The Surprising Proposal

 
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If you like love stories than today is for you. But this is definitely not your typical love story. If you are in search of an unusual or fresh plotline, here it is.

In fact, this is one of the more peculiar turn of events you might find for a courtship. And so, we are going to embark on this story and glean the rich details that flow from a text like this.

Themes of love and integrity and devotion and generosity.

And yet this story functions much like the healing of the blind man that we studied in Mark. It was a real event with actual significance in the moment, and yet it typified an even greater spiritual reality. And so, in the life of that man he gained physical sight as he encountered Jesus and God was glorified. And yet it was also a living illustration of the truth that Jesus gives not only physical sight but spiritual sight, and the disciples were moving from blurry to focused spiritual vision at this time.

So, it is with our story today.

It would be tragic if we encountered today’s message and enjoyed the story itself, without recognizing the greater realities that this story points to.

The interaction between Boaz and Ruth depicts the kindness and love and generosity of God who gives his love freely and lavishly to us who have nothing in ourselves to offer.

God brings about a plan as he brings a foreigner into the messianic line, not apartment but through the everyday decisions of life to honor the Lord in the little.

Act 3—The Surprising Proposal

  1. The proposal is designed (1-5)

  2. The proposal is delivered (6-13)

  3. The proposal is delayed (14-18)

Naomi has determined that it is time for Ruth to get married, and time for her household lineage to endure. She’s locked, loaded and ready to go. I’ve got a plan all figured out, I’ve got your man already picked out. Let’s seize the moment.

Let’s just say, Naomi isn’t too concerned about an overbearing mother-in-law stereotype.

(1) Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you?

They ladies are hanging out together. And Naomi brings a topic up, seemly out of the blue. It has to do with suggesting that she has a role in Ruth’s future, here referred to as security. Of course, she doesn’t mean personal safety, in fact, you could render security, resting place.

I like the way one modern bible translation renders this verse:

One day, Naomi said to Ruth: It's time I found you a husband, who will give you a home and take care of you.

Now one of the facts of life of being a single adult in the people of God is people encouraging you to be in a relationship. But this isn’t a mere prodding or a flippant remark.

She’s bringing this up as a way of introducing a topic that she has done some thinking and observing concerning and she’s now ready to move forward.

Notice that Naomi phrases the request negatively, with a focus on the time dimension. A vernacular would be isn’t it about time that I find you a husband? Is this some admission on the part of Naomi to procrastination in her motherly duty?

No, what’s she’s saying is much more substantial than that. There are two dynamics in play here. First, it’s been two months, harvest is nearly over, Boaz and Ruth haven’t gotten together yet, so somebody needs to do something.

There’s one other topic that it appears has come up with regard to timing. She’s asking, “isn’t it about time to close the chapter on your grief from the loss of your husband, my son Mahlon?”

Naomi is saying, “girl it’s time to move on.”

Losing a spouse is devastating. I remember a dear widow in our church who had been widowed mid-life. Many years later, even having remarried she would still be overwhelmed with emotion when she would speak of her first husband.

Ruth has been in mourning. She was wearing mourning clothes, which indicates to everyone that she is off-the-market. She’s a grieving widow, not ready for marriage.

But time has passed and things have now changed.

If Naomi’s words sound familiar to you here it’s because these match her prayer in chapter 1:9 when she blessed Orpha and Ruth by saying:

Ruth 1:9—May the LORD grant that you may find rest, each in the house of her husband…

She prayed it. Now she’s determined that it’s time to make it happen. The narrator doesn’t tell us whether this was on the heels of many conversations about this topic, or if it was sprung on her. But if I’m Ruth you have my attention. A mix of joy, relief, fear.

And then Naomi says…

(2) “Now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were?

I can’t help but smile here. Sounds like Naomi is trying to play it cool by the way she phrases this so nonchalantly. Oh, by the way, you know Boaz? Our kinsman Boaz? The one whose maids you have been working with?

He’s our relative, our kinsman (more on that later).

Behold, (i.e., look or listen up)

Pay close attention. Tonight, is the night. Inclines me to think there had been some discussion leading up to this one, and now Naomi is saying to here: the time has come to carry out what we’ve previously talked about.

he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight.

