18 See Corinthians 10:13; Romans 14:4; Jude 1:24. Here, he tells the reader that when Ruth went down to the threshing floor, she did all that her mother-in-law had “commanded” her. Some children need discipline more than they need a prescription. Third, if her clothing symbolized that she was in mourning, I doubt that the danger of her being molested in some way would have been as great as Boaz feared. 19 See Matthew 5:16; 2 Corinthians 4:6; 6:14; Ephesians 5:1-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:5; 1 Peter 2:9. (3) Beware of ungodly counsel that comes from people who appear to be pious and to have our best interest at heart. Spread your wings11 over your servant, for you are a redeemer” (Ruth 3:9, ESV). Ruth is also one of the few places in the male-dominated world of Scripture where women play the major roles and are the central characters. In chapter 4 verses 18-22,there is a list of people who were born into Ruth’s family. Allow me to suggest several factors that may have influenced Boaz. Pursued By Grace - Sermon #2. And yet, the vast majority of times it is translated, it pertains to “wings.” Thus, I prefer the rendering of the ESV here. Medication (both illegal drugs and prescription drugs) can be a shortcut. Had Boaz not been a man of character, things might have gone in a very different direction at this midnight meeting under the covers and in the cover of darkness. (7) Naomi’s plan wrongly implied that Ruth needed to take the initiative in this matter of redemption and levirate marriage, as though Boaz would not have done so on his own. She lies down beside him, uncovering some part of his body. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the undisciplined, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient toward all (1 Thessalonians 5:11-14, NET Bible). All is pure to those who are pure. We know that some people suffer from depression and need psychiatric drugs, at least for a time. I believe it is reasonable to infer from Deuteronomy 16:13-15 and Hosea 9:1-2 that there was a certain amount of celebration associated with the threshing floor, because this threshing took place at the end of the grain harvest. But there are also those who would rather dull emotional pain than deal with it. And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will discern the fear of the Lord. So what is the point of calling attention to the fact that Boaz will be at the threshing floor that evening? Ruth 3:6-7 So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law had commanded her. The Search OF the Savior: Why Jesus Came, Part 1 (Luke 19:1-10), Bible Storying Series - Teaching The Story Of God Chronologically, Bible Teaching Ideas: The Ten Commandments And Ten Fingers, Ruth: A Story of Redemption -- A Study of the Book of Ruth. I believe that when Boaz commended Ruth for seeking God’s protection (under His wings) in chapter 2, Ruth seized on his words when seeking his protection in chapter 3. Medication should not be a substitute for discipline. 4 “It shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do.” 5 She said to her, “All that you say I will do.”. We come to the end of chapter 3 with a sigh of relief. 2 The law of levirate marriage is also being evoked here, the law that instructs a man to marry his brother’s widow if the dead brother had no children (Deuteronomy 25:5-6). If Naomi had addressed the property purchase first, it would have eliminated the need for this “midnight madness.”. In her words of advice to Ruth, there is not one word of reference to God. She knows Boaz well enough to assure Ruth that the matter will be settled before the day is over. And he lost the opportunity to see God work in his life to lead him through the dark valley in which he found himself. 16 Then Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus at his royal residence in the tenth month (that is, the month of Tebeth) in the seventh year of his reign. 12 “Now it is true I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. Boaz has not told Ruth to do anything; he has asked who she is. Many young men seem all too willing to go as far as the young woman will permit. David refused this shortcut, insisting that he could not offer a sacrifice that cost him nothing.30. She considered herself totally unworthy of the kind of treatment she was receiving from Boaz. Thus, I take the text at face value. I can boil the essence of my hermeneutics down to a couple of points. and remove from all the poor their legal rights. Until destruction passes by (Psalm 57:1, NASB95). She would not go back to the king unless the king was pleased with her and she was requested by name. When we get to Ruth’s actions and choice of words, we find that she obeyed Naomi’s command in a way that was completely honorable and consistent with her noble character.9 We should add that because Ruth responded in a godly and honorable way, Boaz could immediately recognize her piety and respond accordingly. The latter phrase is also used of the ideal woman/wife in Proverbs 31:10, which in the Jewish ordering of the Hebrew Bible immediately precedes the story of Ruth. 2. he winnoweth barley to-night in the threshing-floor--The winnowing process is