TRUST AND OBEY
My Lord, teach me to trust You today as I meet You in Your Word.
Read Ruth 3
Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor
3 One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home[a] for you, where you will be well provided for. 2 Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3 Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”
5 “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. 6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.
7 When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. 8 In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!
9 “Who are you?” he asked.
“I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer[b] of our family.”
10 “The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. 11 And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character. 12 Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I. 13 Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.”
14 So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, “No one must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.”
15 He also said, “Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out.” When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and placed the bundle on her. Then he[c] went back to town.
16 When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?”
Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her 17 and added, “He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’”
18 Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”
- Ruth 3:1 Hebrew find rest (see 1:9)
- Ruth 3:9 The Hebrew word for guardian-redeemer is a legal term for one who has the obligation to redeem a relative in serious difficulty (see Lev. 25:25-55); also in verses 12 and 13.
- Ruth 3:15 Most Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate and Syriac she
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhen you look toward the future, are you more likely to look forward in anticipation or worry?
I wonder just what Ruth’s thoughts were as the harvest season came to an end. It had been a hard but a blessed time. Did she look to the future and worry? Or continue taking each day as it came, sensing that somehow all would be well?
Naomi still feels responsible for her (1) and has a plan. Strange but true, she is basically telling Ruth to go and propose marriage to Boaz (4). And actions speak louder than words!
As a society today we don’t always appreciate the wisdom of our elders. Ruth has no hesitation in making this unconventional move, putting herself completely at the mercy of this man Boaz, alone at night in the open. But, is it such a big risk? She has come to know both Naomi and Boaz so well, both by reputation and personal experience. She trusts them implicitly. There really is no reason to fear the outcome, although what others may think is a different matter. Here, too, Boaz is to be relied on (14). He protects Ruth every step of the way (11–13).
Naomi’s hope was founded on God, and through her Ruth experienced Him too. Think about those in your life who have brought you closer to Him. Who can you influence to draw closer to God?
Spirit of God, show me how to walk in obedience to You, trusting that You always know what is best for me.