Summary: In this sermon on Ruth chapter 3, Naomi encourages Ruth to make a bold and decent proposal to Boaz. From Naomi, Ruth and Boaz we learn the importance of stepping out in faith and doing the right things the right way.
A. Today, as we return to the story of Ruth, we will witness an unusual marriage proposal, so I thought it would be fun to start with a few funny marriage proposals I found on the internet.
1. This first picture shows the importance of getting things in the right position when making a successful marriage proposal.
a. Everything is backwards and one thing is side ways! It’s hard to find good help!
2. If you decide to have your proposal written in the sky, it helps to choose a cloudless day.
3. When asking someone to marry you on a marque, it helps to identify yourself.
4. The same is true if you write it on the inside of a pizza box.
5. Here’s a few other food related proposals…
a. Great idea, right? Put the ring in a bun – sure hope she noticed it before she ate it!
b. The way to a woman’s heart is definitely through Taco Bell sauce! Don’t you think?
c. This guy went all out at Outback Steakhouse, he even got an appetizer! Outback Steakhouse tweeted: “Congrats to Brandon who just asked his girlfriend to marry him with the best flower ever – a Bloomin’ Onion!”
6. Here’s one final one for you: I think you better be pretty sure of her answer if you are going to have the question tattooed on your back. Just sayin!
7. This week I attended a memorial service for the husband of one of my mother’s life-long best friends.
a. During the service one of the sons told the story of his parent’s courtship.
b. They had a single blind date before he left for the Navy for two years.
c. They wrote letters to each other throughout those two years and in one of the letters he popped the question.
d. She said, “Yes,” and they eloped when he came home from the Navy and their marriage lasted 57 years – how special is that!
8. With all marriage proposals, there is risk involved and the person has to step out on faith.
a. Sometimes it is truly a stab in the dark (no chance she will say “yes), but other times it may seem like a done deal.
b. But there is always a question involved, and it can be answered “yes” or “no.”
9. When I asked Diana to marry me, I was pretty sure she would say “yes,” but she didn’t know I had been buying the ring, and she didn’t know when I would pop the question.
a. Thankfully, she said, “yes,” and has continued to say “yes” for all these years!
B. We don’t know how Naomi’s son popped the question to Ruth when they were married before he died, but today we are going to witness a very unusual, but a very decent marriage proposal.
1. Let’s do a quick review of the story that we have covered up to this point.
2. Naomi and Ruth had experienced a lot of hardship and heartbreak – they had lost their husbands while living in Moab, but had returned to Bethlehem when the famine had lifted.
3. Naomi had returned to Bethlehem as a broken and hopeless woman, but God began to extend His favor and lift her spirits when Ruth went out to glean and ended up in the field of Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s deceased husband, and a potential kinsman redeemer.
4. Boaz noticed Ruth in his field and showed her extraordinary favor and generosity during the harvest.
5. Naomi was so thankful that her daughter-in-law had been able to bring home such a large amount of grain over the course of the harvest.
a. It was a real treasure and would sustain the two of them for some time.
6. Boaz’s positive treatment of Ruth throughout the harvest likely had both Naomi and Ruth wondering if Boaz also had a romantic interest in Ruth.
a. If Boaz treated all those who gleaned his fields the way he treated Ruth, he’d be gleaned out of house and home! Right?
b. However, if he was romantically inclined toward Ruth, he hadn’t made it publicly known.
c. Perhaps he thought he was too old for her and that she would want someone younger.
d. Perhaps Ruth was still wearing her widow’s clothes signaling that she was still grieving.
C. But now that the harvest drawing to a close, Naomi knew that the opportunity for Ruth to be proactive with Boaz was about to end.
1. Naomi was not just some meddling mother-in-law, rather she was looking out for Ruth’s very best interests by concocting the plan she was about to propose.
2. Without a plan like the one Naomi would suggest, Ruth would have had to glean every harvest for years to come just in order to get by.