We don’t know if it’s Tuesday night and that’s the night that Boaz is down at the threshing floor, or whether he is there every night.

The threshing floor may conjure up different images for each of us. The threshing floor was an area like a patio of made of either a large rock face or else packed dirt. It was typically located on the top of a hill or ridge where it could get maximum airflow.

Harvested grain would be processed then in the cool of the evening, utilizing the elevated location to take advantage of the wind to aid in the process and speed things along.

Winnowing barley would take place at the end of the harvest.

Barley is a cereal, a grain, which is part of the grass family. Picture the grasses that grow in the Valley and barley looks very similar to grass seed or wheat. It would be harvested and then typically allowed to dry in sheaves and then at the end of the harvest it would be prepared for storage.

The preparation process involved beating that heads of the barley to get the grains to separate from the head of the stalk. Once that took place then the grain had to be sorted from all the broken-up material, referred to as chaff.

If you were harvesting barley today after you beat the stalks to separate the grains you could pour them into a bucket in front of a fan and all of the lighter material, the bits of straw and husk called chaff, would just blow off.

Summer winds would blow from four or five o’clock until a little after sunset. So, if you want to find Boaz, he will be down at the grain processing plant this evening until dark.

Same day planning here. So, then Naomi urges Ruth to get herself ready to propose:

(3) “Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes,

This is natural, but you can just sense the brooding. Mama doesn’t want to see Ruth blow this, so she’s taking over and giving a list of instructions. She tells her how to handle her hygiene, she picks out her clothes for her and tells her what to wear, and then she instructs her in her conduct…

First: take a bath. Second: anoint yourself (literally grease yourself with oil). Sounds like you are undoing the bath to make yourself greasy again. But this refers to scented oils derived from imported plants. In other words, spray some perfume. Ruth’s a little outdoorsy from living in Israel and working outside.

Third: get yourself dressed in your mantle or garment. It was most likely a large shall. It sounds nice to render this best clothes, but that isn’t really the point. An impoverished woman didn’t have a closet full of various raiment.

Four suggestions have been made for the purpose behind donning the cloak.

  1. The cloak was to beautify her appearance;

  2. The cloak symbolized her return from grieving widow status, to marriable status, marking the formal end to her grieving period;

  3. The cloak was to disguise her on the way to the threshing floor (it cloaked her) so that no one, including Boaz, would recognize her if they saw her;

  4. The cloak was simply to keep her warm since she was going camping that night at the threshing floor.

You can rule out the first option that this is to beautify her appearance. She’s going at night and this wasn’t a beautiful garment, and she was a poor woman who probably didn’t own that type of a garment. That pretty much rules out the second option as well that it relates to her status of being married. All of that will be communicated using words.

I opt for the last two, which is practical necessity. It would have made it harder to recognize her if she was spotted, and it is certainly going to be cold this night.

Exodus 22:25–26—25 “If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, you are not to act as a creditor to him; you shall not charge him interest. 26 “If you ever take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, you are to return it to him before the sun sets,

Why? Because when the sun sets, the temperature drops, and people need their cloaks back. So, Naomi says, get yourself ready and then I want you to, second part of v. 3—

and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 “It shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies,

What a fun assignment?

This is a little sanctified sneaking. The threshing floor was a public, communal place. Multiple farmers would share a threshing floor. This time of year it was a gathering place.

This is pretty intense.

Sneak over to the Carousel in Albany tonight. The verb for do not make yourself known and you shall notice are the same.

Do not let the man (Boaz) notice you or observe you, (v. 3), but meanwhile you notice or observe him (v. 4). Timing is everything they say, and the element of surprise once lost cannot be regained.

I actually tried to propose to my wife in the dark, by surprise. Just to be biblical, of course. It’s difficult to pull off. Why all the secrecy?

Quite simply it is a matter of practical necessity. Ruth is going to sneak up to Boaz while he is sleeping. It’s dark outside. She won’t be wearing a headlamp or taking a candle out to the threshing floor. You don’t want to propose to the wrong guy. That would be awkward.

