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May 30, 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.
She uses the word derivative of the word Boaz already used on this she's actually asking Boaz to become the answer to his own prayer he had said, what a matter all my God spread is over. She later says I think God's plan is for you to be the agent of spreading wings over, will you answer your earlier. It's not just because the plot is interesting and the characters are compelling.
It's because the story of Ruth and Boaz serves as a real-life picture of God's love for mankind today. And all this week. Stephen Davey continues through his series on our last broadcast. We began a message called a midnight proposal. There wasn't time to bring you the entire message so will review and then conclude that message right 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. 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. 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 of what 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 Jew us of these laws are still foreign to her more than likely in she probably says, and I imagine her saying to Naomi what 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 two.
The middle part. She says so, behold, he windows barley at the threshing floor tonight with the second. How did she know that she 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 interesting proposal.
I was raised in the city.
How many of you were raised in the city, just about all my father was raised on a farm fact he can. 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 I said that. 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 his findings as well. Your hand stayed warm.
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 timber located either great uncle who owned the one store in little departments were Worthington and across town a little town called Butterfield in Butterfield. Every summer they had a threshing be, and these farmers. Most of them in a town of about 2000 that all show up they they pull out this equipment and they'd 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. The 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 a threshing floors in Old Testament times were constructed out in the open field 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 ABC in this large circular area called the threshing floor two or three animals would be harnessed shoulder to shoulder, and they literally be just they just be driven around other threshing floor so that they could with her hooves separate the husks from the Col. 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 years was devastating. This is how Naomi and her husband and their two sons left to go to Moab where they married 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. Good times come back to Bethlehem. God is good again course, the judges informed us that they repented God is not blessing them again. So this is a time of hard work, yes, but all these farmers are excited their 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 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 and 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 single if she's going to make her desires known now is the time to do it. There are a few more details. By the way 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.
All that stuff didn't offer her get 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 though 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. The 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 free show on the dent in 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 the when it comes to my mind, feed him first.
This verse couldn't be any clearer. Here it is ladies way to Lee's had supper its biblical Naomi says that even wait until the work party lies down the sleep you don't want to interrupt.
Boaz always working as ledger way till everything is a look at verse four for rather strange detail. You shall notice the place when he lies down. You shall notice the place where he lies and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down. There's application. Some would suggest that Ruth is told to go down and propositioned by uncovering his feet. They conclude that this is this is a euphemism for sexual relation or short answer is, nothing could be further from the truth.
From what we've learned.
Boaz is a godly man effect when he meets Ruthie start praying for he will praise Ruth in a few verses for being a woman of moral excellence.
You don't violate one another sexually and then praise each other for moral excellence, which is what he will do. In fact, he will ask her if you verses to leave before the break of dawn so that both of their reputations can be above suspicion is in order to leave to go back in the middle of the night. That would be dangerous but but leave before anybody gets our reputations are worth protecting. Add to that of the fact that the Mishnah of the Mishnah is a Jewish commentary on Jewish custom and law, it would not specifically would not allow a man to act as a kinsman redeemer toward a Gentile woman he had already been sexually involved with outside of marriage. Why it's obvious this protected of vulnerable widow from being abused and taken advantage of by a man who should be redeeming. Her first but he says I love you I will redeem you later if you love me you will redeem her first and if he will not redeem you any violated he's he can't have a little so that rule basically protected the widow from being abused and taken advantage of in vulnerable condition of needing security help and comfort. He had to marry her first. Ruth is not making some kind of lurid proposition to a Boaz. She is told by Naomi to go down where he's sleeping and cover his feet. Let me give you the literal Hebrew translation of that phrase uncover his feet, you might want to write it down. Uncover his feet take the blanket off his feet and what will he do, he will wake up as well do it was a way that she could wake him up in the middle of the night without startling him. Remember, there are out there to protect that drain and their alert there wondering if perhaps the Midianites will common. So if she just happens to come along and in shape. Some makes noise that could that could spoil everything.
How you wake them up quietly the same way some of you guys have been awake the covers off his feet and get cold notice for six so she went down to the threshing floor and did according to Walden. Her mother-in-law had commanded her when Boaz and Eaton drunk in his heart was Mary.
He went to lie down at the end of the heap of of grain now again pause for a moment, there are still others, it was suggested Boaz drop Ruth is calm when he's incoherent. She's going to take advantage of him in the making the promise that he probably wouldn't want to keep if he was sober again. The text answers ridiculous commentary that frankly and I've had to read a lot of it just cannot stand the sight of a godly woman and a godly man and I want to say leave him alone for goodness say, but solely their character running through the mud and make the authors feel better about their own moral compromise basically is what is old.
