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Naomi, Ruth and Boaz (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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March 5, 2021 6:00 am

Naomi, Ruth and Boaz (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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March 5, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Book of Ruth (Ruth 3)

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Ruth acts on Naomi's orders. Instructions is a softer word. Some of you have mothers like this.

I hope you know it. Your mother is looking out for you, giving you sound advice. I want to, in my relationship with Christ, listen to Him. Do what He instructs me to do.

And when He says to me, do all that I say to you, as Naomi is saying, I want to be able to respond, as you say I will do. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the Book of Ruth.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the Book of Ruth Chapter 3 as he begins a new message, Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. Ruth Chapter 3, Naomi, Ruth and Boaz. So one day in the field of Boaz changed the life of Ruth and Boaz and Naomi forever. Fortunately, Ruth did not stay home waiting for something to happen. We remember the story from Chapter 2. She requested of Naomi that she go and glean in the field, and she ended up in the field of Boaz.

Our last time stamp to match with Chapter 3 is found in verse 21 of Chapter 2. And Ruth, and we should just turn quickly and reread that, Ruth Moabitess, said, he also said to me, you shall stay close by my young men until they have finished all my harvest. And that's Ruth telling Naomi what happened in the field. And Naomi, of course, verse 22, and Naomi said to Ruth, her daughter and lawyer, it is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women and that the people do not meet you in any other field.

And so she stayed close to the young women of Boaz. And it takes that last verse of chapter 2, takes it through the end of the wheat season. But here we are in the barley still, the barley season here, and that comes out in latter verses. Ruth seems oblivious to the implications of what she shared with Naomi. Naomi understood what was happening from Ruth's report a lot more than what Ruth was getting at the time. Naomi in this chapter 3 is essentially saying to Ruth, I got this, and I need you to take notes.

And Ruth is going to do that. And Ruth is going to act upon what she is, what she learns from Naomi. And Naomi doesn't overstep her role.

She doesn't become too big for her britches, as the saying goes. We only see her giving sound advice at this point. Naomi is the star to much of the story. Ruth is the beloved, of course, of the entire book, and Boaz, he is the hero. Without Boaz, or one in his place, there is no hero.

He is the guy. Initially, Boaz took, at the very least, a platonic liking to Ruth. He heard about her, he respected her.

He was the single man in position to change their lives, to save their lives from the poverty that they were in. Yeah, there was another, but really, because we know the end of the story, Boaz is the one, because he does not only want to take Ruth under his care, but Naomi too. And that is pronounced in the story, that he is very careful about Naomi. What becomes clear between verse 22 of the last chapter and verse 1 of Ruth chapter 3 is that Boaz has fallen in love with Ruth.

He may have been earlier, but it doesn't seem that way. It seems again to have this respect for her, this admiration, but it begins to become something deeper with him. He first falls in love with her inner beauty, as a matter of fact, how she helped Naomi. Then after meeting her and observing her, and as time moved on, and time has moved on from the gleaning of the field to now they're harvesting the wheat and they're going to thresh the wheat, and now he is, after observing all of this, he is in love, but he is restraining himself for various, for a couple of reasons why, and we should get them as we go through this. He is the nobleman in the story.

Remember, let's not lose sight of the fact he is very rich, and in Bethlehem, he is very powerful. He really could, if he were not such a noble character, he just wouldn't have any time for someone like Ruth. Verse 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. Now, this sacrificial love was mutual, and it guarded their relationship through the hardship these two women faced together.

They have a long history together, over ten years, and Naomi remained a mother to Ruth, and Ruth remained a daughter to Naomi by choice, and it was a choice of love. In this case, love is thicker than blood. You may have heard the expression blood's thicker than water, and that means, you know, family's family. You don't mess with family. You can be real close with somebody, but still that's my brother. But love comes along and can overrule that, and Jesus taught this, and it is good that it is this way else nepotism would get out of control amongst the righteous also. It's not wrong, of course, to love family. Some of you might need to know that.