So, Naomi’s specific instruction is, “figure out where he is sleeping, but I want you to be far enough away that he doesn’t know you are watching him… show up while he’s eating after he’s done threshing, but before he calls it a night and goes to sleep.”

Once you’ve done that (end of v. 4) …

and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down;

A great deal written on this matter of feet uncovering. Some of the language here is used in sexual contexts and it so the discussion is whether some further innuendo is implied by the narrator.

First of all, that is entirely contrary to the uprightness that we see from both Ruth and Boaz throughout this narrative. It’s possible that this was an Israelite custom for a marriage proposal. At the very least, it was something that Ruth was unfamiliar with.

I think it is likely a practical matter again. When you have to wake the kids up early to leave and you want to do it gently, what do you do? Take their covers off. When you uncover his feet, he’s going to get cold. When he gets cold he is going to wake up, and… (end of v. 4):

then he will tell you what you shall do.”

A gamble, but leaving the outcome of the situation in the capable hands of the Lord, and the reputation of Boaz for integrity.

Naomi is taking initiative here. She is taking matters into her own hands. Ruth hasn’t pursued Boaz. Boaz hasn’t pursued Ruth. It seems that they could use a little direction. Perhaps Ruth has been wearing her mourning clothes and Boaz wants to respect that.

Perhaps he is giving deference to the near kinsman (the closer relative).

But Naomi says, “here’s what we’re gonna do… you are going to carry out a plan, and then we are going to leave the results in God’s hands.” My friends, this is the confidence that God’s people have and it prevents us from error on either extreme.

What is the wrong way to approach a problem that is beyond you? You can be guilty in seeking to control the situation or depend upon your own strength to carry you through. At the same time, it doesn’t honor the Lord to be negligent and lazy in the pursuit of bringing about the will of God in your life.

Naomi does neither. Her faith translates in dependent diligence. She takes action trusting God with the outcome.

She sees that on the one hand, if she doesn’t act, it appears neither of them will, and likewise, she accepts that whatever YHWH chooses to bring about in Boaz’s response will be their answer from the Lord.

Ruth thinks it’s a good idea, and she consents:

(5) She said to her, “All that you say I will do.”

Whatever you say, mom. I’m gonna go hit the shower and get ready for my date tonight.

Act 3—The Surprising Proposal

  1. The proposal is designed (1-5)

  2. The proposal is delivered (6-13)

Ruth is going to pull this thing off. As we will find out there aren’t any other people involved in this encounter. Here’s a story that they must have told over and over again to the degree that however many years later, our narrator has all the details of how things went down that historic summer evening outside of Bethlehem.

(6) So she [Ruth] went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law had commanded her.

Ruth executes the plan faithfully, as agreed upon. So, she is looking good, smelling good, she’s hiding out, and watching her man (normally we call this creeping) but these are pure intentions.

(7) When Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain;

Food and drink provide refreshment and satisfaction. When it says his heart was happy it doesn’t necessarily mean he was drinking wine, it is an expression used elsewhere to speak of drinking wine, but the idea is that he is full and it feels good to have a full tummy. Certainly, he isn’t drunk in anyway.

he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain;

Now, why sleep at your grain pile? Well this was a communal threshing floor. So, you would beat your grain and then sleep by it so no one would take it, and then in the morning it could be carted away to your storage area.

Ruth hid down the hill and saw which corner of the threshing floor Boaz went to sleep at. And when everyone was soundly sleeping she moved under the starlight (end of v. 7) …

and she came secretly, and uncovered his feet and lay down.

Boaz would have had a blanket or a cloak to cover himself while he slept.

It would seem then that what Ruth was doing here was engaging in the Oriental custom where a servant would sleep at the feet of his or her master. The servant would sleep perpendicular—in this case Ruth took the blankets. She pulled them off of Boaz feet and put herself underneath the corner of them.

Watch with me how this ties the whole thing together for us as we continue.

(8) It happened in the middle of the night that the man was startled

At midnight Boaz wakes up and he is literally terrified. Someone is under his blanket right now…

and bent forward;

He reaches out and feels around. It’s so dark.

and behold, a woman was lying at his feet.

