Day 12 - Ruth 3:10-18
Now we get to hear Boaz’s response to Ruth’s rather unorthodox proposal. It’s a resounding YES isn’t it? And he’s a quick thinker. He realizes that there is another relative “first in line” to redeem Naomi’s fields and possessions and carry on her husband’s name by giving Ruth a son. So, he’s pretty much eager to be the one to marry Ruth, but fairness and legality state that he has to check with the other guy first. Anyway, once that’s settled, in - I am sure - very soft whispers, they quietly lay there until it’s almost morning, when Ruth tiptoes away. I bet neither of them slept a wink!
Boaz does not just let Ruth tiptoe away, though, without more generosity. He loads her down with barley so she doesn’t go back to Naomi empty-handed. Boaz is letting Naomi know, by this gesture, that he’s pretty serious about getting Ruth. Haha! He seems almost humbled by Ruth’s request. He’s obviously an older man, and perhaps he thinks no one as young as Ruth would even consider him. In addition, remember his lineage. It might have been hard for him to find a wife because his mom was not an Israelite, but a former prostitute from Jericho. The Bible never mentions if Boaz was married or had other children. Perhaps he just had lived his life alone and lonely and was as blessed by Ruth’s offer as she would be by his response.
Isn’t this just the happiest story? I love this part. I also love that Ruth’s reputation as a virtuous woman was strong enough that Boaz did not for a minute think Ruth was proposing anything sexual when she lay at his feet. She wanted a protective covering and that meant marriage.
Even today, when marriage is definitely out of favor for so many, marriage offers a protective covering for men, women, and children in a family. There’s a solemness to the marriage vows that declare “until death do us part.” There are legal and financial ramifications to binding oneself to another in a marriage. It’s harder to walk away on a whim. I highly favor marriage and our God does, too. His design is for us to be in forever relationships. Way back in Genesis 2:24 God talks about the solemnity of marriage: “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” It’s a bond that ought not to be broken. The man leaves his birth family and unites with his wife and they literally become one. And that’s the way they’re supposed to stay. So, when divorce happens, and of course it does, it’s never a happy thing. It’s a great and deep cutting apart of two lives that had been united. Be kind to those who have experienced divorce. It’s a hard, hard thing.
Well. What was your favorite verse today? Tell me.
My verse: Ruth 3:14 “So Ruth lay at Boaz’s feet until the morning, but she got up before it was light enough for people to recognize each other. For Boaz had said, ‘No one must know that a woman was here at the threshing floor.”
My response: They both must have laid there in the dark wide awake! I wonder if this was the only way Ruth could ever have found to speak privately with Boaz. I love how they both cared about her purity and reputation. She stayed by his feet. She left at the first hint of dawn. I bet they never forgot that night!! And, of course, they decided to tell people about it eventually. Lord, what a strange and wonderful and desperate proposal that was!! Ruth was so brave. Boaz was so good and honorable.