Sermons

Summary: 1) Ruth submitted to Boaz 2) Ruth listened to Boaz 3) Ruth received gifts from Boaz & 4) Ruth waited for Boaz to work

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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) 2) Ruth listened to Boaz (Ruth 3:10–14)

3) Ruth received gifts from Boaz (Ruth 3:15–17) and finally: 4) Ruth waited for Boaz to work (Ruth 3:18)

1) Ruth submitted to Boaz (Ruth 3:6–9)

Ruth 3:6-9 [6]So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded 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 grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. [8]At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! [9]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).


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