Tuesday, August 27, 2013

ruth: are you attractive, attentive, assertive, available? (part 11)

One day Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be well provided for? Is not Boaz, with whose servant girls you have been, a kinsman of ours? Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash and perfume yourself, and put on 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. 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."

"I will do whatever you say," Ruth answered. (Ruth 3:1-5)

So, some time has passed and Ruth has continued to glean in Boaz's field, staying close to his servant girls and remaining under his full protection. Soon it becomes evident to Naomi that Boaz is interested in Ruth. In true kinsman-redeemer form, he has continued to provide for her every need, and outwardly appears to care for Ruth immensely. As a result of his actions, Naomi knows that it is in Ruth's best interest if Boaz became more than just a kind-hearted benefactor. So she delicately instructs her daughter-in-law on what to do. Naomi has devised a plan whereby Boaz would be informed of Ruth's interest, but in a way that he could say "no" with minimal embarrassment for everyone.

She then outlined her four-part strategy to Ruth. First, Naomi told Ruth to be attractive. Ruth was to remove all vestiges of mourning her late husband and start making herself attractive for Boaz. Naomi instructs her to wash up, to put on perfume, to adorn herself with her best clothes. It is likely that Ruth had been wearing mourning garments this whole time thus explaining Boaz's romantic inertia. But now, Naomi was telling Ruth to make it visually obvious to Boaz that she was ready to return to life again. The old was gone... the new had come for Ruth. It was time to showcase herself as an available "bride" and gain Boaz's attention.

Second, Ruth was to make herself attentive to the place where Boaz would be. Specifically, she was to go to the place where Boaz would be resting after he finished a long day of work. This is not to imply that Ruth would be tip-toeing over the bodies of Boaz's sleeping team in order to get to him. No, apparently Boaz slept somewhat apart from the rest of his workers. This is logical, as most bosses have earned a more reserved location (or office) where one could regroup. According to Naomi, Ruth was to attentively meet Boaz in this place, approaching him when he was relaxed and finished with his job.

Third, Ruth was to be assertive. Naomi told Ruth to go uncover Boaz's feet and then lie down. Now, don't start thinking Ruth was compromising her integrity by laying down in front of him. This is not a story conjured up from a Hollywood script. No, Ruth always remained clothed and kept an appropriate distance. Her actions merely symbolized to Boaz her humility to him while gaining his attention subtly and gradually. According to the Mosaic system of the day, it was incumbent upon Ruth to assertively make such a definite move. If she didn't, it would have constituted a rejection to Boaz as a suiter. Naomi's plan was for Ruth to show Boaz that she wanted him to fulfill the roll of kinsman-redeemer rather than a nearer relative who currently held the right. (Which we will see in tomorrow's lesson.) You see, Boaz was not the first in line to be Ruth's kinsman-redeemer. Since Boaz was a true gentleman and man of the law, he would never aggressively pursue Ruth unless he was certain she wanted him. Once he knew this, he would skillfully begin legal proceedings to redeem her.

Lastly, Ruth was to make herself available to Boaz. Meaning, she was to wait patiently for his response. As Naomi put it, "He will tell you what to do." Ruth had shown her desire to be covered in Boaz's protection indefinitely and now is displaying true submission, respect, and faith in Boaz's ability to follow-through. She has laid her heart out on her sleeve and now must wait for her redeemer's instruction - trusting his position and ability to follow-through.

We can learn a lot about how to approach our husband (or anyone else for that matter) by following Ruth's gentle, effective, patient approach. Furthermore, in studying this text we can learn how to receive and rely upon our eternal Husband, Jesus. We must be willing to cast off all that is old - all that has depressed us. Then, we must joyfully receive Him and make His goodness our priority. He is definitely attractive... but how can we, in return, be attractive to our God? With a meek and quiet spirit? With a sacrificial and obedient heart? Ladies, have you washed yourself in His Word and faithfully clothed yourself with His traits? And how attentive are you to Him? Is your life all about you or your Savior? Is your heart, soul, mind, and strength focused on His image or your own? Also, how assertively do you go to Him and humbly lay your life before His feet? Do you strive to be with Him at all cost and outwardly show Him how much you long to be His bride? How much do you desire Him? So much to always be available to Him? Do you trust His authority and ability to redeem you? Do you wait patiently upon Him to follow-through on His promises and provide and protect for your life? Is Jesus the Kinsman-Redeemer you wish to be married to... or would you rather remain alone or choose someone else? According to God's law, our sin must be paid for and the default legal solution insures us death. But Christ is willing to pay the ultimate price in order to legally claim us as His own and save us from destruction. With Him, we are no longer poor. With Him, we need not continue mourning. With Jesus, we are renewed and promised a new life of happiness. With Jesus, we gain a new home, a new family, a new life!

Are you interested? Does He know you are interested? If so, let your own eternal love story begin. Get yourself ready for the wedding! Jesus, your Bridegroom... your Kinsman-Redeemer, will take care of all the arrangements. All you must do is prepare yourself for Him!

Be attractive, be attentive, be assertive, and be available to the Holiest of Holies! Make Jesus your Kinsman-Redeemer and lovingly, patiently wait on His instructions and promises... His kingdom will come! His will shall indeed be done!

Until tomorrow... Blessings!
Blog Posting Written By Victoria Anderson

1 comment:

  1. This is a wondeful insight, thank you...