One day Ruth’s Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I nit try to find a home for you where you will be well provided for? Is not Boaz, with whose servant girls you have been, a kinsman of ours? Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, and perfume yourself, and put on 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. 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.”
Things are now moving towards their conclusion or rather the sovereign LORD is moving things forward in accordance with his perfect will.
This forward movement does not happen without human intervention but God works through his obedient people.
Naomi, knowing the Torah understands the provisions God has made for circumstances such as those in which Ruth finds herself and encourages Ruth to play her part. The relationship between her and Boaz has grown as she has gleaned in his fields and he has treated her honourably in every respect. The details of the night time events in this chapter probably seem very strange, living as we do in a world where so many have lost sight of God’s purposes in making us sexual beings. Indeed Joyce Baldwin, in the IVP New Bible Commentary poses this question:
‘How will these two worthy people conduct themselves in so compromising a situation?’
So pause for a moment and reflect on the beauty of it all when seen against the modern world’s standards. Here was absolute propriety. Here was absolute purity. Here was action and movement within God’s perfect law.
Clearly this is not the major theme of the Book of Ruth but it surely challenges us to bring all our thinking and actions under the scrutiny of God’s word. In other words to acknowledge his Lordship in everything.
Ruth as a Moabite would have absorbed things from her culture that were at odds with what God required from his people but, as we have noted before, seeing Naomi respond to her emptiness and now seeing Boaz, a man of God and in some ways a foreshadowing of Jesus, living their lives in accordance with God’s laws she saw something which drew her to put away the old and put on the new.
She did not just ‘put on her best clothes’ v.3 but she was putting on garments of holiness which honoured the God she had come to know through her engagement with God’s people.
Ponder this morning what other people see as they watch you and thank God for the way in which he brought you to know him and to live for him.