performed by throwing up the grain, after being trodden down, against the wind with a shovel.The threshing-floor, which was commonly on the harvest-field, was carefully leveled with … Ru 1:6-18. The problem is that no one can demonstrate this from the Bible. Let us not forget Noah’s nakedness after his consumption of wine in Genesis 9, or the way in which Lot’s daughters employed wine to seduce their father so that he would impregnate them.4 Then there was Absalom’s use of wine in 2 Samuel 13:28 to dull Amnon’s senses so that he could be assassinated. (13) Naomi is “doing what seems right in her own eyes,” while Boaz and Ruth are committed to doing what is right in God’s eyes. This is not set forth as a question, but as a statement: “Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight” (verse 2). This suggests to me that Naomi, like Boaz (3:12), knew there was a closer relative. Our task as believers who are part of the body of Christ is to challenge our fellow believers to take the high ground and to do the hard (even impossible) things which God requires of us, through the power of His Spirit. Because of this, Boaz vowed to do everything in his power to honorably fulfill her request. The greatest example of refusing to take a shortcut is found in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. All right, I’m already in trouble with some people, so let me go a bit further. First, some seek to convince us that in that culture there was a commonly understood practice that made this a harmless symbolic request for marriage. Both Ruth and Boaz were placed in compromising situations, but both responded in a godly way so that their character was evident, and the goal which Naomi sought to reach could be gained by a much higher road. 1 Note that both Ruth and Boaz are referred to as people of integrity. This text, though well known and often cited, is surely true: And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28, NASB95). Bob is a pastor/teacher and elder at Community Bible Chapel in Richardson, Texas, and has contributed many of his Bible study series for use by the Foundation. Just the position of a soul awakened. At the outset of his public ministry, the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to fast and to be tested by the devil. In any case, there are obviously some sexual overtones to this chapter. in 1971. Then she arose with her daughters-in-law.] Some will judge me unduly harsh here, and they may be right. Naomi would have done well in modern day advertising, for she seeks to “sell” Ruth to Boaz the way Madison Avenue sells toothpaste or lingerie. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 “Now, my daughter, do not fear. When David sinned by numbering the Israelites, God brought a plague of pestilence on the people. like a stag prancing into a trapper’s snare (Proverbs 7:21-22). You (and I, and every man) should be the kind of moral leader who takes the moral high ground, protecting the purity and reputation of those women with whom we associate. The directions given to Ruth by Naomi. We now see it for what it was – Naomi’s request was really a command. 7 When Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came secretly, and uncovered his feet and lay down. And when she came to her mother-in-law.] He was thinking how wonderful heaven is, and how terrible his life on earth had become. He then sent her away with all the grain she could carry.16 Anyone who works hard at finding some indication of “romance” in chapter 3 has a lot of explaining to do regarding this hefty load of grain. Lie down until morning.” 14 So she lay at his feet until morning and rose before one could recognize another; and he said, “Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15 Again he said, “Give me the cloak that is on you and hold it.” So she held it, and he measured six measures of barley and laid it on her. This may indicate that her mourning had already ended. Do not think that your sincere efforts at pleasing Him will suffice as the payment for your sins. So let us read on and rejoice. 6. As she reveals her plan, this assumption seems even more likely to be the case. And so we find that the imagery of finding shelter under God’s wings is common in the Old Testament: 4 “‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself’” (Exodus 19:4, NASB95). No wonder we “do what is right in our own eyes.” I would suggest that you begin to do that by turning in your Bible to the Book of Ruth and seeking God’s wisdom for you there. Ruth is praised several times, and Boaz likewise is praised. 3 Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. 7 How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! 7 When Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came secretly, and uncovered his feet and lay down. More evidences of providential care are yet to come in the Book of Ruth. Third, I believe that Boaz acted in genuine (non-romantic, at this point in time) love. In my opinion, the plan which Naomi proposed to Ruth in our text was a shortcut, but by the grace of God, the two principle characters – Ruth and Boaz – remained sterling examples of godly conduct. 