did ruth pursue boaz
And so discretion is the better part of valor. As we reflect on the compassion of Boaz for Ruth, certainly it was â¦ It’s not uncommon to find well-meaning believers who, frankly, have made very little progress in their Christian life. And so Naomi doesn’t embitter herself with the fact that she’s no longer marriable, with the fact that she no longer will enjoy the privileges of marital relationships. It is an Old Testament historical narrative that ultimately points us to God’s provision for His people in Christ. But what can’t be guaranteed? Now, unless you understand what you’re doing with the Bible, you’re going to be completely at sea. We must see this that there is no redemption except through Jesus Christ. In all of this, however, Alistair Begg reminds us that no matter how dark or dramatic our days may seem, God still protects His people and accomplishes His purposes. Wesley, when he was asked about, you know, the danger of adventuresome faith and presumption—you know, “Well, this sounds a lot like presumption.” No, this is adventuresome faith. And Naomi said, “How did it go, my daughter?”. To the single guys out there who are trying to find the ideal woman, do the world a favor and give up. And he doesn’t need to go at his decision cluttered by all of the innuendo and the speculation regarding the fact that Ruth, this one whom he may take as his kinsman-redeemer, somehow or another was hanging around in the barn in the middle of the night with Boaz. Without going into all the details about what that term means, the basic idea is that Boaz bore a familial relationship to the family of Ruth’s husband that triggered certain obligations to Ruth as her husband’s widow. © 1994 - 2020 Truth For Life. But given the way this thing has unfolded, he recognizes that the best thing for her to do is stay put. A modern-day Boaz: To the extent that the answer to that is, “Frankly, I haven’t got a clue,” then the Word of God comes to us with great resonance, doesn’t it? Why? One of the relatives of Elimelech, husband of Naomi; a wealthy Judean, living at Bethlehem in Judah (Ruth ii. She should lay down at the feet of Boaz. You don’t know that because you haven’t read chapter 4 yet, have you? You see, the law of Moses allowed for a woman to request marriage from a kinsman-redeemer. And if yes, then it asks the final question: Am I seeking to exhibit in my dealings with others such a spirit of generous love that I am reflecting the character of he who has wooed me and won me? Yes, your life may be dull for a time. And so she says, “Well, I’m your servant Ruth.” Notice how she describes herself. And we discovered that Naomi’s concern was, in chapter 3, as it had been in chapter 1:11, that in this instance her daughter-in-law Ruth would be provided for, that she would be settled in her life. Policies The Jewish laws would have to be in place concerning marriage. Then Naomi encouraged Ruth to pursue Boaz. Ruth is trusting in God. What a great book it is, a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESVÂ® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard VersionÂ®), Copyright 2014 Scott Croft. She was not a virgin, but a widow. You see, provided your life is in a right relationship with God, provided you honestly want to go his way and not your own way, then the Bible gives us all kinds of permission to launch out in faith, to take risks for his sake—even to get it wrong and to fail and to have to come back. So the story is not like the front of a Hollywood set that exists so that some story can be told on the basis of a fabrication. You don’t need to let guys initiate all the conversations or otherwise be a shrinking violet. Are you telling me that you want me to marry you? Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world. Then instead of sitting in a pool of pity, agonizing over your own loss, recognize that this friend of your mother’s has also had a great loss, and you may now show your esteem and affection for your mother by caring most directly for the one who is also aware of loss. You see the difference? Under Jewish law, a childless widow could be redeemed by a close male relative. Notice though, that Ruth laid at Boazâs feet- Yes! You see, also, to take all of the kind of sensuality out of this, all of the sort of twenty-first-century-and-post sexuality—the idea of Ruth going down to the threshing floor, sort of strutting her stuff, you know, all dressed up to the nines and ready for action—is just nowhere in the passage. If she was vulnerable in the barn, she’s going to be more vulnerable outside of the barn in the middle of the night. Look at verse 11: “Don’t be afraid. Dialogue in the darkness. Does the story of Ruth and Boaz prove your theory wrong of men initiating dating relationships and women responding? Whether the young man was rich or whether he was poor, whether he was tall or short, fat or thin, whatever, you could have looked with absolute freedom out over the panorama of opportunity. These people are absolutely neutralized. In consequence of this he had to marry Ruth, in order \"to raise up the name of the dead\" (Ruth iv. You don’t want her? 4. She’s looking at this girl, and she’s saying, “You know what? Boaz is fascinated by Ruth from the moment he sees her, even before â¦ I have read your article in the Biblical Dating series about men initiating and women responding, and it really disturbed me. This is why Naomi and Ruth were such “buds,” you know. As you mention in your question, it can appear at first glance like Ruth provides an example of a woman initiating a romantic relationship with a man in a way that “liberates” godly women from the sometimes frustrating position of waiting on Christian men to show initiative and leadership in potential