Super unsettling. He could probably tell that it was a woman by the perfume she put on. So, he knows it isn’t a bad guy or a robber or one of his workers who had gotten a little chilly. Boaz then asks a very logical question.

(9) He said, “Who are you?”

It’s the middle of the night. It’s dark outside. So, you have to ask because you can’t tell by sight.

And so, Ruth introduces herself. She could say, I’m Ruth the widow of Mahlon. I’m Ruth the daughter-in-law of Naomi. I’m Ruth… the Moabitess. But instead, she has a measure of confidence in her relationship to Boaz and names herself in the context of her relation to him:

And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid.

This on the one hand, recognizing that Boaz is her superior. And yet at the same time, there is, as one commentator puts it:

[a] … growing self-confidence and the requirements of the context.

Boaz has treated her so far above and beyond. And then she pops the question:

So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative.”

She does it. She pops the question. Will you marry me?

Naomi never actually told her to do this. She said to uncover Boaz feet, and then do whatever he says to do. Of course, this was Naomi’s end goal, but Boaz asks who she is, and she just blurts the whole thing out right there on the spot.

Spread your covering over your maid could be rendered either spread your wings or spread your bedspread. For a man to put a woman under his covering was a metaphor for marriage, even a euphemism for the marriage bed.

It’s as if to say, “I put on the corner of your bedspread, now I want you to throw the whole thing over me. I’m initiating an interest in marriage, now please bring it about.”

Almost like saying, take me home to be with you. But there is no lack of propriety here. This is done decently and appropriately. She demonstrates the symbolism of her being covered by the blanket, and now she gets it out there in plain language and no-uncertain-terms.

In 2:12, Boaz exclaims that Ruth has sought refuge under the shelter of the wings of YHWH, now she is here seeking rest under the wings of Boaz.

There is a custom here that we just don’t know much about, but Boaz was picking up what Ruth was putting down. He gets the drift that this is in fact a marriage proposal.

Nevertheless, no matter how you slice it, this does not seem to be a common practice. There is no other record in the Scriptures of a woman proposing to a man in the middle of the night by taking his blankets off while he is sleeping and lying down next to him.

And in fact, Boaz is going to be concerned in a moment about how it could appear. But for now, the only thing on his mind is Ruth.

It’s hard to overstate the tension at this point in the story. We are all holding our breath. It’s that moment where you aren’t sure what is going to happen next. What’s he going to say?

(10) Then he said, “May you be blessed of the LORD, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich.

Somewhat of an odd statement. He blesses her, that makes sense. He says, you already showed yourself to be a faithful daughter-in-law. That’s her first kindness:

Ruth 2:11—Boaz replied to her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know.

But what is this second kindness by not going after young men, whether poor or rich?

The implication is that Ruth could have had many options in marriage if she had chosen. But instead she pursues Boaz. Just think of these terms:

  • Young men=future (she could find a young man in the prime of life and they could dream of growing old together)

  • Poor=love (she could find someone whom she connects with and money doesn’t matter… that’s the point)

  • Rich=money (she could pursue a life of comfort and prominence)

People get married seeking future dreams, love and money. But Ruth is after something different. Boaz isn’t super old yet. He isn’t poor because he has servants helping him and he is a man of prominence. So, what does this cryptic, second kindness mean?

Boaz is Elimelech’s relative. For Ruth to marry Boaz, she is seeking to carry on her dead-husband’s lineage and the family name of Elimelech. In fact, this will be the very reason the nearer-kinsman declines his responsibility in the next chapter.

Ruth is a principled woman who isn’t given to the moment. She is acting upon conviction and out of a steadfast commitment to another, namely Naomi. This woman who was emptied and alone has found steadfast loyalty in a young, Moabitess named Ruth, and soon we shall see, a farmer named Boaz, both brought to her by her covenant-keeping God, YHWH.

Boaz is impressed. It was noteworthy that you came back to Israel with Naomi. But now to keep your family commitment to marrying someone in the family just took things to a whole new level.

You see character on display when it costs you something to maintain integrity. Until integrity is tested, the claim of integrity isn’t worth much. Ruth surely could have rationalized away her responsibility to Naomi and Mahlon.

Look, if you want to blessing of God in your life, learn the practice of self-denial for the sake of principle.

