“No one must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.”….(Ruth 3:14).
Boaz was a man of upright character. In all areas of his life, he was above reproach. After Ruth reminded Boaz of his duty as Kinsman Redeemer he told Ruth to stay there for the rest of the night on the threshing floor. My assumption is so that he could protect her. It would have been wrong of him to ask Ruth to return home in the middle of the night. She could have been met by dangerous strangers on the way seeking to take advantage of her. Just like God does for us, Boaz protected Ruth from anything that could harm her. Whenever God places before us vulnerable people, we should seek to do the same.
That morning, it was important for Boaz to continue to live above reproach. He didn’t want anyone to know that a woman had been there on the threshing floor, not to hide some steamy sexual encounter with Ruth, for this would have been completely antithetical to he and Ruth’s character, but instead, to not give the appearance of such an encounter.
Boaz is the kind of man any woman would be blessed to marry. For truly, he was a man of great character who took responsibility for himself and others. He provided for Ruth and cared for her even before she became his wife. Ruth was a foreigner and many would have dismissed her and not welcomed her because of that. However, Boaz saw beyond Ruth’s ethnicity and into her humanity. Truly, she was a widow in need of redemption. She was a person who was without a provider to care for her. Boaz, in His great kindness, came alongside Ruth with loving-kindness to meet her in the depth of her need.
I do not think its coincidental that we see wedding imagery all over the Scriptures. I believe the story of Ruth and Boaz is a small glimpse of the Father’s love for us. In HIs good character, God seeks to fill our cups when they seem as though they are empty. He comes alongside of us as a husband does a bride to tenderly care for her and meet her needs.
This scene, on the threshing floor, has to be the climax of the story of Ruth, not because of some passionate sexual encounter as some have misinterpreted the scene to display, but because two people said, “I will care for you.” I believe this can be lived out in every aspect of our lives, not just for those of us who are married. Whenever two parties join together, whether it be a friendship or something else, the attitude should always be, “I will care for you.”
To the single mom, fatherless child, divorcee, man, child or woman suffering abuse and elderly person who is lonely the attitude should not be, “that’s too bad for them, they must have made some bad choices in their life to get them to that point,” but instead we must determine in our hearts to say to one another, “I will care for you.”
Lord, give us eyes to see those who need your love. If I could be honest, what I often see in my heart is deep selfishness. It is not an attitude of how I can love and serve another person. Oh Lord, forgive me for my duplicity. I want to be more like you, in Jesus name, Amen.