Day 11 - Ruth 3:1-9
We now come to the part of Ruth’s story that is most surprising. Can you even imagine this? Boaz, sound asleep in the grainery, after a hard day’s work, rolls over around midnight and his foot touches a lump. When he wakes up to investigate, there is Ruth quietly lying there. The Bible tells us that Boaz was surprised. Well, I should think so! Goodness. I doubt even in their culture it was all that normal for a woman to tiptoe into a barn, basically and sleep at a man’s feet.
I am stunned that Ruth was able to even do this hard thing and that Naomi dreamed it up. And I have so many questions about it. Was it done this way often in their culture? And if not, why did Naomi think this was the way? Was it so Boaz would not be put on the spot if Ruth or Naomi asked him in broad daylight when everyone was watching? Perhaps less humiliating for both Boaz and Ruth? By doing it quietly at night, asking for Boaz to consider being the kinsman-redeemer, if he said “no” or “I’ll think about it” in a politer way of saying “no,” Ruth could tiptoe away in the dark and no one would be the wiser.
In any case, this was Naomi’s plan. I think she suspects dear Boaz is starting to like Ruth. Now, she could have asked Boaz to marry her and then she could have born a son to carry on her dead husband’s name, but I don’t think Naomi wanted to marry. She wanted her Ruth settled and happy and if Boaz liked her? Well then. Let’s ask Boaz to do the right thing and marry her and thereby ensure that Naomi’s husband, Elimelech would have an heir to inherit the property.
You know, when Ruth made her vows to Naomi about sticking with her, I doubt she thought it would include a midnight meeting with a man she’d barely met! But there she was, quietly doing what Naomi thought was best. I love Ruth’s response to Boaz’s questioning when he woke up: “I am your servant Ruth,” she replied. “Spread the corner of your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer.” Isn’t that a humble way to ask? Spread the corner of your covering over me … Basically, just give me a little scrap of protection, please, so Naomi and I are not destitute when winter comes and there are no harvest fields to glean.
I bet you can’t wait until tomorrow to read what happens next. In fact, you might have read ahead! What stood out to you, today, in this section? What verse had you stopping to think? I am looking forward, as always, to reading your thoughts.
My verse: Ruth 3:9b “ … I am your servant Ruth,’ she replied. ‘Spread the corner of your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer.”
My response: Both bold and humbling. She’s put herself in a vulnerable position where she could be terribly rejected and humiliated. And that took courage. Also, what incredible trust she had in Naomi, to do exactly what Naomi said!! I would love to know her thoughts, Lord. Was she frightened? Was she hopeful? I know this. She was faithful.