Christian’s guide to marriage – PART 2
Lessons from the Book of Ruth – Kindly read the scripture before reading the notes.
Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor
3 One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home[a] for you, where you will be well provided for. 2 Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3 Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”
5 “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. 6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.
7 When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. 8 In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!
9 “Who are you?” he asked.
“I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer[b] of our family.”
10 “The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. 11 And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character. 12 Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I. 13 Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.”
14 So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, “No one must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.”
15 He also said, “Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out.” When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and placed the bundle on her. Then he[c] went back to town.
16 When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?”
Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her 17 and added, “He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’”
18 Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”
a. Ruth 3:1 Hebrew find rest (see 1:9)
b. Ruth 3:9 The Hebrew word for guardian-redeemer is a legal term for one who has the obligation to redeem a relative in serious difficulty (see Lev. 25:25-55); also in verses 12 and 13.
c. Ruth 3:15 Most Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate and Syriac she
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
On godly Relationships
Godly Relationships. Boaz and Ruth. PART 2
Godly Relationships. Boaz and Ruth. PART 2
Ruth wakes up one morning thinking of going out to work. So she goes out, entering a field, she begins to glean behind the harvesters. As it turns out, she is working in a field belonging to Boaz. Chemistry begins its work and eventually Boaz marries Ruth.
One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home[a] for you, where you will be well provided for. Ruth 3:1 NIV
#1 Main Lesson: Importance of Community.
It is everyone’s need to have someone looking out for you. Ruth has looked after her now aged mother in-law. Now its Naomi’s time to do what a mother should do
- God provides for His people via the Community, mainly. Naomi was the closer community to Ruth. She provided cover, counsel, protection, name, value, love and importantly in our case, concern for Ruth’s wellbeing
- Every girl needs a mother. The absence of a biological mother shouldn’t be a scandal. It wasn’t for Ruth. In Naomi she found someone who cared for her.
- A mother must be found! That is the role of Ruth chapter 1. Ruth clang on to Naomi. Every girl must find a mother. If your biological mother is around, you may have to find her again. Treat her like a mother, in obedience. Allow her to mother you. She knows best.
- A mother may have little education and actually may even be less intelligent but there are two important reasons for you to listen: The LORD has provided her to you and she remains a conduit for the LORD’s blessing. Secondly, she has passed through what you may be passing through. Even a less intelligent person can pass an exam with leakage. She has the leakage!
- Every mother must learn to know and appreciate the needs of their daughter
- The statement “Some time later Naomi said to Ruth,… GNT” means there was a passage of time between Boaz’s first meeting with Ruth and now. Allow time between your first meeting and ‘engagement’. Time in between may allow you to see more good in a person you thought was useless and lacking in potential. Or you may actually find more evil in a man you thought was Mr. Right. The LORD has provided time as a tool for your wellbeing. Use it.
2 Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3 Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.” Ruth 3:2-4 NIV
#2 Main Lesson: Timing, preparations – the processes before
Romance begins here!
- Who says a sister shouldn’t have perfume? Wash and put on your best clothes. It’s time for romance!
- Notice that romance comes after everything important has been done. Boaz is the right man. Ruth knows it. You don’t go romantic on your first date with a man you know nothing about. You will have denied the potential man chance to know and appreciate you better. The romance will get his heart ahead of his brain. Remember the saying, love is blind? No. It’s actually romance which is blind! Love is fully informed.
- Timing is everything!
- There are cultural details here which are clearly not for our culture but the basics remain the same. There is a way a woman speaks in response to a situation to either say yes or no; to encourage a potential mate or discourage him.
#3 Main Lesson: Sexual Purity is key to holiness
- Ruth was looking for someone to cover her. Sex is important and is a fruit of love but it wasn’t sex she was looking for.
- Men must know that women are looking for a cover and not sex – sex is packaged with the cover as an important add-on. Sex by itself is cheap in value but very costly in consequences.