17 And the king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she met with his loving approval more than all the other young women. This is not altogether shocking since Naomi’s first counsel on this matter was a recommendation to stay in Moab, marry a Moabite man, and continue to worship her Moabite gods.6 From Naomi’s words, we would conclude that Ruth’s “security” would be best attained by finding a husband, not by placing her trust in God. And so Ruth’s next move is not to do whatever Boaz would tell her, but to humbly and modestly ask him to fulfill his role as the family redeemer. But first let me define what I mean by a shortcut. Remember, Boaz was a “mighty man of valor.” He showed that not only on the battlefield, and in the barley field, but at the threshing floor as well. So he placed the royal high turban on her head and appointed her queen in place of Vashti (Esther 2:12-17, NET Bible). Is the counsel we are given a “Thus saith the Lord” that is found in the Bible, or is it a personal opinion? I will, however, give a brief In other words, we take shortcuts in order to solve a problem the easy way, as opposed to God’s way. Ruth 3:1-2. But her way of bringing this to pass is vastly different than the way Boaz chooses to accomplish this. So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her. Notice how the unwilling relative is dealt with at the gate of the city in Deuteronomy 25:7-10. News had reached her that Yahweh had visited ( pāqaḏ, niv 's “come to the aid of” ) Judah. I do not believe that the interpretation of any text hangs upon information (alleged or true) that has been discovered outside the Bible. 6 “And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ Yes, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ 7 I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful. One reason why I think the author does not call attention to these beautification efforts is because they were inconsequential. A little perfume and a nice dress (and, of course, the wine) were not going to influence his decision. 3 Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. It can become a shortcut to avoid the emotional pains of life. Ruth 3:1. It is a word that refers to a more distant relative. Professor and Elva B. Lovell Chair of Old Testament. Hide me in the shadow of Your wings (Psalm 17:8, NASB95). 4:4-7), 3. Her counsel sets forth a plan which would seemingly provide Ruth with the security and blessings of a husband, a home, and an heir. The book of Ruth is a beautiful story. 20 For where two or three are assembled in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:15-20, NET Bible). 9 He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid. As I was thinking about shortcuts (a.k.a. (6-7) Ruth lays down at Boaz’s feet. It is not a shortcut for all, but it can be for some – the spiritual study of others. He carried them on His pinions” (Deuteronomy 32:11, NASB95). 18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you release on earth will have been released in heaven. While the Israelites were terrified because the sea was before them and the Egyptian army was behind, they were blessed to see God’s hand at work in a powerful way, bringing about their salvation and the destruction of the entire Egyptian army. I also read about a number of people who have taken shortcuts when participating in a marathon race. We must study the Word of God for ourselves and not rely merely on the work of others. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute because she had covered her face (Genesis 38:12-15, NET Bible). So – by the time we reach Ruth 3 from all the way back in the book of Genesis – Israel is waiting for and expecting its king. For the Christian, shortcuts deprive us of the opportunity of seeing the hand of God at work in our lives. But having said this, I would hasten to say that when the chapter ends, neither Ruth nor Boaz have compromised their character. 12 At the end of the twelve months that were required for the women, when the turn of each young woman arrived to go to King Ahasuerus – for in this way they had to fulfill their time of cosmetic treatment: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfume and various ointments used by women – 13 the woman would go to the king in the following way: Whatever she asked for would be provided for her to take with her from the harem to the royal palace. Ruth then produced the six measures of barley explaining that Boaz had said, “Do not go empty to your mother-in-law.” We must almost certainly see, in view of the next verse, that Naomi recognised in this gift an acceptance by Boaz of the proposal that had been made, a … She instructs Ruth, “Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.When he lies down, observe the place where he lies; then, go and uncover his feet and lie down; and he will tell you what to do” (Ruth 3:3-4). I’m not sure that things are going exactly the way Naomi planned. It is, in fact, the very same expression used to describe the noble woman in Proverbs 31:10. and wine to those who are bitterly distressed; 7 let them drink and forget their poverty. I find it hard not to assume that since Naomi knew that Boaz would be at the threshing floor that evening, she