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Redeemer: A Study in Ruth; Ruth 3

May 14, 2023
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Ruth 3

“Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, ‘My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you?'” Naomi has now turned from being a bitter widow to a matchmaker for Ruth. “Seeking rest” meant finding a home and security with a husband. Naomi tells Ruth to wash and anoint herself and go to the threshing floor where she will find Boaz. She goes on to tell Ruth to wait for him to lie down for the night. “Go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.” So she did! When Boaz woke up at midnight, startled by a woman laying at his feet, he ask who she was. She replied, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” Ruth was bold in living into her identity because she didn’t refer to herself as a Moabite woman, the daughter–in-law of Naomi, or as the widow of her deceased husband, Mahlon. She is owning her new identity. Spread your wings was a Hebrew idiom for marriage. (Ezekiel 16:8) Ruth proposes to Boaz, and is reminding him of his own words from Ruth 2:12. She is basically saying, “Boaz, would you answer your own prayer for me?” She had put herself under the wings of Yahweh, and now she is asking to be put under the wings of Boaz. This was extraordinary of Ruth because: -It was a servant demanding her boss to marry her -It was a Moabite demanding something of an Israelite -It was a woman demanding something from a man -It was a poor person demanding something from a rich person. Boaz (v10) praised her for being willing to marry an older man in order to fulfill her commitment to her first husband, Mahlon, and the family name of Elimelech. He then agrees to her and calls her a “worthy woman”. This term was the same term as the word “excellent” in Proverbs 31:10. He considered her a person of the highest reputation. Then, being a person of honor, Boaz recognizes that there is a redeemer closer to Ruth than he was. He told Ruth that if the closer man would not marry her, then he would. He then told her to lie down until morning. In this, Boaz acted responsibly in two ways:

  1. He did not send her home in the middle of the night. He would protect her and he would touch her only if she could be rightfully his.
  2. He protected the rights of her nearer kinsman. If the other relative wanted to redeem, that was his right. But if the nearer kinsman was not willing, Boaz would. He covered his pledge with a vow.

Then, in the morning. he loaded her up with 60 pounds of barley to take back home to Naomi! It was incredibly generous. When Ruth told Naomi what happened with Boaz, Naomi said, “the man will not rest but will settle the matter today.” Boaz was the answer to his own prayer for Ruth. When you pray for others, do you think God is going to do a great work through someone else, or are you willing to be a part of the answer to that prayer? Is there something in your life right now that you have been praying for someone, and you are realizing it might be you that is a part of the solution? What will you do? Don’t miss the joy of allowing God to use you!