was now demanding her right to marriage to a goel before Boaz could tell him personally.  So he gives her some grain and sends her back to Naomi while he sorts out the situation, which he promises to resolve quickly.  “Remain tonight, and in the morning, if he will redeem you, good; let him do it. But if he is not willing to redeem you, then, as the Lord lives, I will redeem you”.  Boaz is obviously a faithful man, and is going to take action to make sure Ruth is cared for.

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