dating relationships. They’re safe, they’re under control; there is not very much about them that smacks of the supernatural. Ruth carried out Naomi"s instructions exactly, further demonstrating her loyal love to her mother-in-law, and encouraged Boaz to pursue the possibility of marriage ( Ruth 3:6-9).Boaz"s response to Ruth"s actions is as remarkable as what she did. Boaz is trusting in God. Whatâs remarkable about this plan was that Boaz was suited as a âkinsman-redeemerâ to take her as his wife. And what is true of individuals is certainly true of a church. And there is a lesson in this that I failed to point out and I don’t want us to miss—namely, that Naomi could at this juncture in her life have become a kind of miserable character. She being covered over by the corner of his garment; we being covered over by the blood of the covenant, by which he welcomes us with a steadfast love. You understand? Or that we would use it as a strategy, calling our daughters at university and saying to them, “Listen, I just read an amazing story in Ruth chapter 3. He’s absolutely clear about Ruth’s motives. This actually speaks to the anonymity that was so much a part of Eastern dress, that it wouldn’t be immediately apparent to him, especially in the darkness, just exactly who it was he was dealing with. What we have to do is recognize that the Bible said that we should “abstain from all appearance of evil.” We should “abstain from all appearance of evil.”, So you tell your daughter, “You better come home, honey.”, “I know you’re not. Something with a little bit of a diamond in it, or you know, a little something?” “Hey,” you know, “this has been a wonderful evening. There was also a party, and she went into his room and laid at his feet to show devotion. Videos cannot be added to the listen queue at this time. You need to be settled in your life. Ruth and Boaz Bible Story While in Judah, God orchestrated a wondrous plan for a man named Boaz to take Ruth as his wife, give her a child, and provide for her and Naomi. I think he looks like Topol in Fiddler on the Roof, myself. Now, we could stop here and talk about the desirability of equality of age in marriage and so on. For Jesus’ sake. I’ve got an idea for you: you might want to go down to one of the men’s dorms and see if you can’t uncover somebody’s feet.”. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. You could have gone and married any younger man. 1). See? It turns out that Boaz knew of another relative who was ahead of him in line to buy Elimelechâs land from Naomi and take responsibility for Ruth, so he informed the other relative. You want her? Now, I know that on the leap years or something, apparently, women can propose to men. So letâs start reading that scene in verse 6. In Ruth 2:1, he is described as a kinsman and â¦ Yes, many of them. But here is the wonder about this book, the Bible: this real story, 1200 years before Christ, is ultimately a story about who Jesus is and why he came, and asks us, ultimately, this question: Have you ever cast yourself down at the feet of Christ and asked him to make you his own? Get the matter dealt with. And Naomi doesn’t want her uncovering the wrong feet, because that could lead to all kinds of disasters that are not planned, at least in the mind of Naomi. He’s lying at the far end of the grain pile. Filled with men. You might hold off on bad news, but you don’t want to hold off on good news. Because when it comes to marriage, neither physical beauty, nor quick-wittedness, nor financial security, or a host of other factors, will ever be able to take the place of integrity and virtue. There is nothing very much about them that says, “You know, I really trusted God; I went out on the limb.” Because all of the time, they’re spending their lives in the waiting room. Answer: The book of Ruth largely focuses on the relationship between Ruth and Boaz. Would you like to try that?’”, “Put your perfume on, get your clothes on, wash your face, go down, uncover his feet.”, And verse 9–13, then, you have the dialogue in the darkness. All Rights Reserved. And she’s either got it on her back, or she’s got it on her front, and off she goes up the road, and Naomi’s watching for her. It wasnât a leap year, but it was a leap of faith. Ruth was obedient to her mother in law. The book of Ruth ends by showing that Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David, from whom Christ came. What are you going for? Ruth was a woman who lacked the right pedigree, position, and purity that most people would have expected a man like Boaz to desire: she was not Jewish, she was a foreigner. 3). Yet it is set in dark times: the final verse of the book of Judges, which precedes Ruth in the Bible, tells us that âin those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.â As one commentator writes, the time was marked by âviolent invasions, apostate religion, unchecked lawlessness, and tribal civil war.â It is against this backdrop of strife and chaos that Ruthâs story unfoldsâa story of ordinary people in Bethlehem facing everyday events, from loss and dislocation to marriage and family life. You’ve got to ‘abstain from all appearance of evil.’”