Summary: Following Naomi's advice, Ruth did 4 things to help put their lives back together. They are the same four things we must do to put our lives together after a major trial, struggle or catastrophe in our lives.
How To Put Your LIfe Back Together
August 18, 2013
ATTENTION: This interpretation of Ruth and the threshing floor incident takes the traditional view of Ruth's actions. I have another sermon on the same text that takes a different view titled Doing it Right, looking at what might be described as suspicious motives on Naomi's part and naive, and less pure, reactions on Ruth's part. You might want to read them both and decide which best fits your understanding of the events described in the book of Ruth. Also, the sermon below deals more with how Boaz as a “type of Christ” than Doing it Right.
TEXT: Please turn to Ruth 3
I’d like to read a story to you that I thought was very interesting:
It was Sunday morning and Harry was off. He pulled driveway in his 2-seater convertible, with the roof closed because of typical Melbourne driving rain, and headed for church. But as he turned into the main road he saw ahead of him three bedraggled figures huddled under a single umbrella at the next bus stop. One was old Mrs Fletcher. She still insisted on getting to church by herself, despite her arthritis which was always worse in wet weather. There was Dr. Jones, the local GP. A year earlier Dr. Jones had diagnosed a rare and dangerous disease that Harry had contracted on an overseas vacation, so Harry virtually owed him his life. And the third person was Judith. Harry had had a crush on Judith for the past 6 months since she joined their church but had never had the courage or the opportunity to ask her out.
Harry had about 3 seconds to decide what to do. There was only one spare seat. Who should he offer a lift to? But 3 seconds was enough. He pulled to a halt, jumped out, passed the keys to Dr Jones, helped Mrs Fletcher into the passenger seat, then modestly waved them good-bye as he huddled close to Judith under the umbrella.
As we’ll see as we move on in our story of Ruth, in matters of romance, chance and good sense often go together to bring about a happy ending. In fact, in so many areas of life God’s will is brought about by a combination of divine providence and human responsibility.
We saw this last week.
• When Naomi found out that Ruth had gleaned in the field of Boaz, she suddenly realized that God was up to something.
Her whole attitude about life changed. She remembered that Boaz was related to her husband and that, according to the Law of Moses, Boaz might be able to help them if he were able and willing. That was the divine providence side of things.
• But there is also the human responsibility side.
God had brought Boaz in their lives. What would they do in response to the opportunity God had placed in their path?
Let’s see as we read: verses 1-7 – “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? 2 And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor. 3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking. 4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do. 5 And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.
6 And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her. 7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.”
Note word “rest” in verse 1. The Hebrew word here means, “to be settled in life; to be secure in a home.” Ruth was young and needed a husband. It was customary in that day for Hebrew parents to arrange marriages for their children. So Naomi was concerned that her daughter-in-law, Ruth, who had been so faithful to her, be settled and find a mate.
Boaz was Ruth’s and Naomi’s only hope for solving their problems and putting their lives together again. So Naomi conceived a plan; but in order for this plan to work, Ruth had to fulfill some definite conditions. And they’re the same three things you’ll need to do if you need to put your life back together after a time of trial, struggle or catastrophe.