Good morning and welcome to week 3 of our Ruth study. Can you believe that we are now halfway done?! This study is flying by, you guys!
We begin this week in chapter 3 and it is guessed that a couple of weeks have gone by between the end of chapter 2 and the beginning of this chapter. It is harvest time in the country and Naomi decides to set Ruth up with one of the land owners named Boaz.
We see in verse 1 that there was real affection and love between these ladies. The fact that Naomi addressed Ruth as “my daughter” meant that she really cared for Ruth and that she had taken it on herself to secure a good future for Ruth.
Things get a little weird, though, when we read about how Ruth is to go about getting Boaz’s attention. First Ruth is to take a bath, put on some perfume and some fresh clothes. This seems normal. Then she is to go to his field and wait (without him knowing that she is there) for Boaz to finish eating and drinking, and then to lay down for the night. This seems a bit stalker-like.
Lastly Ruth is to uncover his feet and lay down with him. This seems strange and somewhat inappropriate. Some believe that Naomi’s suggestion is overtly sexual, since it is believed that prostitutes would act in this way. But this interpretation goes against what we know of both Naomi and Ruth’s character and the praise that Boaz gives Ruth for her actions later in verse 10.
Instead, Ruth’s actions express a desire for protection, and the idea of marriage would have been the obvious way of receiving this protection.
Naomi’s idea certainly is a bit delicate and could result in Boaz misinterpreting what Ruth was doing. But Naomi seems very confident in the situation and in Boaz’s integrity. She believes that he will do what is right when he wakes up and finds Ruth laying at his feet.
The story continues tomorrow.
But what can we take away from this part of the story? We have to be careful that, when we are reading historical narratives, that we don’t try and force an application for every part of the story. Instead we need to look for the themes that are found throughout the whole book.
Two of the themes we see are love and faith. Naomi’s faith in God seems to have gotten stronger since the story began, and she seems very confident in her plan for Ruth. The faith Naomi and Ruth have in the one true God has created a strong bond of love between the two of them. Naomi really wants to see Ruth taken care of and is willing to do all she can to help.
These two ladies can be great examples to us in godliness and faith. We need to do all we can to grow in our faith and in love for others who have this same faith.
Looking To Jesus,
Week 3 Challenge: Examine where you are at spiritually. Do you feel like you are growing? Why or why not? What can you do to strengthen your faith? Are there areas in your life where you feel the Holy Spirit urging you to be bold?
Week 3 Video:
Week 3 Reading Plan:
Week 3 Memory Verse:
We’re in Week 3 of our RUTH study! Grab your favorite beverage, crack open your Bible, and together let’s rejoice in the amazing ways God works through each of our lives!
We also have a corresponding kids’ Ruth journal geared for children in elementary grades. You can grab a copy on Amazon at this location. (aff)