Summary: This chapter in Ruth gives us a perfect example of how we need to recognize our need for a redeemer and claim the gift that Jesus gives. He doesn’t pour it out until we ask for it. We need to go and allow him to cover us with the corner of his cloak. Boaz
So Naomi finds out that Ruth is gleaning in Boaz’s field and she says, “Should I not seek rest for you, Is Boaz not our relative?” If you recall when Naomi was telling Ruth and Orpah to stay in Moab she said, “The Lord grant that you find rest, each of you in the house of her husband”. This rest seems to have to do with marriage and maybe even having children. So Naomi here again is saying “should I not seek Boaz to be your husband?”
Naomi knows that Boaz will be winnowing his barley at the threshing floor. You see these farmers would have a threshing floor usually on a hill that was exposed to wind. When the afternoon and evening winds would come up, they would go and throw their threshed grain into the air and all the chaff would blow away leaving the grain on the ground. His workers would probably have been with him as well.
When they were done for the night or the wind stopped, they would all sleep in a circle around the grain with their feet facing out to protect the grain from thieves. Now Naomi tells Ruth to clean her self up, finally get out of her grieving and working clothes, put on some perfume, your good clothes, and wait till they’ve all eaten and had some drinks so that they are sleeping soundly, and then go to Boaz.
Naomi sees that Boaz (the lord of this harvest) wants to be Ruth’s redeemer, he gives her everything, but Ruth ultimately has to claim him as her redeemer. I know it sounds kind of strange to us, but this process that Naomi gives Ruth to do is very customary for that time and culture.
We want to look closely at the process: wash, anoint, put on your cloak, lie down at his feet, tell him that you want him to have you/save you/redeem you. Doesn’t this sound similar to what a lost sinner does to receive Christ? We have to be washed by Christ. It says in Titus 3 that it is by His mercy that we are saved, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Spirit. We must be born again, washed by the blood of Jesus.
After we are washed or saved by Christ’s blood we are anointed by the Holy Spirit. Now here Ruth is to wash herself and anoint herself, that is what they had to do before Christ came, but it is a picture of what happens in the future when we are saved by Christ. 1 John 2:20 “But you have an anointing from the Holy One”. So Ruth washes up puts on some “Midnight in Moab”, and then is to put on some nice clothes.
We are to put on the robe of righteousness. Paul speaks of this robe that we are literally to wear the righteousness of Christ, and not only that, we hear in Revelation that we are being adorned for the wedding feast of the Lamb just like a bride being presented to her husband.
So there’s all the preparation, then Ruth is to go to Boaz at the threshing floor and claim him as her kinsman redeemer. That is a crucial step, we can do everything else but in the end we must recognize our need for a redeemer and claim the gift that Jesus gives. He doesn’t pour it out until we ask for it.
We need to go and allow him to cover us with the corner of his cloak. Boaz like Jesus wants to be the redeemer, but that redemption must be claimed. We must ask for refuge under his wings. Ruth is to lay at his feet and cover herself with the end of his robe. She does this quietly at his feet so that there would be no misconstrual that this was in any way immoral.
And notice that it says when she does this, He will tell you what to do. We are to follow all that Jesus commands as he says in the Great Commission, but notice it comes after repentance and baptism. After we have sought refuge in Christ, that is when we are to do all that he says. Not to get His salvation. Why do you think that is?
I think it’s because when we really understand what he has done to redeem us and we claim that by faith, we will trust everything else he says, and obedience to his commands will be a joy because we know without a doubt that he loves us and would never ask us to do anything where he would not be there for us.
The Great Commission is bookended by “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me”, and “I am with you always, to the end of the age”. When we really believe that, is there anything we should fear as we obey his commands. Remember believing in is trusting in.