Naomi’s gaze landed on the young woman seated across from her as she finished the last of her drink. “It’s high time we got you a husband, Ruth. Since Boaz is our kinsman he’s our best candidate. Now that the barley’s all in, and the wheat isn’t ready, yet, he’ll be winnowing today. Tell you what. You put on your best dress and perfume. Sneak on down there and watch him this evening. Once he falls asleep you position yourself at his feet and uncover them. Then wait for him to notice you. He should take it from there.”
Ruth nodded. “I can do that.”
Ruth could hear the voices of the men as she approached the threshing area. Her heart skipped a beat when she heard Boaz’s laugh.
She remained in the shadows and waited for Boaz to settle in on the far end of the grain pile alone.
His slow heavy breathing told her he was asleep as she pulled the blanket off his feet and she settled on her side. Her mind wandered to the family they would have in the days ahead.
Boaz startled awake when he kicked something as he turned to lie on his side. He sat up to see a person in the darkness. “Who are you?”
Ruth raised her head. “I am you servant, Ruth.” She sat up. “Cover me with the corner of your blanket, since you are my kinsman-redeemer.”
Boaz wished for a light of some kind. “Ruth, you are something else. All of Bethlehem knows of your noble character. You could have any man you wanted, definitely one younger than me. Problem is, there’s another man who’s closer to you than I am. Stay here tonight. In the morning I’ll see if he desires to redeem. If he doesn’t then I definitely will.”
As the eastern sky was beginning to turn gray Boaz shook Ruth’s shoulder. “Hold out your shawl.” As he scooped six handfuls of barley he whispered. “You should go before anybody sees you here, but not empty-handed.”
Ruth turned around after she was a distance away from the threshing area to see Boaz walk toward town.
Naomi hopped out of bed when she heard Ruth close the door. “So, how’d it go?”
Ruth told the whole story and displayed the barley in her shawl.
Naomi looked in her eyes. “We’ll find out today what’ll happen. Boaz is a man of action when he puts his mind to a matter.”
At mid-day Ruth rocked to ease the tightness in her stomach. Food wasn’t on her mind though. A glance out the window showed a man approaching in the distance. “Here he comes, Naomi.”
Naomi came beside her. “How can you tell that’s him?”
Ruth stared, then squinted. “He’s carrying something. But, he’s wearing both of his. That doesn’t make any sense.”
Naomi looked at her. “My eyesight ain’t what it used to be. I still can’t make out who that is. What’s he carrying?”
Naomi danced around the room with her hands lifted high. “We’re redeemed! We’ve been redeemed!”
Ruth turned and looked at her. “What does that mean?”
Naomi placed her hands on Ruth’s shoulders. “Ruth, my daughter, here comes your new husband.”
Ruth’s mouth dropped open. As she turned to watch Boaz walk to her the corners of her mouth pulled her jaw up into a smile.
This has got to be the best description of what Jesus has done for us in the whole Old Testament.
Here’s Ruth, a young woman who’s available to follow anybody she chooses. The laws in Israel weren’t being strictly enforced. Besides, she wasn’t Jewish, so who would expect her to give them any credence? She decides to take the legal path, the kinsman-redeemer.
Boaz is a man of good standing in the community, a land owner with people under him. He apparently never married before this Moabitess came on the scene. Problem is there’s another man who has first dibs on the redemption here. So he takes the legal route to fully take on his obligation to fulfill the requirements of a kinsman-redeemer.
Two people who want to follow God with all their heart. Sounds like they’ll make a great couple. Wait til you see where this leads.
We come to Jesus the same way Ruth came to Boaz:
1. We choose to follow Him instead of another god.
2. We have nothing to offer Him, but our self.
3. We must ask Him to redeem us, to take us unto Himself.
Boaz is a picture of Jesus by being:
1. The wealthy land owner who can take care of us if he so chooses.
2.There’s an obstacle in the way of this relationship being fulfilled that only he can remove.
3. The determined choice is made to do whatever it takes to take full advantage of this relationship.
Jesus is God, the perfect one who is all-powerful. He can do as He pleases. We’re born with a sin-nature that keeps us from being in the presence of this perfect God. In a way this means Satan has first dibs on us. Jesus did what it took to fulfill the obligation to make a right relationship with God possible. It cost Him His life, but that’s the extent of His love for us.
We need to make the decision to believe this transaction is real to accept it. Then, we need to ask Jesus to take us into His family. He’s already done all that needs to be done to finalize this transaction.
Our past has nothing to do with whether He’ll take us in. He died for all because of His great love.
So, what became of this union of Ruth and Boaz? They had a son named Obed, whose grandson was anointed by God to be the king of Israel. David was called: a man after God’s heart. Not surprising once you know who his great-grandparents were.
And this Ruth is one of only three women named in the genealogy of Jesus.
I’ll see you later. Wade