Monday, September 1, 2008

Ruth: At the threshing floor

The idea seemed like a good one to Naomi. She was responsible for Ruth and there was really no solution except marriage. As we take a look at Ruth 3, we see a new turn in our story. I hope you’ve read Ruth 3.

Naomi couldn’t have expected that Boaz would mend her barrenness, for she was too old for children. Naomi sent Ruth to Boaz hoping for a marriage. Her motivation seemed to be concern for Ruth’s security, something that had been on her mind since she had started the trip home from Bethlehem. She expressed that concern to Ruth: shouldn’t I try to find a home for you?

Naomi instructed Ruth to adorn herself like a bride and go to Boaz in the night, uncovering his feet and lying there in a position of submission. The scene crackles with sexual overtones, much like chapter 2.

Our attention is drawn away from the land. Instead, we see that Naomi arranged for Ruth to be redeemed. A marriage gave Ruth opportunity for home and children. Naomi was arranging for the greatest blessing an Israelite woman could enjoy: offspring.

Boaz was to provide that seed. Indeed, we notice that, after the discussion at the threshing floor, Boaz sends Ruth home to Naomi with her apron filled with seed – a foreshadowing of pregnancy.
We feel certain that Ruth would bear children, that Boaz would provide the seed.

And in a wonderful extra benefit, Boaz agreed to fulfill another kinsman-redeemer function. He redeemed Naomi’s land as well.

God’s activities are like one in the shadows but we can see his gentle provision. Naomi, who accused God of abandoning her, saw the turn of events. Both land and offspring were returned to her, flowing smoothly out of God’s redemptive plan.

Next time: redeeming heritage

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