They don't always help. Shall I not seek security for you, she says here in verse one, that it may be well with you. She's taking the initiative. Naomi is a faithful initiative. She's going on offense. She's no longer playing defense. She says, listen, Ruth, I've been thinking about this, and now she's beginning to make her move, genuinely looking out for Ruth. It's a selfless appearance of Naomi. She doesn't seem to have some other motive in mind.

You know, I care for you. Yeah, she's going to benefit from this, but that is not her objective at all. She knows what she is doing. She knows that Ruth will be just the right fit. Ruth and Boaz, she just senses this. She knew Boaz a godly man, Ruth a virtuous woman. She knew the landscape.

We don't have that advantage. We don't know about the other Bethlehemites at this time, except that we know that they were decent people overall. And that comes out in the story to the end, right through the end of the fourth chapter. So she is saying to Ruth, if Boaz is the one, listen to me. Verse two, now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. So there he is at the threshing floor this evening. Naomi informs Ruth about the surrounding possibilities because he is related to Naomi, and he was related to Naomi's husband and therefore her sons who died, and therefore to Ruth, the widow of Naomi's son. And so Naomi says there's a connection, there's a legal connection here, and I don't want to miss this. Now she could have said, God has no point. He's rich, he's powerful, we're poor, no point. God has not shined in our lives.

Look at us. She could have taken that road and she does not. And so she says, in fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor.

Now, nighttime, the breezes would pick up a little bit at that time of the year, be cooler to work, and that after the harvesting of the barley, that's what he was going to do now, is separate the colonels from the stalks. Naomi knew he'd be there, likely from the other women in Bethlehem. The ladies talk and the interactions with the women, and she's putting it all together. She's got a plan, and again, she is on offense, not waiting for something to happen. She's making something happen, and it is admirable how she goes about it. Were she in the flesh? Were she pushy? Were she, you know, had her own selfish interests at heart?

It would mess the whole story up. She doesn't appear to be ambitious for herself. She genuinely is doing what she should do, and she has a right to do it because Boaz is related.

He is the near kinsman. In verse 3, therefore, wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment, and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. Now you tell me, if Naomi doesn't have a plan, that this guy's going down. She is, she is just, listen, you, look at you. You've got to clean yourself up, kid.

You can't go there in jeans like this. This man, if we're going to, if we're going to hook Boaz, you are going to have to do certain things. It's so practical. It is so sensible. Of course, the age we live in, femininity is diminished to almost nothing, but, and that's our loss, but not, not with Naomi.

Boaz is, he doesn't stand a chance. Dress for success, my child. Wash, sweeten, and put on that killer outfit that you know he's going to get your attention. It is, some of this is just flat out appropriate. A man like Boaz, and she's going to approach him on, sort of formal approaches in this too. I mean, we can take the love out of the situation and just say legally he is supposed to, he is in line to take Ruth as his wife legally, and that would be a very dry story, and it would not be true to the story. God has given us these human exchanges and experiences and characters and scriptures so the story can be told, so that the Holy Spirit can then select from the story things that are relevant to us personally. He can isolate us and bring something out of us to say, this is for you. It could be a rebuke or it could be a grand encouragement. I like to believe that most of the time it is a great encouragement, and there are things appropriate and inappropriate in approaching someone with a formal request that Ruth is going to make. It's not proper to wear a pair of flip-flops to a funeral.

I mean, for a lot of reasons, but one is, there you are flapping around, drawing attention to you, and everybody's got their mind on someone else and something else. So it does matter. These things should be considered. I mean, I keep an outfit in my office because sometimes I'm in town and there have been times over the years where I've been asked, you know, maybe someone goes to the hospital and it's a serious thing, or worse, they pass, and I'm involved in breaking the news to someone. I'm not going to go there, you know, if I'm in town and a loud Hawaiian shirt shows up, hey everybody, the pastor's here.

