Summary: Christmas is about true love.
Ruth 3 - True Love
INTRODUCTION: The Princess Bride - how I love this movie and I think it is the best story of all time.
In The Princess Bride, Westley is driven by one goal—to return to the love of his life, Buttercup. Westley does whatever it takes for his one "true love." He scales mountains, fights giants, goes through extreme torture, and even dies - or at least he becomes half-dead. In one scene in the movie, there is this exchange that best shows his "true love" for Buttercup:
Westley: Can you move at all?
Buttercup: Move? You’re alive. If you want, I could fly.
Westley: I told you, "I would always come for you." Why didn’t you wait for me?
Buttercup: Well ... you were dead.
Westley: Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.
Buttercup: I will never doubt again.
Westley: There will never be a need
“True love is like a pair of socks: you gotta have two and they’ve gotta match.”
This kind of true love, the true love that Westley displayed for Buttercup, is the kind of true love that Ruth is asking for.
I. Ruth asked for true love.
And after Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was cheerful, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came softly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet. And he said, "Who are you?" So she answered, "I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative." Then he said, "Blessed are you of the LORD, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. (Ruth 3:7-10 NKJV)
What about this strange middle of the night encounter? What is the deal with taking off his sandals? What was this about? What was Ruth thinking?
Apparently, the "uncovering the feet" had a significance that Noami had known. It was a sign of interest that Ruth would have for Boaz. This was a woman’s way of saying she was interested in a man. Strange as it may seem, it was not sexual at all. Because after she took his shoes off and laid beside him, he knew exactly what to do. Boaz knew that Ruth was interested in him. You see it in the the response he says to her. He realizes that she is a very young woman, and that he is not a young man. He is much older than her. As a result, Boaz knows that Ruth has decided to love him even though he is an older man.
And you can’t look at it like this Anna Nicole Smith - a very young lady who married a 80-year old man just for his money. She really had true love in mind for Boaz.
There was this custom for widows who were left without a son to continue the family line. It was called the Levirate Marriage custom. Naomi basically asked Ruth to ask for Boaz as her husband. Boaz would know that since Ruth is a close relative, there was an obligation to take care of the family. Boaz knew that Ruth would come asking for this request. She needed someone like Boaz to continue the family line.
Ruth asked for Boaz to take her as his wife. Ruth asked for true love from Boaz. She wanted him to be like Westley in The Princess Bride. Will Boaz do everything and anything for her? This is what Ruth is asking. She is asking Boaz for true love.
Are you asking?
II. Boaz answered the call of true love.
Look at what Boaz does. He does not misuse the opportunity. He could have easily misused Ruth. He could have taken advantage of the midnight encounter. Instead, he does not. He answers the call of true love. He responds with integrity.
True love is NOT:
1. A sexual encounter.
2. A wish list of wants and desires.
3. A living-together agreement or business transaction
True love is deciding to take responsibility and do what is necessary for the person God has put with you. True love is answering the call of your spouse when she or he asks. Just as Buttercup asked and Westley answered, just as Ruth asked Boaz and he answered, so men must be ready to answer.
Are you answering the call?
III. The Kinsman-Redeemer as a picture of Christ fulfills true love.
In this story, a poor widow named Naomi, returns home without a penny to her name. In order that she can be taken care for, she needs a relative who is willing to redeem her. This means that she needs someone who will pay the price that is necessary to take her out of her physical poverty, and give her an inheritance. This inheritance is not just a financial payment, but also an obligation to bring a son. Only a son will continue the family line and ensure that the widow will be remembered.