No need to drag him through the mud. The text says he Eaton drunk in his heart was Mary. The Hebrew idiom captive wave means simply he was in good spirit, we would say he was in a good mood. Why not it's a bumper crop. Everything's been thrashed we get housing drain that finances taken care of.
I've eaten out with my comrades.
Life is great.
And with that covers himself up goes off to sleep is, is this a perfect night.
He's thinking this is a perfect night or what I think Boaz will boy it's about to get a lot better look at verse eight.
And it happened in the middle of the night.
The Hebrew text literally reads in the half of the night, meaning around the round midnight. The man was startled bent forward, and behold, a woman was lying at his feet.
The word translated, startled, could be translated better. I believe with the word shivered as a literal rendering of that verb as well. Shivered somewhere around midnight. Boaz is uncovered feet get cold. That's the plan. He wakes up shivering. He sits up bends forward to put the blanket back over his feet and when he does he sees the form of someone lying at his feet. Verse nine Heaney says who are you and she answers I'm Ruth, your main to spread your covering over your made for you are a close relative literally. You are a Redeemer.
This is tantamount to Ruth proposing the Boaz. This is the biblical way of saying in this context, will you marry me. Can you imagine Boaz that his hair is all messed up easements more snoring is in his pajamas and she's all dressed up in this is love or what she she leans forward and says Boaz effectively. You have the legal right to marry me. Will you accept that right she's come to him in the night, perhaps out of respect for his character, not wanting to demand her rights in public. She could've forced this scene before the elders at the gate's was her right to choose. I want you to notice how carefully she's worded her proposal to elements are significant here. First, there's the symbolic custom wood back in verse nine, Ruth asks Boaz to spread spread your covering over the she's not asking for his blanket because it's cold. She's referring to the Jewish custom of the bridegroom who would on the wedding day.
Place the talus upon his bride. The talus was a fringed garment and it was significant because by doing so, he was signifying to the wedding audience that he was covering her with with his authority, his care and his love Ruth is effectively saying will you cover me with your care and your authority and your love for in simpler terms will you marry me. I remember Ruth has the right to ask.
However, instead of forcing Boaz to play the role of kinsman redeemer instead of bringing him to the public eye before the gates of the elders and potentially embarrassing him. She wasn't that much she's going to give him the opportunity to privately turn her down and said rather not kindly Joseph when he discovered Mary was pregnant loved her so much that rather than make a public spectacle of her obvious on faithfulness to their betrothal decided to do everything privately, secretly, another is one other option since were trying to uncover every stone will be given to perhaps she came to him that night because Naomi had told her there's somebody else in line before Boaz. So what you need to do is go ahead and let Boaz know you'd rather have him in and wait to see what Boaz will do which I believe is exactly what happened. Now there's a significant word as well as the second thing, not just a symbolic custom, but she words this proposal wonderfully with the significant word she uses. I wanted to see this. Ruth says when she says spread your covering over your made as she proposes to Boaz. She uses the word that the derivative of the word Boaz has already used on her.
When they first met. May the Lord this is when he first meets or may the Lord reward your work and your wages before from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose Wayne's come to seek refuge. That word translated Wayne is the same word. Ruth now uses as she says effectively.
Boaz spread your wings over me. Listen, she's actually asking Boaz to become the answer to his own prayer. She's asking Boaz to become the application of his earlier intercession. He had said when he matter all. May God spread his wings over Sheena later says I think God's plan is for you to be the agent of spreading wings over me, will you answer your earlier prayer of doubt in my mind Boaz got caught the significance of that precious word that she weaved into her proposal. There she is effectively whispering Boaz on the threshing floor like answer. Thanks for joining us today here on wisdom.
Wisdom for the heart is produced by wisdom international. The Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey. We were glad to get this note from a man named Stephen who lives in Texas. He said this about three years ago I started a job that included a 35 minute commute. For some reason I searched radio stations in my car and came across my local Christian station the time of my commute wind up with Stephen's sermon I mentioned the station and program to a fellow employee and he conveyed that he was a longtime listener that opened the door for us to share our faith and joy in Christ. I'm so glad to be part of the body of Christ will Stephen thank you for writing. It's our prayer that every message we bring you will help you know what God's word says understand what it means and apply it to your life.
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