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May 27, 2022 12:00 am
The story of Ruth and Boaz is one of the greatest love stories ever written, not just because the plot, characters nd script are so wonderfully and Divinely crafted, but because the story as a whole gives us a real-life image of God's love for mankind.
Men and women children were late into the night was always a time of great celebration. The harvest is being brought in. And if you remember this little book starts in verse one by telling us there's a famine in the land we learn from other passages of Scripture that this famine lasted seven years, so this is a time of hard work, yes, but always farmers.
They are excited or bringing in a bumper addition to celebrating God's faith will provision was about to be a wedding here on wisdom for the heart. Stephen is working his way through the book of Ruth. The story of Ruth and Boaz is one of the greatest love stories ever written.
It's not just because the plot, characters and scripts are so wonderfully and divinely crafted. What's so compelling is that the story as a whole gives us a real life image of God's love for mankind. Stephen is calling this message, a midnight proposal. It was Thanksgiving day. 29 years ago when I proposed marriage to my college sweetheart. I have the ring in my pocket and planned to propose over Thanksgiving break.
I was going to go to Marcia's home over Thanksgiving break where both accounts together where she lived there in Atlanta, Georgia to have Thanksgiving with her parents in order for you to understand my proposal to give you a little background. I grew up in a home and most of you know, three brothers and I and there was this unwritten rule for all four son. We were not allowed to bring a girl home from college for any length of time, certainly not over break and alas, we were either engaged or planning to be engaged.
That was just kind of the unwritten rule now for the three and half years.
My wife and I dated before she was my wife.
While attending college in Tennessee. Marcia had never been to my home in Virginia and she knew why. I just wasn't wasn't allowed. My parents had met her corset was very important. They knew she was wonderful, remarkable, and so I had that base covered but I still would not ask her father. So I planned while I was at her home for Thanksgiving to to ask him for her hand in marriage.
That was part of my plan for Thanksgiving break, so I had the diamond engagement ring.
Everything I could save up in college that diamond was so tiny need a lot of sunlight to get any sparkle at all, but I hope to show during the daylight, and I had tucked away as we traveled home to her home in Atlanta. I surprised her father with the request for her hand when he went down in the basement area to work on the furnace. This was the only time I could get them alone and I asked another four-story is this. Since I had dated his daughter and had broken up with her a couple of times in the past. He was actually planning to ask me over Thanksgiving break my plans and intentions were with his daughter. I beat him to the punch Aston the question he said yes.
Later on that day. Marcia and I were alone and I pop the question. I started out by saying Marcia I would. I would like to take you home to my to my parents home over Christmas break just paused to let that sink in, and her eyes let me know that she was picking up on it fairly quickly and then I added that is if I can introduce you to my family is my fiancÚ pause. Her eyes were wide open now. I said that is you will marry me and she did a little hop on her steps and she wrung her hands and she said I don't know is not how it happens in the movies wasn't what I thought she seen saying out, let me let me tell you if she were up here telling the story, which is not allowed to do. She would tell you the truth. Over the course of our daily.
I often did something really significant only to break up soon after I had such terribly cold feet and that she was afraid that this meant where something big he's gonna break up with me soon after. If I say yes. Over the next two minutes. I gave her every reason I could think about why she should marry me and it probably didn't even take two minutes of the guy was done in 30 seconds and she finally said yes I've been telling people for 27 years I talked her Mary.
Well, if you're as old as I am, and you hear the stories of proposals.
I will tell you this. I would love to be able to redo that moment again.
I would love to do something distinct from readily creative at that age I did know creative meant something really romantic. Most men struggle you know with this with us how to get the right wording. The right timing the right contacts the right setting in. Hopefully you get the right answer. Practicing that video clip of the guy you plan to propose to his girlfriend at the NBA basketball game during halftime you watch that. He gets are out there on on the pretense she's in the middle of the court. It's halftime. He has a microphone. All of a sudden it goes up on the jumbo screen. This is on national television. He drops the one he has a microphone or proposes her hand goes for mouth and this is a long pause, she looks down at them says something and hurries off the basketball court declined on national television. United I guy just had a mopes off the floor and I thought oh guy. Well, I googled wedding proposals to see what kind of help. There is out for guys you know how to do it right hundred how to do it wrong. I actually came across the site with the cover plate page entitled how to propose marriage. The site started off with saying what not to do three things. First of all, don't propose to your girlfriend in front of her parents.