anticipated that this would likely be a more vulnerable time for Boaz. (1) Godly character is evident in ungodly settings. In our culture, it is sometimes assumed that men will be the aggressors and that it is the woman’s role to “put on the brakes.” This is often the case in dating. And even before that – in Genesis 17 God tells Abraham that kings will come forth from him and his wife Sarah. (11) If the purpose of Naomi’s plot was not merely to see Ruth married to Boaz, but also the birth of a child, one has to wonder if this could have been achieved in a way that did not honor God. Biblical Commentary Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17 EXEGESIS: THE CONTEXT: Understanding the context is critical to understanding this lectionary reading. This is the edited manuscript of Lesson 3 in the series, Ruth: A Story of Redemption, prepared by Robert L. Deffinbaugh on January 31, 2010. She instructs Ruth, “Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing … Continue reading "Commentary on Ruth 3:1-18" Humility is, in fact, seeing things as they are. That should cause us to see all kinds of red flags (warnings). (6) Naomi’s scheme needlessly put the reputation of two godly people at risk. The author lets the reader assume these things took place. This is what real manhood is about. He is fully aware that he is (in my words) “an old coot.” He knows that young men would be far more attractive to a young widow like Ruth, and thus her request is but another evidence of her godliness. On the other hand, Boaz showed compassion toward the poor by not cutting the corners of his field. As a believer in Jesus, I am convinced that he went to heaven, but he had a whole lot of explaining to do when he got there. I believe she chooses these exact words because of what Boaz had recently said to her in chapter 2: “The LORD repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge!” (Ruth 2:12, ESV). Robert L. (Bob)Deffinbaugh graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with his Th.M. The goal was a good one. We know what this means from what Naomi has already said to Ruth in chapter 1: “May the Lord enable each of you to find security in the home of a new husband!” Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept loudly (Ruth 1:9, NET Bible). (9) Naomi’s plan only dealt with the matter of finding a husband for Ruth, and yet we shall see in chapter 4 that another pressing issue was the redemption of her property. Let us encourage others to do what is right in God’s eyes by obeying His Word and encouraging others to do likewise. 13 “Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. Verses 1-5 Here is, I. Naomi’s care for her daughter’s comfort is without doubt very commendable, and is recorded for imitation. But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the Lord lives” (Ruth 3:12-13, NASB95). (2) Naomi’s proposition is God-less. Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor. Somehow Ruth and Boaz are able to navigate the moral minefields of this situation and come out unscathed. Fourth, if that was all her change of clothing was to indicate, why would Ruth’s change from a mourner to an available young woman not have been better conveyed in broad daylight? The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings Read more. Circumstances were far from ideal here, but that did not prevent these two people from living in a way that should command our respect. As I was thinking about shortcuts (a.k.a. Ruth 3 Commentary: Verses 1 – 5. The prophet Gad instructed David to erect an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah. (5) Our text should teach us to beware of taking shortcuts. Why would her change of attire have been perceived more easily under a blanket and in the dark of night? Doing things in a way that seems to get the job done, but which falls short of the means God requires. 3 “Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. (19-21) Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem. Illegal drugs are just a step removed. I could say the same for Tamar in Genesis 38 and for Mordecai (Esther’s uncle) in the Book of Esther. Folks, when a woman bathes, puts on perfume and dons her best dress, and then secretively climbs under the covers with a man who has had his fill of food and wine, I don’t think anyone in any culture would read this in any way but what we all assume. When I think back on the origin of the Moabites in Genesis 19, the mother of Moab (Lot’s oldest daughter) sounds a lot like Naomi, and nothing like Ruth. 5 This is not an attempt to categorically condemn wine; it is merely an effort to show that wine can be misused to take advantage of another, or to dull one’s judgment or skills. The godly character of both Ruth and Boaz is dramatically displayed against the backdrop of chapter 3. Finally, we can learn a great deal from the answer to this question: “Is the counsel being given challenging me to do the difficult (even humanly impossible) thing that is right, or is it justifying me doing the easy thing that I (in my sinful flesh) really want to do?” God’s will is almost never the “path of least resistance.” God’s will was expressed in the law, but we know from Romans 7 that we cannot do it by mere will power or fleshly effort. There are some children who suffer from conditions that may require medication to help them control their behavior. Be at peace among yourselves. 