Last week we saw that the relationship between Boaz and Ruth was one of grace and pictured for us the relationship between believer and the Lord. In this chapter we will see how that everything about this couple serves as a picture of Christ and the believer.
When Ruth and Naomi returned to Bethlehem the plan was for them to eke out an existence the best they could. However, based on Ruth's description of how Boaz had responded to her in grace, Naomi now makes plans for Ruth to marry him. In that day it was the parents who arranged marriages, so Naomi was not really out of line in what she was planning. If all went according to plan, then she and Ruth would be taken care of for the rest of their lives.
The steps that Ruth takes in this relationship are an example to us as to what we must do to build a deeper relationship with our Lord. We must not be satisfied with a mere existence or with living on left-overs. Especially not when we can have it all when we have Him! Our focus isn't on the gifts, but is on the giver. Consider the preparations that were made.
I. Ruth prepared to meet Boaz. 3:1-5
A. By washing herself. v3a
1. This was more than just personal hygiene.
2. Naomi was telling Ruth to prepare herself as a bride prepares for her wedding.
3. If we want to enter into a deeper relation- ship with our Lord we must cleanse ourselves. cf 2Co. 7:1
4. Whenever we sin, we must pray and ask God to forgive us and cleanse us. (1Jn. 1:9)
B. By anointing herself. v3b
1. Anointings were for a number of different reasons in biblical times.
2. This anointing wasn't for healing, but was to make her more pleasant to be around.
3. The anointing speaks to us of the presence and working of the Holy Spirit:
a. We have all received the anointing of the Holy Spirit. cf 1Jn. 2:27
b. The more we are like Jesus Christ in character and conduct, the more we please our Father.
c. The we please our Father, the more He can bless us and use us for His glory.
C. She changed her clothes. v3c
1. She was to put off the garments of a sorrowing widow and dress for a wedding.
2. As believers we are to put off the old and put on the new.
3. We cannot come into God's presence in our own righteousness, we can only come in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
D. She prepared herself by learning how to present herself to Boaz. v3-4
1. There was nothing improper about this procedure.
2. It may seem unusual to us, but it was the only way for her to present herself to her kinsman redeemer.
3. Had she used another approach Boaz would have been confused and would not have known how to respond to her.
4. God has instructed us on how we are to approach the Lord, it may seem unusual to others, but the Word of God makes it very clear and we must follow His procedure.
E. She promised to obey. v5
1. She was willing to obey what she had been told.
2. If we want to enter into a deeper relationship with the Lord, we must be willing to do what He instructs us to do in His Word.
3. Note that Ruth said she was willing to do all that she had been told to do.
4. The will of God is not like a cafeteria where we can pick and choose what we like, God expects us to accept all that He plans for us and to obey Him completely.
II. Ruth Submitted to Boaz. v6-9
A. Boaz at the threshing floor.
1. The threshing floor was usually a raised platform on a hillside somewhere outside the village.
2. The sheaves would be placed on the floor and the grain separated from the stalks.
3. The workers would then throw the grain into the air and let the wind blow away the chaff.
4. The grain would then be heaped together for marketing or for storage.
5. The work would carry on through the night and the men would sleep near the floor to protect their harvest.
B. Ruth placed herself at the feet of Boaz.
1. This was symbolic of her placing herself in submission to Boaz, as her husband.
2. Note: Ep. 5:22-24
3. To develop a deeper relationship with our Lord we must be willing to submit ourselves unto Him.
4. Note that Ruth's actions and her request were understood by Boaz...she was asking to become his wife.
5. She no longer considered herself to be Ruth the Moabitess, she was now Ruth, the handmaid of Boaz.
III. Ruth Listened to Boaz. v10-14
In Boaz' response to Ruth's request we wee how the Lord responds to us when we seek to have a deeper fellowship with Him.
A. He accepts us. v10
1. Boaz could have refused to have anything to do with Ruth.
2. But in his love for her, he accepted her.
3. In the same manner, the Lord accepts us as we draw nearer to Him.
B. He assures us. v11
1. In the darkness Ruth could not see his face, but she heard his voice.
2. "Fear not"... our assurance is not in our feelings or in our circumstances, but in His Word.
3. Not only did Boaz calm Ruth's fears, but he also made a promise to her concerning the future.
4. "...I will do to thee all that thou requirest..."
5. God assures us through His Word that He will finish whatever He starts.
C. He redeemed us. v12-14
1. What had seemed to Naomi to be a simple procedure has now turned out to be more complicated.
2. Although Boaz was a near kinsman and willing to redeem Ruth, there was a nearer kinsman who would need to be considered.
3. Boaz' primary concern was for Ruth's redemption.
4. Of course, there was no other than Jesus Christ who could redeem the lost world.
IV. Ruth Received Gifts from Boaz. v15-17
A. A gift of grain for Naomi.
1. Six measures of barley would be more than two weeks supply of grain.
2. Boaz' gifts to Ruth just keep getting better and better.
a. He started by showing kindness towards her.
b. He shared his meal with her.
c. He sent her home with a half a bushel of grain, much of which was left on purpose for her.
d. He now sends her home with about two bushels of barley.
3. God begins by showing His grace to us and the longer we serve Him the better it gets!
B. A gift of redemption for Ruth.
1. Naomi asks, "Who art thou, my daughter?"
2. It wasn't that Naomi didn't recognize Ruth.
3. Naomi wanted to know if she was still Ruth the Moabitess or if she was Ruth, the future wife of Boaz?
4. Ruth said,"Let me tell you what happened!"
V. Ruth Waited for Boaz to Work. v18
A. It is through faith and patience that we inherit the promises.
B. Naomi told Ruth to 'sit still'! Do you think she might have been excited?
C. Naomi assured Ruth that Boaz would take care of the matter, and that she should wait.
D. That is one of the hardest things for us to do...wait!
E. "Be still and know that I am God." (Ps. 46:10)
F. "Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." (Ps. 37:5)