How obvious is that dull proposing like I got two daughters, and if a guy proposes to one my daughters in front of me take a high chief get out of here. Come up with something more creative than that. That was the first thing secondly website informed don't put the ring in anything that is set in front of her to eat. The article goes on to say, the last thing you want to do is enter proposer why she's being wheeled in the surgery. The third thing I thought was really insightful. Don't propose marriage to days after meeting her. I came across a marriage proposals that were examples of how to do it the wrong way and I thought these poor guys one lawyer made a deal with several policemen to arrest his girlfriend on totally bogus charges. They worked out the plan carried it out to the letter.
They stopped her car when she was alone made her get out of the car read her her rights took her down to the city jail. They said she could have one phone call so she called her lawyer boyfriend.
Of course who came down was let into her cell where he told her the only way they would let her go, was if she agreed to marry him. That's romantic, brilliant, another man was so shy, so this young man was so shy didn't know what to say got all tongue-tied after he pulled up the ring box he just froze. He tossed the box to his girlfriend and began to run away. She caught the box always inside. She had to chase him down to say yes say no to that guy. Another guy pretended to have died and plan the entire funeral home visitation with him lying in the coffin. I'm not making this with his girlfriend sobbing as she stood by his casket, he suddenly sat up and asked her to marry him when she stopped screaming.
She slapped him and said yes, a girl needs help. That's all I can say that I came across a couple of illustrations and this is no these guys did it right really pulled out all the stops.
This is this is unreal to me. One guy, this guy lived in a different state from his girlfriend so he mailed her plane tickets when she arrived. A limo was waiting for her, as planned. When she got in the music and the limo was a compilation of their favorite song. She was driven to a salon for a three hour treatment massage pedicure manager hairstyling and makeup and she was driven to a namebrand store were a rack of dresses and shoes were waiting for her personally handpicked by this guy in the store manager she was able to choose her favorite and get dressed. She was then driven across town to the entrance of a resort where a horse and buggy were waiting for her as she was driven around a small lake. More than 100 candles lit the path to a red carpet were violinist began to play. She arrived, they began to play a song he had written while she walks up the red carpet he appears at the top of the stairs and begins to sing the song composed when she got to the top. He knelt down on one knee and a whiteboard behind him blaze the words will you marry me.
He then stood and sang the finale to the song backed up by a 45 piece orchestra, and when she said yes. Fireworks exploded in the sky. This guy makes me sick. He's ruined it for everybody back. I even hate to tell you this is your wife. You can ask later what were you thinking one more I like this guy's idea. This is my favorite.
He and his girlfriend had bought an old repossessed home and they understood when they were married and were going to move in didn't have much money is a little tiny old beat up home and they did all the work fixing up themselves because they spent so much time working on this little house. They spent countless hours at Home Depot.
Sometimes when they were too tired to work, they just stroll the aisles and dreamed out loud what they wanted to do in their little home so he was ready to propose marriage to set it up with the Home Depot manager. He found his girlfriend and told her to meet him there that night when she got there, the manager directed her to the home and garden section where he had one of those patio table set up with candlelight in the takeout dinner after he seated her. He got down on one knee and proposed with a potted plant. They can use later on she said yes. Now that's my kind of guy right you have a limo and an orchestra or Home Depot in a potted plant. Ladies, let's think about how many for Home Depot all those ladies I hand thing. I didn't handle the well guys, you only get to do it one time I met you, but I'd like to be able to buy the louvered. One of the most remarkable marriage proposals I have ever heard is actually in the Bible. Only in this one. The girl does the proposed not the man she chose the right setting the right timing, what to wear. In fact it happened. So if you take your Bibles back to the book of Ruth in the chapter 2. Let's get a running start with verse 23 and watch it unfold. Ruth chapter 2 verse 23 so Ruth stayed close by the maids of Boaz in order to glean until the end of the barley harvest and the wheat harvest, and she lived with her mother. For if you were with us in our last study.
