Summary: Do we know the rights things to do and are we really doing them?
Please open your Bibles to the Book of Ruth….
We will learn from Chapter 3 and a portion of 4 this morning. But before reading, let us note a few things which will help us understand the situation with Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. Look briefly at Ruth 2:20….
Boaz was one of the “kinsman-redeemers” for Naomi and Ruth! Who were the kinsman-redeemers? Kinsman-redeemer was an Old Hebrew Law. It was the right thing to do during Old Testament time when a relative was in need. There were several scriptures which resulted in this Hebrew Law of kinsman-redeemer. Basically, in case of a death of a husband, a kinsman-redeemer was obligated to marry a widow of a relative to help and to keep the family name.
A kinsman-redeemer was godly responsible for a relative in need, especially those widowed.
We also need to note that it was a religious ritual for an owner of a harvest field to sleep outside on the threshing floor after winnowing the harvest; and it was also typical for a servant to lie down by the master’s feet to seek protection.
Let us together pray our commitment to God’s Word before reading the story…..
Read along with me Ruth 3….
Let us summarize the story. In the beginning of Ruth 3, Naomi realized how Ruth can be provided for in a right godly way because Boaz was bound by Hebrew Law to help. Boaz was one of the kinsman-redeemers for Naomi and Ruth. And so…..
v1-4: Naomi gave godly wisdom to Ruth to get help.
What do we note in v5-9? - Ruth did what Naomi told her to do! Now remember that Ruth was a pagan still learning the ways of God. But remember what Ruth said? – “Your God will be my God!” What a commitment! What faith Ruth had!
Naomi was God’s instrument for Ruth! Ruth likely did not know the significance of what she was doing but totally trusted Naomi, thus trusting God!
In v10-12, we note that Boaz knew exactly what he needed to; Boaz could have taken advantage of Ruth, but he didn’t! Boaz knew he was being called as a kinsman-redeemer, but what else did Boaz knew??
Boaz knew he did not have the first right to marry the widow Ruth and so he took the steps to find out if he has any right at all!
We note in v13: Boaz told Ruth the right thing must be done and made a promise to do it!
Now look at v14 again………
Now, if I didn’t explain in the beginning what Naomi and Ruth were up to, what would have gone through your mind, like I did the first time I read it? If people saw that Ruth spent the night with Boaz, what would people say about Ruth and Boaz? We read in v11 that Ruth was known already as a noble woman; that nobility would have been marred if people knew she slept beside Boaz for the night; even if they weren’t intimate, people will talk; and people love to accuse godly righteous people!
They certainly kept what happened secret to the public and they could have done whatever they wanted that night; but who was watching??
Let us not forget that God was involved in the lives of Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz! From the very beginning of the story in Ruth 2, what could have gone wrong with this story??
If Naomi and Ruth wanted to plot a marriage, shouldn’t Ruth have gone to the man who had first right as kinsman-redeemer? As we noted last week, God led Ruth to Boaz’ field! God was watching and leading Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz! God knew exactly what was going on, even in the middle of a dark night!
Now, what godly thing happened? Read along with me Ruth 4:1-12…..
And so, what did Boaz do?
Boaz found the man who had the first right to Naomi’s land and to Naomi’s daughter-in-law.
Boaz shared and offered the right to the man in front of 10 witnesses.
In v4, why did the man say right away “I will redeem it!”??
The first kinsman-redeemer was willing to just get a good deal of property!
In v5-6, why did the first kinsman-redeemer turned down his right??
Yes, the first kinsman-redeemer knew that Boaz or someone else can claim Naomi and Ruth but the main reason for rejecting is stated in Scriptures. The first kinsman-redeemer rejected his right because he was afraid of what others would say! I wonder if this guy was still alive when David became King of Israel, who could have been his great-grandson?
Now, why do you think God placed v7 in the story??
God made a point to tell us exactly what the right thing to do was at that time!