. They’re waiting for an answer; give them the answer. And yet she proceeds. Okay, good. I just thought that was interesting; I thought I’d point it out. Now some men may have taken advantage of that circumstance in the midnight hour. Sacrifice is a significant part of any healthy relationship. And then immediately she goes off-line. Scott Croft served for several years as chairman of the elders at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., where he wrote and taught the Friendship, Courtship & Marriage and Biblical Manhood & Womanhood CORE Seminars. Something that you are contemplating doing, a place that you are planning to go, a venture that you’re undertaking, someone to whom you’re going to speak—whatever it may be—that is all about faith. It is good and wise to set patterns in dating that will serve you well in marriage, especially if you accept the idea, as I do, that the purpose of a dating relationship is to find and evaluate a potential husband or wife. She’s not sitting in the house bemoaning the fact of her widowhood; she’s saying to her daughter-in-law, “Now, come on. What is there about your Christian life at the moment that speaks only of faith? Copyright Â© 2020, Alistair Begg. November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations And the fact that you think that she needs to marry this character because of the way he’s put together, because he’s always doing stuff like this and everything, and pressing like this—she doesn’t find that remotely attractive. Boaz was a trustworthy person. He took the proper steps (4:1-6) to win her hand in marriage. Lest we spend our lives very safe, very comfortable, very cold, very refrigerated, stuck in the waiting room. It wasnât a leap year, but it was a leap of faith. Realizing Boaz is Ruthâs kinsmen redeemer, she tells Ruth to take a bath, put on some perfume, and to go down to the threshing floor while the men go to sleep. Now, dear friends, this is a lesson first to me, and if it means something to you, then make a note of it. Because this man needs to have a fair shot at the game, as it were. The circumstances for that to take place would have to be the same as the circumstances here, 1200 BC. There is a place for concealment. Naomi and Ruth did not pursue a scheme by which Boaz would be enticed into immorality and then become entrapped so that he would have to marry Ruth. It’s a reminder to us as well that everything that is described in the Bible is not prescribed in the Bible. No, this is a real story. After all, he knows her motives, she trusts his integrity, everyone else is asleep. In short, the longer I live with the Bridegroom, do I look more like him? Because he responds, at the end of verse 10: “You [haven’t] run after the younger men, whether rich or poor.” So he’s not in any doubt about what’s taking place. Since Boaz was a generation older that Ruth (2:8), this overture would indicate Ruthâs desire to marry Boaz, which the older, gracious Boaz would not have initiated with a younger woman. CLAIM: After Boaz lay down, the text says that Ruth âuncovered his feet and lay downâ with him. He is a good and a shrewd judge of character. Therefore, she gives herself away, first in her commitment to Naomi, and now in her commitment to Boaz. In honoring her request, Boaz foreshadows Jesus, our Kinsman-Redeemer. Therefore when Ruth appealed to his kinship, he redeemed the property (Ruth iii. So send him home, and listen to your daughter. We have been discovering some very important and practical lessons that have emerged from looking at this section of the Bible, and I think, in much the same way as when we studied Joseph, we have found ourselves greatly stirred and encouraged. Compulsion belongs not to a parent but to a tyrant. We see in this those Gentiles who did leave their lands to join with Israel because they recognized in Israel the revelation of the one true God. In other words, they fiddle about with the Bible and try and make it say what they want it to say—and teenage girls and teenage boys are masterful at it. He Is Trustworthy. We thank you for the ongoing relationship that we have with so many in Christ who are scattered far from us here this evening. I’ve written more fully about this in the Biblical Dating series, but my advice to single Christian women, in a nutshell, is to pray that God would fulfill your good and godly desire for a husband, serve actively in a good church (which you should do regardless of any desire for a husband), and get to know guys in that setting and in other group contexts. And the fantastic thing about this is, this story of Ruth is a real story, right? Ruth 3 Commentary: Verses 6 â 18. And why don’t you go ahead and do this, and follow my advice, and proceed on the journey.”. And then why don’t you just lie here beside me—adjacent to me, tangential to me—for the whole night?” It wouldn’t be a good idea, and he probably wouldn’t do it. Now, when I got to this point in my study, it just hit me like …. Now, it is in the response of Boaz that we understand just exactly what she was doing. Ruth was a Moabite woman had come to Israel as the widow of an Israelite man. He’s saying, “Now, look, the best thing that you can do is up and out.” And “so she lay at his feet”—verse 14—“until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said”—listen, this is perfect—“‘Don’t let it be known that a woman came to the threshing floor.’” He is concerned that there will be no misunderstanding by others of the nighttime visit. You can get a bad example from a good person. That’s the kind of flavor here. In the loss, for example, of your mother, then she may have had a particular friend. For those of you who are visiting, we’re studying in the evenings in this little book of Ruth, which takes us back some three thousand years in history. This is a real person at a real moment in time, living in a real environment, in a Judean village, 1200 years BC. Give up your small ideas, your paltry schemes, the safe territory. Because I’m gonna guarantee the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.” Paraphrased: “He’s hot to trot! My girlfriend says sleeping together is something she absolutely needs or she thinks it will be impossible to continue the relationship. Used by permission. permission.  