Psalm 15:1, 4 (1) Who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks in integrity, and works righteousness... 4b ... He swears to his own hurt and does not change.

Kindness=hesed. Ruth is a loyal woman. You know what loyalty is? It is being governed by principle. It is the ability to remain faithful and kind and generous regardless of the circumstances.

God’s loyal-love is based upon promise, so it is guaranteed. And now Ruth, his recent child, is demonstrating that very character in her own conduct.

(11) “Now, my daughter, do not fear.

… my daughter… I appreciate this response. When I popped the question to my wife it was a bit unexpected (like Boaz and Ruth here). I’m sure all of you would expect that me asking Susie to marry me would be an easy question to answer.

But she’s a pondered and she had to process things for a bit before she could respond.

Boaz puts her mind at ease and answers.

This is pretty intense. Through the years of getting up in the night with little ones I’ve been amazed that we can keep them alive. Just making sure to grab the correct diapers or give the correct dose of Tylenol or even pray about the correct issue is a challenge. You woke up to a marriage proposal.

The fact that he was startled probably helped, the adrenaline rush jolting him into consciousness.

But look at his love for her. Do not fear. His first words are encouragement. These are the same words that the Lord told Abraham when he came to him. These are the same words Jesus told his disciples over and over.

God has sovereignly prepared Boaz’s heart for this moment.

I will do for you whatever you ask,

All that you have asked of me I will do. It would be my privilege… it would seem that Boaz has had already thought about this situation.

Boaz is a righteous man. And a single, righteous man is looking for a righteous woman. Ruth of course I will marry you because your beauty surpasses all the rest? Ruth I will marry you because I don’t have any other option under the law (not the case).

No, Ruth, I will surely do whatever you ask...

for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.

This is an explanatory clause in the original [כִּ֛י]. It grounds the prior statement by providing the basis for his willingness to grant her request: for all my people… literally at the gate. The place where everyone gathers to chat they all testify that you are a quality woman.

She is an isshett chayil [אֵ֥שֶׁת חַ֖יִל]. An excellent woman. Our narrator unfolds a connection that we discover together. We were impressed with Boaz in 2:1 he was a gibbor chayil—a great man, a virtuous man, Bethlehem’s most eligible bachelor.

And now we discover the story of a worthy woman meeting a worthy man. An excellent woman meeting an excellent man. The Lord is up to something incredible here. We are at a moral low point in Israel.

This is in the days of the judging of the judges. Rebellious children. Violent men. Deceitful women. Unbridled idolatry. Everyone doing what is right in their own eyes. And in the midst of the dark chaos, there shines a beautiful gem.

In fact, that is biblical, proverbial language used to describe an excellent wife. T

An excellent woman is rare find, a catch, and her worth is far above jewels (Proverbs 31:10). She is the crown of her husband (Proverbs 12:4), unlike the one who shames him an is rottenness to his bones.

See, the Proverbs haven’t been written yet. These are Solomon’s great, great grandparents. But Boaz already knows what Lemuel will say that charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, and in contrast, a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

Men and women, boys and girls. Married or unmarried, I implore you to evaluate value according to God’s assessment in what you strive for and concern yourself with, and esteem.

Boaz says, this thing is in the bag. Why? You are the kind of woman I want to marry.

People at the gate, my people, talk about you. And it’s unanimous that your reputation is that of excellence.

Over the past couple of months the city folks have gotten the opportunity to see Ruth up close and personal. They’ve been able to compare notes. You know when you get around people to live life character comes out.

for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.

Knox translates, all the city knows thee for a bride worth the winning.

Boaz just make the bold statement here. Obviously, word got around when Naomi and Ruth came to town. People had been talking. And it was universally known that Ruth was a catch. She was a godly woman.

When you fear the Lord you will have a reputation for integrity and faithfulness and consistency in life. Elders have to have a good reputation with outsiders, and be above reproach with insiders. The thought here by Boaz is no one is going to be able to express a concern about Ruth’s worthiness for marriage by an Israelite.

(12) “Now it is true I am a close relative;

This is a גֹאֵ֖ל, a redeemer. Boaz meets the initial criteria. But come to find out, there’s a little problem.

however, there is a relative closer than I.

