A great love story - Ruth 3:6-18
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A feature of any good story is that it engages us. We want to move forward, to know what will happen. When reading a good story we are not passive, the only way to extract all its message is to be active in reading it. This is what happens to us when we read the Book of Ruth, this great love story. We all want to know what will happen in the threshing floor where the barley was harvested! It is no longer just the story of Ruth, it has become our story.
1. Where does all this happen?
Our previous passage ended with these words from Ruth “I will do whatever you say”. That is why our story begins like this: So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do. The threshing floor, the place of joy, will be the place where this woman will ensure a future for herself and for her family. The situation is described to us in such graphic terms that we feel as if we are there. There is joy, gladness, contentment. How different from Naomi's state of mind in Moab and arriving to her land! It is clear to us that Ruth is not acting on her own initiative but following the advice of her mother-in-law. It is one way the book tells us that Ruth is an honorable young woman and she acts in an upright fashion even in this dramatic situation.
We cannot ignore this principle. Just as Ruth is honorable in presenting her case, when we approach God to be rescued, we should not use tricks that seek to ‘catch’ God. What is the only thing Ruth has to present to Boaz? Her great need. She is completely dependent on the good disposition of this close relative. As we meditate on our situation, it is clear as we draw near to Christ, our rescuer, that we must be honorable with him and embrace his mercy.
2. What does Ruth ask of Boaz?
Our reading tells us that Boaz went to sleep near the barley heap, and that he was "cheerful," that is, in a good mood. Following the customs of the country, Ruth places herself at Boaz's feet, and when he realizes this and asks who she is, she identifies herself and asks to be rescued by him. She has used the symbols and customs of the time, but she also expresses it clearly: "you are a guardian-redeemer of our family. "
3. What is Boaz's reaction and what does it teach us about his character?
Boaz's reaction starts with God. "The Lord bless you, my daughter" (v. 10). Once again, this highlights Ruth's good reputation and indicates to us that Ruth could have opted for "alternative solutions," which she has not done. She is a young widow of noble character in her actions and Boaz also acts accordingly: ‘I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character’.
4. How does this section end?
Boaz informs us all (because at this point we are no longer passive readers), that there is a but: he is not the closest relative: ‘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.'
Back at home, Naomi is informed of everything. And our section ends like this: “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.” Wedding bells are already ringing in Naomi's mind! And in ours too. The enthusiasm of Boaz makes us see the dedication of Christ, who does not rest until he rescues us.
To think: We are citizens of the third millennium and sometimes we have a hard time understanding the customs of thousands of years ago. What the book does highlight is that both ‘heroes’ are worthy and upright and do not seek ill-gotten gains. What about your integrity?
Ideas for Prayer: Thank God for people like Boaz and Ruth, who show us how to behave in situations of great need. Ask him for strength of character to honor him in everything. Thank God that Christ did not rest until he rescued you.
Translated from the Chilean Book of Common Prayer, page 137
Our God, through your apostle Paul, you have said in your word that you have not given us a spirit of cowardice but of power, love and self-control; grant that we are filled with your Holy Spirit so that we can resist all the attacks of the enemy in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Pray with us today's prayer request:
Caminemos Juntos is an Anglican Latino network and church planting movement in South, Central, and North America. Today they are having an online youth day conference. Pray for this event, to attract large numbers of youth from Argentina to California, for discipleship, encouragement and fellowship.
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