Summary: Boaz had several opportunities to exploit Ruth and Naomi but he chose to do the right thing.
Situations and Advantages
A.Text: Ruth 3: 1-14
1.Poor Boaz, not a chance.
b.Trapping men hasn’t changed much in 3100 years has it?
c.Look pretty – smell nice – act vulnerable -catch ‘em sleeping.
2.Naomi was wise and Ruth heeded wisdom really well.
3.Remember how passionate Ruth was about going with Naomi back in chapter 1: 16-18?
4.“Spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid…” Ruth
a.This was the same as proposing marriage.
b.A man laying his cloak over a woman signified acceptance.
c.“Spreading the skirt …” was also a symbol of a guaranty of protection for the woman or slave also.
d.This is still a ritual at Jewish weddings.
B. Where are you going with this?
1.Circumstances & Situations
a.Jewish tradition: at this time Boaz is 80 & Ruth is 40 y.o.
b.Boaz was wealthy/Ruth was poor.
c.It was dark; who would know (or care for that matter).
d.Moabites were not high on the CoI “favorite people” list.
e.Boaz was not exactly who Ruth or Naomi thought he was.
1.Boaz did not withhold the truth. Vs. 12
2.Boaz was put in a “savior” position but he didn’t exploit his status.
2.Boaz had an upper hand on Ruth in every aspect but chose to be Godly and not exploit or take advantage.
a.Women to a point were mere property.
b.We are responsible for how we handle those less fortunate in regards anything.
A. Marriage for the wrong reason.
1.Boaz is 80 y.o. & Ruth is 40 y.o. per Jewish tradition.
a.Trophies: old men take young wives or vice versa.
b.Most have long forgotten the sanctity and purpose of marriage.
1.Men and women both take trophy spouses at times. Ruth could have easily been a trophy for an old man like Boaz.
2.Many have never been taught God’s truths in this matter. Our times are as the times of the judges. (Jud. 21: 25)
2.Ruth could have been much more forward and seductive.
a.Consider (Gen. 3: 16b)
b.Boaz could easily been a trophy for Ruth.
1.He had wealth and notoriety.
2.Some scholars believe he was the judge Izban mentioned in Judges 12.
3.Important to teach our young ones about marrying for the right reasons, not for lust or fame.
a.Under the auspices of point 1-b Boaz could have had his way with her and marriage never had to enter in the occasion. Isn’t it that way even today?
b.Boaz was an honorable man. (Ruth 3: 14)
c.Though it seems odd today, Ruth’s actions and intentions were honorable under Jewish law.
B. Boaz did not take advantage of…
1.His financial standing.
a.He could have bought Naomi’s land w/o “redeeming” Ruth.
1.He could have saved the cost of a wife. Most believe this is the main reason the one closer kin deferred to Boaz.
2.Are we as ethical in our business practices?
b.The world’s view of “good business” is different from ours.
c.I Tim. 6: 10 Love = greed = disregard for God and the poor.
1.Remember the man who said, “I’ll tear down my barns and tomorrow I’ll build bigger ones,”?
2.Remember the Rich man and Lazarus?
a.Ruth was very vulnerable at the threshing floor.
1.We can deduce it was not a place for respectable women.
2.Although she was safe with Boaz, it may not have been true of another man.
3.Boaz could have easily taken her and not be seen.
b.Do we tend to think we can hide our sins in darkness?
1.John 3: 19
2.Psa. 139: 7-12
c.It doesn’t matter if we mistreat others and no one sees us because the One that matters always does. See Deut. 22: 4.
3.His superior knowledge
a.Ruth 3: 12 – Ruth and Naomi were unaware of the nearer kinsman.
b.Rom. 14: 1-6 & 22-23
c.Jesus spoke the whole truth in love to every struggler he ever met. The only ones He ever severely reprimanded were the scribes and Pharisees. Read Mt. 23 sometime.
1.Eph. 4: 15
2.Heb. 5: 12-14
3.Superiority can lead to arrogance so we must remember what Paul tells us in Rom. 12: 16.
a.There was an arrogance about the CoI that God warned them against in Deut. 8.
1.Boaz showed respect for Ruth though she was an alien.
a.The origin of her people was despicable in itself because it came about by the incestuous relationship of Lot and his oldest daughter.
b.The Samaritan woman Jo. 4: Samaritans were considered inferior or mongrel Jews.
c.Mk. 2: 16 Jesus ate with publicans and sinners who were alien to Him when His righteousness is considered. This applies to us. We have to live in this world but are not to be of this world. We should imitate Jesus and seek to save the lost.
2.God used the Moabites on occasion to subdue and humble the CoI. Jud. 3: 14 tells us they were held captive by Eglon king of the Moabites for 18 years. Deut. 23: 1-6