What do we learn from Ruth today? Obedience. She follows Naomi’s instructions as well as Boaz’s. There is a lot going on in this passage we don’t want to overlook. It may help us get a good picture of the setting as well as gain an understanding of some of the “hidden” gems here.
It’s harvest time and the threshing process is often overseen by the owner, it’s that important. That’s why we find Boaz sleeping in the middle of the harvest field instead of his own bed. Naomi would be familiar with the process. That’s why she wanted Ruth to dress up all pretty and be there for Boaz to find. It was time for Ruth to move on and find love or at least a husband to take care of her.
While Boaz seemed surprised to find Ruth in his “bed”, nothing improper was taking place. Ruth didn’t “take advantage of him” or visa versa. Ruth had placed herself at his feet, in the position a servant would take. Ruth was virtuous as Boaz pointed out, and that was common knowledge. As a young widow, she could have been out carousing and looking for a new husband. Ruth did not do that, but worked hard and cared for Naomi.
Boaz had undoubtedly been watching Ruth from the first day she started working in his fields. He knew of her story and had to be impressed. Now, here she was at his feet, asking to be covered. In other words, she was asking him to become his own. That’s why Boaz was so quick to offer a solution involving another, more closely related to Ruth. Did you ever wonder if there were any “sparks” between Ruth and Boaz at this point?
Maybe I’ve just watched too much television and read too many steamy Harlequin romance novels. But when you have a man and a woman talking of marriage, the romantic in me always surfaces. We all want a happy ending and to find the mate of our dreams. It sounds like Boaz would be happy to be Ruth’s groom; he just wants to make sure the one “first in line” gets the option.
But, we know God did not place Ruth in the other man’s life. She was in Boaz’s life as a hard-working, obedient young woman. By association and custom, Boaz was in a position to redeem her and make her his own. God was orchestrating this for his own purpose. If you’ve read ahead or are acquainted with Ruth’s story, you know she was definitely in the right place at the right time to be in the royal line to the throne.
How is God using you? He uses us all for his good purposes. We may never know what we have done or said in a given moment that has made a difference for someone. It’s okay that we don’t know because perhaps we would be too proud of the accomplishment. Maybe we would try and take all the credit when all the credit is due to God. Does it matter?
We should be on the lookout for opportunities to be used by God. We should be listening intently for God to speak into us a time for obedience. We may not feel qualified. We may question how it’s all going to come together. We need to trust. We need to say, “Okay, God. Together, we’ve got this!”
Let’s pray. Lord, forgive me when I question you and what you’re asking me to do. I know that you will work all things out. I just need to trust you more. I need to get out of my own way so that you can shine through. Thank you for all the gifts you have given me. May I use every single one to glorify you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.