You have no difficulty believing that by now Ruth and Boaz are definitely in love. They probably had many more lunch dates out of the field. Boaz's employees have definitely noticed that he is more interested in work than ever before. But now there's a problem. This text informs us that harvest time is wrapping up and and and Boaz and and Ruth have now parted, perhaps wondering if they will ever see each other again Ruth here were told has settled back in with her mother-in-law, Naomi. Speaking of Naomi. Now there is a woman who will not allow grass to grow under anybody's look at chapter 3. Verse one. Then Naomi, her mother-in-law said to her, my daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well that's a long biblical way of saying Ruth I need to find a husband for you.
It was not unusual.
By the way this culture is custom for wedding prospects and plans to be worked out between the mother and father. If you read the Old Testament, it seems like the patriarch is in charge, but actually according culture and what we do know a lot of it was done by the mother and the daughter in what was called the mother's chamber behind closed doors or in this case closed curtain Naomi had become like a mother to Ruth and she now takes on that matchmaking role, and you can kind of imagine Naomi calling Ruth in and saying ruthless and let let's let's look at the facts here, I'm not going to be around forever to to help you were be with you your life in this strange new land that you have chosen is is going to be very very difficult. It's obvious to us that Boaz is interested in you. He's been dumping grain in your path for weeks even has his employees drawing water for you. It's obvious he's got a bad Naomi removes any doubt what she's after. With that rhetorical question in verse two is not Boaz. Our kinsman according to Old Testament law widow could demand that the next closest relative who was willing and available. Mary according to God's plan. Back in Deuteronomy chapter 25.
The marriage would was designed to provide for the young widow financial security and in the future, and even more interestingly enough, the children born to them would be given the name of her first husband that would secure his name and the clan for generations to come in his family farm. His family estate would would stay in that particular part of the family. This wonderful provision allowing for a widow to be careful.
So according the law you need to understand here that Ruth is actually the one to take the initiative. Her condition wouldn't be the same as that of an unmarried woman in that case, the man would take the initiative, but as a widow. It was her right to let her intentions be known to the kinsman so you need to think of it this way. It it was Ruth's move in and so Naomi is urging here Ruth look harvest season is over, you may never have another chance like this again.
You men may not even see Boaz until next year. In fact, he may not be single next year he can redeem you if he wants so you want to let them know you want to. Ruth is obviously a stranger. These custom she's a Moabitess she's not a Jewish of these laws are still foreign to her more than likely in she probably says, and I imagine her saying to Naomi what do I do how I do that Naomi verse two says effectively will live. I got that awful through.
Here's my plan. As she says in verse to the middle part.
She says so the hold he windows barley at the threshing floor tonight with the second she knows that she's been working on this plan for quite some time. He windows barley at the threshing floor tonight. I have no idea what it means he windows barley at the threshing tonight. Solicit the pause button and in fact by understanding this will help us understand the setting of this an interesting proposal. I was raised in the city. How many of you were raised in the city, just about all of my father was raised on a farm.
In fact, he can talk about planting and he could talk about bailing he could talk about threshing had he not been led by God into the ministry right before being married. I would've grown up on a farm in Minnesota milking cows at 4 AM. I praise God.
My dad was led into the ministry.
I asked my dad a couple of months ago as a dad, how did you and your and you know your your brother and your sisters.
How did you guys stand sub zero weather in a barn in Minnesota in the winter milking cows at 4 AM is funny. He said well your hand stayed warm as she milked and then you set real close to the castle's will growing up. Every summer we would travel back to Minnesota.
I was born in Worthington, so we always took a trip over to Worthington were some of our camera located either great uncle who owned the one store in the little departments were Worthington and across town a little, little town called Butterfield in Butterfield. Every summer they had a threshing be, and these farmers. Most of them in the town of about 2000 that all show up. They did pull out this equipment and they have a polished and painted and they they kinda show it off and maybe threshing with old equipment out of the field. They loved it. These were the most boring days of my life personally threshing be at Butterfield. Just the sound of it gives me shivers, not for these know that this was this was serious business. Those those machines changed everything and their families live. These were people of the soil be. These crops meant everything and I mean everything to us will be taken for granted centuries earlier. We got this farmer named Boaz and this is his life and he loves he's threshing barley with the workers at the threshing floor and threshing floors in Old Testament times were constructed out in the open field is nothing more than a big patch of ground. They clear off, remove all the stubble is typically on on a ridge or he'll work to catch the evening breeze.
