Summary: 1) Ruth submitted to Boaz 2) Ruth listened to Boaz 3) Ruth received gifts from Boaz & 4) Ruth waited for Boaz to work
How has your sleep been this summer? Are you a light or heavy sleeper? With the cooler temperatures this summer it has meant no air conditioning but unlike other cooler times of year, most nights it means sleeping with the windows open. Naturally when the windows are open you hear everything outside. You hear rain storms, noisy animals, howling winds, trains, traffic, loud parties and every imaginable commotion. If you are a lighter sleeper, it means frequent rude awakenings.
“Life is full of rude awakenings!”, and more than one biblical character would agree. Adam went to sleep and woke up to discover he’d been through surgery and was now a married man. Jacob woke up to discover he was married to the wrong woman! Boaz woke up at midnight to find a woman lying at his feet.
Ruth 3:6–13 which transpires between evening and midnight, describes Ruth’s implementation of Naomi’s scheme and Boaz’s immediate response; Ruth 3:14–15 which occurs from midnight to morning, describes a subsequent scene at the threshing floor and sees this party back into town (Block, Daniel Isaac: Judges, Ruth. electronic ed. Nashville : Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1999 (Logos Library System; The New American Commentary 6), S. 688).
Whenever we are woken, it means less rest and we become weary. Rest of course is related to things beyond sleep. The greatest rest we can have is in our redeemer. The rest that Ruth experienced in Ruth 3:6-18 from her redeemer Boaz, is a picture of the rest we can have in our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
In finding “Rest for the Weary”, we see how:
1) Ruth submitted to Boaz (Ruth 3:6–9)
Ruth 3:6-9 So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! He said, "Who are you?" And she answered, "I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer." (ESV)
This scene opens with a transitional expository note that Ruth made good on her promise to Naomi (v. 6). She went down to the threshing floor and carried out all of Naomi’s commands. Ruth’s unquestioning obedience to her mother-in-law represents one more sign of the covenantal faithfulness/hesed that Boaz will talk about in v. 10.
In v. 7 the narrator describes what Ruth observed at the threshing floor. First, she watched Boaz eat and drink until he “was in good spirits.” The idiom yāṭab lēb, literally “a heart is good,” describes a sense of euphoria and well-being. No doubt Boaz was satisfied with the work that was accomplished this day, but he probably also was feeling the effects of the wine. But unlike Lot in Genesis 19, there is no reason to interpret this as a drunken stupor. The narrator paints an image of a contented man at peace within himself and in harmonious step with a world that is yielding its fruit as a result of Yahweh’s blessing (1:6) and his hard work (Block, Daniel Isaac: Judges, Ruth. electronic ed. Nashville : Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1999 (Logos Library System; The New American Commentary 6), S. 689).
• As an introduction to this section, the peace/rest we see is when things function as they should. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the fruit of hard work.
Second, Ruth watched Boaz leave the supper and go and lie down at the far end of the heap of threshed grain. The heap/pile of grain that had accumulated from days of threshing and winnowing and was waiting to be transported into the city. Normally the heap/pile would have been at the edge of the winnowing floor. Describing the scene from Ruth’s perspective, the preposition qāṣeh, “end,” suggests that Boaz lay down on the opposite end of the pile (Block, Daniel Isaac: Judges, Ruth. electronic ed. Nashville : Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1999 (Logos Library System; The New American Commentary 6), S. 689).
Please turn to Ephesians 2
Boaz might have refused to have anything to do with Ruth; but in his love for her, he accepted her. He even called her “my daughter” (see 2:8) and pronounced a blessing on her (see Eph. 1:3). Ruth who was once an alien and stranger to Boaz, is now brought close through this redeemer:
Ephesians 2:11-22 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands-- remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (ESV)