So some things are appropriate, some things make sense, and we should learn these things. But it is a big part of the story, this advice she gives her in certain... Naomi wrote a song, a few of you know it, and I'll just give you some of the lyrics. I won't sing it, and if you don't know this song, it's probably available online for free. Wear your hair just for him, cause you won't get him thinking and praying, wishing and hoping. I mean, this song just tells you, listen, if you want him, you better do some certain things. You have to go on offense. Don't overdo it.

Chase him away. Ruth had responsibilities to fulfill if she were ever to receive what God had for her. And I believe very strongly that there are still Ruths who need Naomi's, just as there are still men like Moses who need men like Jethro.

We need people in our lives that are strong believers, that we are close enough to, six foot apart of course, yeah right, close enough to, to receive from them when God should desire to speak through them. She says to her in verse three, and now go down to the threshing floor, that's where Boaz will be, do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. Keep a low profile, whatever you do, don't mess with his food.

It's comical. Just leave him be, let him eat and drink, get tired, and make your move. And the move is going to be, it's going to be very, very wise, very smart. She is to privately approach him for a lot of, yeah, it's no one's business, number one. And of course, minding one's business is disagreeable to some.

And that usually leads them to saying things they know nothing about and making, just hurting people. But here is one of the practical reasons why it should be private. What if Boaz is really not interested? Then Ruth is sort of humiliated in front of everyone. Naomi knows what she's telling you. Listen, this is, don't go living out loud here.

There are some things that people just don't need to know. And you're not doing anything wrong. Your conscience is clear here, Ruth.

You're making a legal, a move that is right. And we're not going to turn this into a circus, have everybody gossiping around the well. Verse four, we'll pause there. You can just hear them. Can you believe that poor woman from that mall bitis is after the money man? You know, Boaz, you could just, you know, people do things like that.

It only takes one or two to, just takes one to really sour everything. Verse four, then it shall be when he lies down that you shall notice the place where he lies and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down and he will tell you what you should do. Naomi, how do you know that? She knows. She knows the man. Now, Boaz has to have seen Naomi.

Well, this is one scenario, moving around as everybody is eating and doing their thing and she's not approaching him. And he's got to notice, who is that? She looks different. Oh, that's, that's Ruth.

I might've said Naomi and Ruth. And, you know, so it's not wasted is my point, the advice, because it's going to get dark at midnight when he finally gets to interact with her. Maybe enough moonlight out for her to, for him to recognize.

We'll get to that in a moment. But Naomi knew that Boaz would sleep near his harvest for fear of thieves coming and stealing after all of his hard work. And so she says, observe where the Lord of the harvest is. There will be heaps of straw and stalks all around for people to have some level of privacy. And he being Lord of the harvest, he would be removed from the workers.

And God is showing us that these are virtuous people and that there's nothing going on here outside of these natural barriers and some business that has to take place that is no one else's business. She says here in verse 4, and you shall go in, uncover his feet and lie down and he will tell you what you should do. Now, you can, you can give all the advice you want to give to a person that's sound and good.

That person still has to have the ability to pull it off. And Ruth does. She's taken her notes and she is methodically going through this. This is as far as Naomi can counsel her. She can really do nothing more.

She's done quite a bit. And now it is up to Ruth. The uncovering of his feet is likely literal. She actually goes and he's sleeping and uncovers his feet. And the reason why is because he's been working all day. He's eaten. He's had his fill of wine or water, whatever he drank, probably a milkshake, vanilla. But he's tired. It's midnight. He lies down. He's nice and cozy. He's in a sleep.

By uncovering his feet, his feet are going to get cold and that's going to wake him up. And it is, I know there are all these commentators that read into this story all these things. The problem is they can't back it up.

I know. I've searched. Where did they get that from? How come they said, this is a, this means that and this, where do you get that from? There are others that give hints, you know, that this, you know, there were other connotations and they can't back this up. So I don't go with them on this. I believe it is literal. You can try it tonight.

Crank the AC up pretty good and uncover your, some of you, you know, warm blood, you just don't have a problem. But most will wake up and we'll see this unfold. Verse 5. Now I hope, if some of you may have heard other, you know, good men of God preach about all the cultural things with this and I've just departed from that.

