“Some Enchanted Evening”

Posted: September 26, 2014 in Gospel, Marriage, Ruth, Salvation

“There is a time for God’s people to wait passively [and patiently] for God to remove obstacles, and there comes a time for God’s people to engage those obstacles. Both are done in faith that God works all things together for those who love Him, and that God is concerned about the details of our lives. All three characters in [Ruth chapter three] took risks that rendered them vulnerable…”. – Gary Phillips

Match Maker. Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi was determined to find a husband for her Moabite daughter-in-law. Although earlier she had expressed her bitterness when she returned to Bethlehem (Ruth 1:20), she gained some hope when she learned that Ruth had come in contact with one of their relatives by the name of Boaz. He had shown kindness to her in allowing her to glean grain from his field. He even invited her to have lunch with him and his employees.

Bewildered. Confused by his slowness to take action toward Ruth, Naomi became very pragmatic and took matters into her own hands rather than wait for God to work on Boaz’a heart. She wanted to secure a husband for Ruth through a “levirate marriage” (Deuteronomy 25:5-9). Naomi was doing what was right in her own eyes as other people were doing at that time (See Judges 21:15). But the end doesn’t justify the means (Romans 3:8). Christians must do God’s work God’s way (2 Timothy 2:5). Are you doing things your way or God’s way? His ways are so much better than ours. Read Isaiah 55:8, 9.

Advice. Naomi told Ruth to take a bath, put on some nice perfume and her best dress and then go down to the place where Boaz would be spending the night by the crops that he and his workers had brought in from the fields where she herself had also worked. She was to notice where he would lie down after eating and drinking. Then when he was asleep she was to quietly approach him in the dark and uncover his feet and lie down there. Naomi wanted Ruth to appeal to his emotions, not his rationale.

Cautious. Because she trusted her mother-in-law, she followed her advice even though she faced a great risk if things went wrong. Suppose he accused her of being an immoral woman or doing things in an inappropriate way in the dark (See Proverbs 7:9, 10). What if he had allowed his emotions to take over and he violated her as Judah did with Tamar, his daughter-in-law (Genesis 38:13ff)? Contrast this with Joseph’s actions (Genesis 39:12). Both Boaz and Ruth had had good reputations that could have been lost in a moment of passion. (See 1 Thessalonians 5:22; 2 Timothy 2:22).

Chivalrous. When he abruptly awoke from his sleep in the middle of the night, Boaz asked who was at his feet. Ruth identified herself and then asked him a marry her and be her protector (Ruth 3:9). The Mosaic Law permitted a widow woman to do this (Deuteronomy 25:5-9). But the pragmatic way in which Naomi suggested that it be done could have resulted in a lot of gossip in Bethlehem. Do you like to gossip or listen to it? If you’re tempted by this, gird yourself with the belt of truth (Ephesians 6:14).

High Road. Rather than take advantage of her, Boaz assured her that he would attend to the matter during the daylight hours as it should be done in the presence of witnesses. But there was a problem. There was another unnamed man who was a closer relative who should be given the opportunity to carry out this levirate marriage if he desired to do so.

Protection. To keep her from the possible danger of returning home in the middle of the night, he told her to stay with him until the break of dawn when she could return home. Both of them maintained their purity (See 1 Thessalonians 4:3). Rather than sending her home empty, he gave to her six times the amount of grain that she had gleaned when she started working in his fields (Ruth 2:17; 3:15).

More. There is more to this love story. Naomi was now confident that Boaz wouldn’t rest until he had taken care of business that day (See Ruth 4).

Lessons. What can we learn from this love story that took place in the dark days of Israel’s history? Among other things, God has a special plan for each of His children (Ephesians 2:10). He works behind the scenes orchestrating things for our good (Romans 8:28) and often removes the obstacles that we can’t move (Ephesians 3:20; Revelation 1:8). Furthermore, God is delighted when His children do His will (2 Corinthians 5:9) and devote themselves fully to Him (Romans 12:1, 2). Have you done that yet? Doing this has no value to it until you receive the gift of eternal life by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ who died for your sins…and rose again bodily on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

Help. If you’re struggling with the issues of life and desire to know what God says in His Word, and If you are willing to change, we invite you to contact us at 805-238-3549 or visit our website at www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped, will you let us and someone else know. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

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