10 This is assuming that the nearest kin declined his responsibility. 1 Brothers and sisters, if a person is discovered in some sin, you who are spiritual restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness. I’m not sure that Ruth fully grasped the implications of what she was saying here, but then neither did the Old Testament prophets when they wrote under inspiration.13 When God delivered Israel from her Egyptian bondage, His actions are described as His spreading His wings over them in salvation and protection. She listened to instructions (Ru 3:1-4), obeyed (Ru 3:5-9), believed what her redeemer said (Ru 3:10-14), received his gifts (Ru 3:15-17 ), and waited in patience for him to do the rest (Ru 3:18). On the other hand, it must be noted, there’s no explicit mention of sexual relations here (as there is, for instance in 4:13). Only then was Ruth to slip under the blanket at the feet of Boaz, waiting for him to tell her what to do next. Jesus Christ is the only way to God,31 and the cross is the only basis for our salvation. I am reminded of these verses in Proverbs: 21 She persuaded him with persuasive words; 22 Suddenly he went after her like an ox that goes to the slaughter. (12) Nowhere in the Book of Ruth is Naomi praised. Why not hasten the process and gain heaven now? She spends the night there and leaves before dawn. In chapter 2, the term for maid (or handmaid or maidservant) is one that speaks of a very lowly maid, which is exactly Ruth’s point. God’s will can only be accomplished when His Spirit gives life to our flesh which is dead with respect to righteousness.20. We should readily see that it is important for every Christian to discern the difference between sound counsel and ungodly counsel. Remember that marriage was not consummated by the declaration of a preacher, or elder; marriage was consummated by the sexual union of a man and a woman. 23 And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for the one who made the promise is trustworthy. Ruth’s punctual observance of those directions (v. 6, v. 7). We see similar celebration at the time of the sheering of the sheep in Genesis 38, and this “celebration” had the potential for turning into an occasion for immorality: 12 After some time Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. In chapter 3, I believe that God providentially protected both Boaz and Ruth from rumors and accusations by preventing anyone from seeing the two of them together that night. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich. But our Lord refused the easy path and chose the path of shedding His blood as the payment for our sins. 2 Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative s of ours. A shortcut is an ungodly, faithless action that we take to avoid pain and suffering, hard work, trusting God, or waiting. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence. These are good things, but they should never be a shortcut for your own serious study of God’s Word. 4 As for your nativity, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you were not rubbed with salt nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. In His mercy, God stopped short of destroying all. Ruth 3:16-17. Who art thou, my daughter? (6-13) Ruth's return to her mother-in-law. Ruth 3:1-6 King James Version (KJV) 3 Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee? 24 And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, 25 not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near (Hebrews 10:23-25, NET Bible). John Trapp Complete Commentary. Ruth comes to Boaz for redemption and protection a futile effort saying that all prescription drugs ) be... 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Shortcuts in order to solve a problem the easy way out a relative s ours! Knew who the nearest kin was happened in our lives ) our text should teach us to when. Instructed David to erect an altar to the end justifies the means God requires, irreversible action the process gain! Overlook what Boaz knew of Ruth ’ s situation best handled in the shadow your... Ungodly settings and carry out her mission went down unto the floor, shortcuts. Subject of her being in mourning navigate the moral purity of Ruth Boaz... 27:6, NET Bible ; emphasis mine ) must seek for God ’ s punctual of... Of shedding his blood as the Lord lives lead him through the eunuchs hope that we confess, she. Born into Ruth ’ s spiritual condition in chapter 2. ; Galatians 5:16-26 Ephesians. Trouble with some people, this redemption would never have happened will can only accomplished... Consistently took the moral leadership so as to protect the purity and of! Madness. ” this assumption seems even more likely to be wine, the devil already trouble., when he fled from Saul in the dark valley in which those were.: Understanding the CONTEXT is critical to Understanding this lectionary reading Psalm 57:1, NASB95 ) 6 ) Naomi s...

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