Don't go flattening my truck tires because I don't agree. Verse 5. And she said to her, all that you say to me I will do. No fussing, no resisting, no negative gestures. You know, the rolling of the eyes, the folding of the arms and just that way to communicate I, yeah, yeah, Naomi, right?

None of that. Compliance won the day. So it was with Esther. We talked about that.

Ruth acts on Naomi's orders. Instructions is a softer word. Some of you have mothers like this.

I hope you know it. You have mothers looking out for you, giving you sound advice. I want to, in my relationship with Christ, listen to Him. Do what He instructs me to do. And when He says to me, do all that I say to you, as Naomi is saying, I want to be able to respond, as you say I will do.

Of course, the flesh gives me a hard time and the grace of Christ through His cross and His blood overcomes that. But this willingness to obey is meaningful. Why would there not be a willingness to obey someone who loves you and who has understanding, who knows what's going on? Why not just obey them?

Devotion can be measured not in inches but in obedience. Same with love. Youth does not know automatically. Youth thinks it knows automatically.

And some things, yes, they do. But overall, no, they must learn. And they can learn the hard way or the better way.

And that's true of adults too. We learn through perception and experience. But to learn by experience without perception can be a tough road. That's learning the hard way.

You know, fine, you find out for yourself. You can really reduce the consequence of that through submission. Where else are you going to be told this outside the home? That's why God has given us to church, to bring these things up. In verse 6, so she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her. Well, you know, the devils know the word of God. The difference between devils and believers is devils are not trying to obey the word of God. Never, ever. If they do, it's a faint.

It's not genuine. And you should remember that the next time Satan may come to you and say because you have failed to be obedient that you're not a solid Christian or you're not a Christian or some other lie. The difference is you do want to pursue God's word. And Ruth, I just take the moment to point that out because here she is acting on her instructions. Verse 7, 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 lied down. So here he is, again, probably had a little bit of the wine that night.

He's happy. It's the harvest season. He's going to, you know, sell the grain. It's a wonderful part of the year.

Better than dealing with a famine. And he goes to lie down and there's the heap of grain that will give some privacy and she makes her move quietly, just as Naomi called it. Now, Naomi, again, knowing that Boaz probably did not dream that Ruth would be interested in him and he's going to be surprised to find out that she is there and this is going to just make the story more romantic. So reading again verse 7, 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 and uncovered his feet.

He went to lie down and there she is. I will point this out. The Bible has no problem exposing sin or things that have an appearance of evil.

There's nothing in this that is sinful or has an appearance of evil. I think I touched on that briefly a moment ago and I point that out because, again, some of the study Bibles that you have or maybe even commentators may suggest that and, again, they have nothing to base that off of. They try to say, well, the Hebrew word could mean this too and I part with them there. You may say, boy, you part with a lot of people.

I don't play well with others. Verse 8, I do in another room, but verse 8, now it happened at midnight that the man was startled and turned himself and there a woman was lying at his feet. So now it's late. There's our time stamp and he startled because his feet got cold and, again, the Hebrew gives space for this and he turned himself. He had to cover his feet back up, but there's a woman lying there. It would have been inappropriate if she were lying next to him. There's nothing wrong with she lying at his feet where she uncovered where he's going to go when he rises up to put the covers back on his feet.

Fortunately for her, he wasn't a kicker. So, again, that Hebrew word for startled indicates that he was in a pretty good sleep when he comes out of it and what are the odds? He wakes up and there's a person there, verse 9, and he said, who are you? So she answered, I am Ruth, your maidservant. Thanks for tuning in to Cross-Reference Radio for this study in the book of Ruth. Cross-Reference is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Astin of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more about this ministry, visit our website, crossreferenceradio.com. There you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick, and we encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross-Reference Radio. You can search for Cross-Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app or just follow the links at crossreferenceradio.com. That's all the time we have for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as we continue to learn more from the book of Ruth right here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-18 09:30:02 / 2023-12-18 09:39:33 / 10

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