Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, shouldn’t I find rest for you, so that you will be taken care of? Now isn’t Boaz our relative? Haven’t you been working with his female servants? This evening he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, put on perfumed oil, and wear your best clothes. Go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let the man know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, notice the place where he’s lying, go in and uncover his feet, and lie down. Then he will explain to you what you should do.”
God is in control. “For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
God’s plan for the redemption of mankind is perfect and is being executed precisely, often in surprising ways. God is always at His work (John 5:17). He had been at work long before Naomi and Ruth were widowed and left Moab to return to Naomi’s people in Bethlehem. God’s plan for Naomi and Ruth was unfolding in a manner that would bring Ruth in contact with Boaz. Think about these scripture verses and their connection to God’s plan for Ruth:
Leviticus 19:1—God tells Moses to “Speak to the entire Israelite community and tell them to be holy because I, Yahweh your God, am holy.” Moses gives God’s Laws of Holiness to the Israelites.
Leviticus 19:9-10— The Israelites were to care for the poor and the foreign resident by not harvesting the very edge of the field and not stripping the vineyards bare or gathering fallen grapes. Ruth gathered unharvested grain in the field of Boaz, a ‘prominent man of noble character from Elimelech’s family.’
Leviticus 19:33—The Israelites were instructed to love, not oppress, the foreigners who lived in the land of Israel, for the Israelites were once foreigners in Egypt. Boaz proves to be a man of integrity who knows and obeys the Laws of Holiness.
Naomi and Elimelech and their two sons go to Moab to seek relief from a famine in the land of Bethlehem. Ruth meets and marries one of Naomi’s sons, creating a life-long relationship between Ruth and Naomi.
After they are both widowed, Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem in Judah when they learn the famine is over.
In consideration of the above, we read Ruth 3:1-4. Ruth agrees to comply with Naomi’s plan for Ruth to boldly meet Boaz at the threshing floor at night while Boaz is asleep, uncovering Boaz’ feet, and lying down next to Boaz. These actions are clear signals to Boaz that Ruth has ended her time of mourning for her husband and is ready to remarry. This prompts Boaz to respond in his role as kinsman redeemer.
Reading further, we know that Ruth and Boaz marry and have a son named Obed, who had a son named Jesse. Jesse had eight sons, one of whom is named David. God’s plan continues to unfold. Ruth may never have known the significant role her faith in action at the threshing floor played in God’s eternal plan.
God is still at work today. His eternal plan continues to unfold through people like you and me—people who know His Son, Jesus Christ; people who know His voice; people who hear His voice; people who respond in obedience to His Word. Like Ruth, we may never know the impact our obedient response will have in years to come. What we do know is that we please God when we respond in obedience to His leadership.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Do you believe the promises of Jeremiah 29:11? Think about where you seek your welfare, your future, and your hope.
- Satan desires to bind our obedience to the Holy Spirit by filling us with thoughts of fear and inadequacy. If you are dealing with such thoughts, read Romans 12:1-2; and read the book of Philippians. Dwell on Chapter 2 and Chapter 4.
Pray for our Hope for the World partner ministries working around the world in areas where the government is unstable, or even threatening. The pandemic has presented many layers of additional challenges for those already living in areas with fragile economies and security. Pray for provision, protection, and opportunity to minister and share.