He is in the alternate position, with someone ahead of him. He wants to honor the Lord by following the protocol that God has laid out. So far as it depends upon me, this is my intention.

(13) “Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you.

There’s nothing more we can do it about it until the morning. It’s dark outside so there’s no use in you trying to make your way back to the village in the pitch blackness.

But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the LORD lives. Lie down until morning.”

It is emphatic. I myself will redeem you. In fact, I swear to God I will do it… as YHWH lives he says.

Boaz accepts the proposal as Ruth delivers it. He highlights the one complication and says, we will have to wait and see how this pans out.

Act 3—The Surprising Proposal

  1. The proposal is designed (1-5)

  2. The proposal is delivered (6-13)

  3. The proposal is delayed (14-18)

(14) So she lay at his feet until morning

I don’t generally struggle to fall asleep, but I’m thinking there’s enough excitement that you are haven’t a hard time getting much sleep at that point. Wondering if Boaz is the one, or this other guy. Praying and asking God for it be Boaz.

While it was still dark, but getting close to daybreak she gets up to head out.

and rose before one could recognize another; and he said, “Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.”

Just the very first break of dawn when things are still dark, but there is enough light to make your way along the path back to the village.

This is so interesting. Nothing happened, and yet Boaz realizes that appearances do in fact matter. I was reading an article last week on propriety and the fact that when it comes to relationships between men and women, appearances actually matter. Meaning that a wise person who is concerned with the reputation of Christ careful not just to not sin, but to avoid things that could cause confusion or perhaps appear as being sinful.

But beyond the appearances in terms of reputation there is the legal matter of Ruth being redeemed by this closer-of-kin relative, and Boaz doesn’t want to jeopardize those proceedings.

(15) Again he said, “Give me the cloak that is on you and hold it.” So she held it, and he measured six measures of barley and laid it on her.

We don’t have the exact measurement it was six measures—we will just say six scoops.

At first, I’m thinking this is definitely a boy gift… granted Boaz wasn’t fully prepared for a marriage proposal, but this is not romantic.

I mean hey, guys why go to all the trouble of getting a girl flowers, when you could just give her flour. “Hey here’s a 5lb. bag of unbleached flour, I love you so much.”

“Here, better yet, give me your jacket and let me fill it up with flour for your mom.”

This is actually a sign that Boaz is a righteous man. He’s saying, listen if this works out between us, I’ll take care of mom. Let family take care of their own widows. Almost like earnest money, it is a way of demonstrating, “I’m all in on this one.”

Then she went into the city.

She heads back to Bethlehem with a jacket full of barley in the first light of the morning.

(16) When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did it go, my daughter?”

The suspense has been killing her. She sent off Ruth the night before, and has been awaiting her return to know how the plan went down. You know the feeling when you are praying for someone while a meeting is taking place and you don’t know how it’s going down… have they talked yet… but you just keep asking God to intervene and provide.

Out with it…

Naomi finally gets to hear the story…

And she told her all that the man had done for her. 17 She said, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said, ‘Do not go to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’ ”

This was a big deal. She is noting, “look at how well it went, I got a jacket full of flour).

Naomi got to town two months ago… empty (1:21). Those days are now behind her if things work out.

(18) Then she said, “Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today.”

Take a seat. We’ll know what the deal is before EOD, end of day. Wait upon the Lord to bring about his plans concerning us. Quiet your soul for the day.

This is quiet confidence in the plan of God.

With this statement the curtain falls on Act 3. All the characters have played their roles perfectly. Naomi has taken the initiative and gotten the ball rolling, Ruth has carried out her delicate and daring scheme, and Boaz has responded right on cue. The reader as witness to the drama waits with Ruth to see “how the matter will fall.”

And that’s where we will close the narrative for today, and Lord willing, pick it up in two weeks.

I love the practical nature of Ruth because you have these three characters, Naomi, Ruth and Boaz, and they are simply carrying out their God-give responsibilities in faith and dependence upon the Lord.

Meanwhile he is orchestrating every contingency behind the scenes. They can’t see how he is working his faithful plan. They are just trusting and obeying.

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