So… It’s been like two days since I read chapter 2 in Ruth, and I haven’t come back to it. Mostly because I’m lazy. I could blame it on work and say it’s been busy, but really I just haven’t been in the right mindset to write this post. So, here we go.
I know this chapter has some controversy over the whole “Naomi telling Ruth to get all dressed up and lay at the feet of a man that was drinking wine” deal, but I’m just saying, there are other things to focus on and gain from this chapter… so…
The opening of this chapter is the conversation between Ruth and Naomi regarding the next step for the relationship of Boaz and Ruth. Naomi advises Ruth to go and seek Boaz after he has had his fill of wine and food, and after she has bathed and anointed herself and changed clothes. To me, this seems very much like a proposition. I definitely had a flashback to Noah passing out naked in his tent after having too much to drink earlier in the Old Testament. There are a lot of Biblical sayings and advisement a about the dangers of wine and drunkenness. But regardless, Naomi is advising Ruth to go and seek Boaz out, and whether with words or not, she is asking and actively seeking his hand in marriage and a relationship that would include more protection and covenantial background than Ruth simply working in his field. And Ruth, being a good and devoted daughter, follows Naomi’s instructions and goes to Boaz and lays at his feet. It even takes a while for him to notice that she is there! But whatever.
From the moment that he sees Ruth, he recognizes that she is seeking him out as a redeemer. She even quotes what he had referenced before about being under the wings of God’s protection, and uses it in reference to him! To me, this is a romantic play on words, and shows us that she believes he (Boaz) was the answer to her prayers for redemption. Now, the redemption monologue tripped me up for a while. Saying that Boaz was “redeeming her” sent my stomach into knots, thinking that maybe it waas unhealthy, because we don’t need to think of our husbands as “redeemer so” because Jesus is our redeemer. But this was in the Old Testament. This is an Old Testament reflection of faith, before Jesus was even in their picture. Defining redeemed here would probably be in the alternate definition: gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment; or compensate for the faults or bad aspects of. So, he is redeeming her from her singleness. and from her inability to protect herself and care for herself. It may not seem to fit into modern day feminism, but it is what it is.
After Ruth quotes his words back to him, Boaz seems to soften up. He tells her that he recognizes that she is a worthy woman and her devotion to Naomi. He also recognizes that she is asking for a more substantial relationship and he is willing to make that happen to for her. He even tells her that he is going to take care of it soon, and to protect her reputation, he does not want anyone to know she was in the threshing floor with him, to keep rumors from spreading about her being promiscuous. There is so much protection from him, in every aspect of her life. It’s pretty amazing.
There’s another point to be made that when she came home to Naomi with so much barley, Naomi told her not to worry, because she knew that the matter would be sorted out that day. So he’s protective, productive, and a man of integrity and Godliness. What else could you ask for?
Besides having a wonderful base and example of a successful Godly relationship and love, there’s also another deeper meaning to this story. Naomi trusts that Boaz will respond appropriately when Ruth lies herself prostrate in front of him, asking for redemption. She has faith that what Ruth needs will be fulfilled if she approaches him and asks for it. There’s a great lesson in that. Jesus even said, “Seek me and you will find me., when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). He again says, “anything you ask for in my name shall be given to you.”
“What you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in his Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. ” John 14:13-14.
So, to me this is a great lesson. Ask for it in Jesus’s name! Seek him with your whole heart on your sleeve, and that’s when you will find him. It worked for Ruth!
So my major take-away from this chapter is simply that. You never know what blessings you can get from God if you don’t ask. If they don’t happen, you know that it’s for his glory and the betterment of His kingdom.. but what if they DO?
What would you ask for from Jesus if you knew there was no limit to what you could get? What would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail?
These are the types of questions I’m focusing on for now. I know there are some clichés about them, but it’s honestly just good old truth. #truthbomb