They simply raked off a large flat open area. They swept the ground clean. They they sprinkle water on and tempted down they would encircle it with stones to keep the grain inside the threshing floor.
Then the sheaves will be brought on on the backs of workers they would be carried on the backs of donkeys and camels and cards and whatever the owner had at his disposal, and they behaved in this large circular area called the threshing floor two or three animals would be harnessed shoulder to shoulder, and they literally be just just be driven around other threshing floor so that they could with her hooves separate the husks from the Col. and then widowers would come in with pitchforks or shovels or by hand if they were poor and it would throw that that that shaft the husks into the air in the wind would catch the empty constant and just carried away and the heavier grain would fall back down into that large circular area. The men and women and children would work late into the night was always a time of great celebration is always a festive time why the harvest is is being brought in.
And if you remember this little book starts in verse one by telling us there's a famine in the land we learn from other passages of Scripture that this famine lasted seven here was devastating. This is how Naomi and her husband and their two sons left to go to Moab, where they marry these two Moab girls. Ruth was was one of them that we have every reason to believe that this is the first good crop because were told that Naomi returns to the land. Hearing the famines over and now you've got this bumper crop. We have every reason to believe this is the first 7:01 long years of struggling and so here you have them out of the threshing floor. They are celebrating the goodness of God. Times have come back to Bethlehem.
God is good again course, the judges informed us that they have repented.
God is not blessing them again.
So this is a time of hard work, yes, but all these farmers and they are excited they are bringing in a bumper crop that sets the mood and they only knew that if there was ever a time when Boaz would know you had money in the bank for life he'd be in a wonderful mood he be ready to start something new. It would be here Boaz Naomi's little phrase informs us is there on the scene, no doubt to to help not only window. Perhaps with another thing would be in mind.
In these days we learn from the book of Judges of the Midianites had made a habit of coming into the land stealing the grain from the threshing floor so Boaz is there on the scene with others to not only work, but to protect what they window so it all piled up somewhere on that threshing floor Boaz and the rest are about to settle down and so Naomi tells Ruth and this is where it intersects with Ruth at this one critical intersection.
This is Ruth's last chance it's her best chance. But it also represents her last chance before Boaz leaves the fields for several months, maybe not to return and maybe not to return a single if she's going to make her desires known, now's the time to do it. There are a few more details.
By the way in Naomi's well-thought-out plan. She tells Ruth in verse three to wash yourself.
This Hebrew verb signifies the full treatment. This is the pedicure and manicure. The Mary Kay lady came and gave her her color chart and all that stuff didn't offer her getting ready next Naomi says. Knowing yourself literally put on perfume.
Did they have perfume back then listen 1500 years before Christ was born. The Queen of Egypt and in the elites in society were sending search parties all around the known world to bring back the latest perfume samples for their collection. Ruth evidently know she's poor and Naomi is poor. Guess what, she's kept some perfume.
She has a little of it left from her former life.
J. Vernon McGee used to say that her favorite perfume was probably called midnight in Moab love that put some of that midnight in Moab on Ruth get ready to propose the Boaz Naomi is even thought about the timing. Look at verse three latter part go down to the threshing floor. This do not make yourself known to the man until he is finished eating and drinking.
She's wise, wait until he's had his dinner before you try something major great advice for a show on the car.
Freedom Junior's report card. You know, ask him to paint the rest of the house.
A different color. Entries already started her halfway through feed him first. This verse couldn't be any clearer. Here it is ladies weights always had supper biblical but unfortunately were just about out of time for today when we return for our next broadcast will resume and conclude this lesson your listing to Stephen Devi the Bible teacher here on wisdom for the heart. Today's message is called a midnight proposal.
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