- Boaz responds in a very godly way – not by having sex with Ruth immediately. He is looking at more important matters. He understands that Ruth is talking a cover and not sex.
- For Ruth and Boaz sex does come but later and as a fruit of love. For Ruth it is deserved and for Boaz it is earned. The thought here is that a man must impress. It is such a scandal that a woman gives a man sex for absolutely nothing. We call it cheap sex. You pay nothing. You can even get it for being nothing! It is ungodliness at a very high level!
- Godliness means a man learns to protect the noble character of a sister by not doing anything silly and suggestive of sin right in the eyes of the entire church.
- Boaz doesn’t consider the presence of a woman in his bedroom as an opportunity for sex. You don’t want to sin at the very first sign of temptation.
- Many people would love to have this opportunity to sin. But the saint should look at this opportunity as an altar erected for him to worship the LORD by obedience.
- Even when many boxes are ticked, you don’t have to rush into marriage. Boaz waited until all encumbrances were cleared. The encumbrance for some might be that the girl isn’t really available even when she has shown great interest in you. Some married women might even suggest a divorce process just to get away from their bad marriage and get to what they feel is Mr. Right. But from where you are standing, such a woman isn’t available. Cut the trail.
- More commonly, a man might even claim singleness to lure a woman to themselves. Give it time. Information does eventually come out. Listen to the right voices. The community around a man would be in the right position to clear the air. Again such a man isn’t available. Is Ruth available? That is what Boaz wants to find out.
- Ignorance isn’t an excuse. The LORD will punish it. You have a duty to know. You feel him; he feels you; strong chemistry is at work; but he is married. Stay away. Love shouldn’t exist in this case.
14 So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, “No one must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.” Ruth 3:14 NIV
#4 Main Lesson: Respect and Testimony
- A man of integrity must respect the sanctity of sexuality. Though nothing happened in the night between Boaz and Ruth, Boaz doesn’t want people to think of Ruth as a loose woman. She had gone to him in trust and purity of heart. She must be respected.
- Equally Boaz doesn’t want people to think of him as a womanizer. So Ruth leaves very early in the morning before her ‘sleeping out’ goes viral.
- An important lesson for every brother is to ensure that the sister is protected, even when she is in the wrong. Interestingly, (and many generations after) a descendant of Boaz named Joseph would do almost the same thing. He planned to send Mary away quietly to protect her from public shame. It is the same line: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob…. Boaz, Obed, Jessy, King David…. Joseph and finally King Jesus.
- Remember that the search for a wife is a godly process and must be handled in a godly way.
#5 Main Lesson: What the saint should avoid
Purity is what the LORD is asking for. Godliness is important in the process. A steady Christian walk will lead you to a desired destiny. Here are a couple of things to avoid
- Avoid a loner’s life. The LORD provides community for many reasons. Ruth belonged to a community of people. The community added value to her life. Even the quiet admirers of your character are also important. The LORD may use them to put in a good work for you – in your absence.
- Avoid despising your mother. Naomi didn’t have much left in her after the death of her husband. She returned home empty. Yet Ruth stuck to Naomi. A mother may not have much in terms of physical items but they may be a source of the LORD’s blessing for you.
- Avoid running after men here and there, rich or poor… anything in a trousers. Ruth is a good example of a godly woman
- Avoid running after girls here and there, as long as your heart bumps when you see one.
- Avoid sex even when the opportunity presents itself. Boaz is an example of a godly man behaving godly. He wasn’t impotent. At the right time he slept with Ruth and Obed was born. Obed fathered Jessy and Jessy fathered King David. Don’t be forced to prove anything.
- Avoid a bad character instead build a godly character – transformed by the values of the kingdom of God. A good character is like an advert that works for you while you are seated. On the other hand a bad character is an enemy of yours that effectively destroys you everywhere.
- Avoid a man who says nothing good about her mother (parents). He may be unforgiving. Avoid a man who shows very little interest in your mother. He may be self-centered. Boaz didn’t want Ruth to go back to her mother empty-handed.