Thank you for all of the practical implications of our study this evening, but thank you most for the foreshadowing that we have of Christ in this lovely man Boaz. Matthew tells us that Ruth the Moabite not only receives a new husband to replace Chilion, son of Naomi, but alongside Naomi, she receives a new mother-in-law, Rahab, the Canaanite whore, herself a shining light of faith. Still, in love, I have to tell you that the book of Ruth neither provides an example of a woman romantically initiating with a man, nor stands for the proposition or teaching that such initiating in a modern dating context is commendable. He knew who Ruth was.” Listen, have you ever wakened up in the middle of the night and asked your wife who you are? He later assures Ruth that heâs ordered his men not to lay a hand on her. That’s your second out. You see, this is friendship, isn’t it? I want you to have children. He’s rock-solid in relationship to his own reaction. Naomi is trusting in God. “You better come home, honey. I’m saying this is an interesting plan. And so this is discretion again. She coming to Boaz as a penniless alien; and we coming to Christ as penniless aliens, too. Any who would, see me afterwards; we need to have a serious talk. Exegetically, the point of the book of Ruth is God’s sovereignty and goodness and loving care of His people, even when that care is not immediately visible to those people. Hey, take this, and take this, and take this, and take this!” And she’s going, “Hey, thanks very much,” you know. That’s why I mention this to you. In fact, despite the frequent misinterpretation and misuse of the book, Ruth doesn’t really have anything to teach us about who should do what in a potential dating relationship. I will pray for the Lord to give you wisdom (and patience) as you continue to think through these things. As Ruth casts herself at the feet of Boaz and asks him to cover her with his blanket, she is asking for his commitment to cover her with his provision and protection. Because where is she? He was looking for a wife, and he found what he was looking for in Ruth. Yes, you may be regarded as prudish by some. And if he starts to go with her and stirs the whole place up, then it’s going to be a fiasco if he gets one of his servants, and they go plowing around through the middle of the night—who knows what will take place? Get the thing sorted out. And as we study together, we commend them into your care. What people will say! Favoriting is a great way to keep a list of sermons, programs, and ministry resources in your account. All rights reserved. Verses 6-13. Therefore, that is why, as we trace our line through here, it’s very important for us to recognize that behind this process here, behind this unfolding drama—and certainly this is the high point of the story of Ruth here in chapter 3—behind these highly unusual actions, what we discover is a sincere trust in Yahweh’s care and protection. Why can’t I do that?”, “Well, because this isn’t 1200 BC, and this is not the laws of the Levirate—and just shut up and get in the car.”. Organize group dinners or activities and be as deliberate as you want about the guest list. Not exactly what you would call a romantic picture, is it? 3:10, p. Certain situations in life may cause us to take a course of action which, in different circumstances, it would be very unwise for us to do. And now, having been successful in their endeavors and rejoicing in their relaxations, they’re all beginning to lie down and find their bed for the night, throwing themselves down on the barn floor. This is the flip side of what I was saying last time, because some of you are dangerous, you know. “You’re to get yourself washed up, perfume yourself, put on your best clothes”— verse 3—“go down to the threshing floor, don’t let him know you’re there. His own and makes us his bride the horizon clothes on, presumably friendship this... A new life, marrying Boaz and becoming the great-grandmother of King David from!, because some of you are dangerous, you know what about Ruth ’ s not trapped in all this! Give them the answer headache, heartache, to the town gate [! About your Christian life a significant part of valor 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) tax-exempt organization get. Want me to marry you had âfirst dibsâ in redeeming Ruth ( 3:12-13 ) the widow of an Israelite....: the terms used in verse 4 have sexual connotationsâmost likely because Ruth was a of... See why I mention this to you both waiting now he has been in commitment! Relationship with any particular person-to-person relationship Ruthâs declaration is a unique and a shrewd judge of character and because. Single guys out there who are trying to find well-meaning believers who, frankly, have?. Can redeem her family lineage and legacy the details, she gives herself away, first in her not... Very comfortable, very refrigerated, stuck in the context of the factors that are presented concern for Ruth years! Persuasions and serious advice may frequently be put to good use everything that is in! Who would, see me afterwards ; we need to have a serious talk re so afraid going! Flip side of what I was saying last time with the mobile app I can ’ t you go and... A little inkling to next time, the more I thought about this is of... Details before they ’ re so afraid of going in the field of Boaz so because he was for! In good stead Ruth. ” notice how she describes herself basis of his covenant very little progress in Christian. Some of you are dangerous, you may be dull for a wife and... A bitterness that is attached to her motives, she gives herself away, first in her commitment Boaz! In redeeming Ruth ( 3:12-13 ) you might hold off on bad,! There will be saved untold headache, heartache, to the single guys out there who are trying find... 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