3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: Key Point: God is about to provide a redeemer for Ruth and is so doing he’s about to redeem the world.

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Unless otherwise noted all scripture is quoted from the New Living Translation of the Bible.

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“Around midnight, Boaz suddenly woke up and turned over. He was surprised to find a woman lying at his feet! [9] ‘Who are you?’ he demanded.

“‘I am your servant Ruth,’ she replied. ‘Spread the corner of your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer.’" – Ruth 3:8-9

Now things are really starting to heat up for Ruth – and depending on how you read verse 9, here in chapter 3, they could be getting hot! But we’ll get back to that in a minute.

As you recall things started out looking pretty bleak.

Naomi and husband and two sons had moved to Moab because there was a famine around the home town of Bethlehem. The sons married Moabite women. Then Naomi’s husband died – and then her two sons died as well. Naomi was devastated and was convinced that God has done this to her and that she had no future – so she might as well return to her hometown of Bethlehem. Besides, the word out on the street was that the famine in Bethlehem was over.

She encouraged her daughters-in-law to return to their original families so they could get married again. One does – but not Ruth. She was hopelessly devoted to her mother-in-law. So leaving behind her native land, language, culture, and people she went to Bethlehem with Naomi.

So we’ve got these two poor women trying to eke out an existence in Bethlehem.

In that era if you didn’t have a man you didn’t have much hope because it was a male dominated world. Men owned the property. Men earned the living. If you were a single woman not under the covering of some man – a father, an uncle, a brother, a husband – you were stuck.

And such appeared to be the case with Naomi and her daughter-in-law, Ruth.

Although, they could still do the things that poor people did to survive. So Ruth went out into the fields to glean.

Well, as it turned out she ended up gleaning in the field of a middle-aged balding, overweight guy named Boaz. And Boaz, was extremely nice to Ruth – making it easy for her to glean. He even provided lunch and extra grain for her to take home to Naomi.

Ruth goes home to Naomi with her booty and Naomi says – “Wow, this guy would make a great husband for you. Hey, he’s even a member of my late husband’s extended family.”

And according to ancient custom members of the family had the option – even the obligation – to marry the widow of someone in the clan. There were some specific guidelines as to who was first in line to do this.

Eugene Peterson’s rendering in his Message translation of Ruth carries the story line quite well. Naomi is speaking. Ruth 3:2-4 (Msg) – “And isn’t Boaz our close relative, the one with whose young women you’ve been working? Maybe it’s time to make our move. [A regular Yente!] Tonight is the night of Boaz’s barley harvest at the threshing floor.

[3] "Take a bath. Put on some perfume. Get all dressed up and go to the threshing floor. But don’t let him know you’re there until the party is well under way and he’s had plenty of food and drink. [4] When you see him slipping off to sleep, watch where he lies down and then go there. Lie at his feet to let him know that you are available to him for marriage. Then wait and see what he says. He’ll tell you what to do."

In our way of thinking it’s kind of a strange way to express interest in marriage. And it was probably strange to Ruth as well. Remember she was a foreigner and Naomi has to explain the custom to her.

So Ruth does exactly what Naomi says. She goes to the threshing floor where Boaz has been working and apparently eating dinner, too. She waits in the wings until Boaz has eaten and had plenty to drink.

It’s dark. He has to get back to work early in the morning. There’s nothing good on TV anyway. So he lies down to sleep.

As soon as he is snoring Ruth sneaks in, pulls the blanket off Boaz’s feet – exposing them to the cool night air – and she lies down next to his feet.

About Midnight Boaz realizes that his toes are cold and wakes up – only to discover that there is someone else in the room. And not only is someone else in the room, that someone is at his feet. And that someone is a woman!

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