Ruth 3 Obedience
1) Listen to Godly advice
I always preface Godly advice because we live in a society that loves to give their opinion and so you should not listen to just anyone. Not all advice is Godly advice even from other Christians and so we have to make sure we only listen to those who are in God’s Word (The Bible) daily and are seeking what His will is and not just giving their opinion.
In order to hear Godly advice you have to listen which means you need to stop talking. People no longer listen anymore because they are too busy formulating what they are going to say to actually hear the people who are speaking. God may be using someone in your life to speak the truth but because you are so focused on defending you position you cannot hear what they are actually saying to you.
Ruth was asked to do something that could have been really awkward for a woman from a foreign country but it must have been the custom of the day. This was not a sexual act as some try to make it out to be. Although it may seem weird to us the fact that Boaz and Ruth are spoke of as being honorable people tells you that nothing inappropriate took place between them.
Have you ever been asked to do things by those over you that you did not fully understand?
Ruth was a hard worker but the amount of work she was doing she could not do the rest of her life. Naomi knew that the only way that Ruth could find rest was to get married and have children that could provide for her as she aged. Naomi knew Boaz was their relative and there was an opportunity for her to be with him if he chose to have her.
Why did she go at night?
Winnowing was when you tossed the wheat or corn into the air so the lighter stuff would blow away and the good material would fall back down into a pile.
This is the terminology used by John the Baptist when he was describing Jesus
Matthew 3:12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
Ruth went at night because Naomi knew that the night winds would be when you could do this work and she knew Boaz being a land owner would be a part of the process of it. Not only would he work there but to keep things from being stolen they would camp out there until they could get the harvest into storage.
Ruth did not go at night to hide a sin they were committing (as some suggest) she went at night so that if Boaz rejected her she could do it without any embarrassment to herself or Boaz.
She was to wash herself to either show that the time of mourning was over for her husband (2 Samuel 12:20) or just to make herself attractive to Boaz (Ezekiel 16:9-12). Ruth was obedient to listen to the wise and Godly advice of Naomi.
Why did she uncover his feet?
It was a custom of the day that the uncovering of the feet was to submit under that person. Ruth was basically dropping a huge hint that she would like to be the wife of Boaz. Deuteronomy 25:5-10 was some of the ground work for what was supposed to happen to the widow if a brother died. This got carried down to extend to the next in line to make sure that family members were not abandoned. So Boaz being a relative had a spiritual obligation to make sure Ruth was cared for because Ruth was part of his extended family through marriage.
If Boazcovered her with his robe then it was him saying that he would take her as his wife.
Who are you listening or not listening to?
Proverbs 13:20 whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Who has God put in your life that is telling you to do certain things but you are refusing to listen?
You have to discern what is and what is not Godly council but if you want to be obedient to God then you have to start listening to the people He has put in your life to help guide and direct you. We are not to live this life alone and God has put people in our lives for a reason. The question you must ask is if they love you and will they be by your side no matter what? People that will not stay with you no matter what choices in life you make are people that only want to use you. If you have someone in your life that has stayed with you through all the mistakes you have made and they are seeking God for themselves and you, then those would be good people to listen to.
Ruth uncovers Boaz feet until it wakes him up from his feet being cold. He is startled that someone is laying at his feet which means terrified or trembling.
Who are you?
Ruth knew who she was in line to be part of the family and she uses the term servant which meant maid servant which would have been above a regular servant. Maidservant put her in line to be a part of the Household and to even have children (Genesis 30:1-9). Boaz was impressed that she knew her spiritual obligations about marriage and was not just seeking after anyone to be married to.
You have not gone after younger men, whether rich or poor
Society tends to focus on the outward appearance but as every married couple knows, the outward appearance wears off. Ruth was following Godly advice and going after a man that would honor her God and her family. This does not mean that Boaz was ugly but apparently he did not see himself as someone that should be sought after by someone as beautiful as Ruth. Boaz apparently thinks that Ruth could have any man she wanted and so he is honored that she would seek after him.
Ruth 2:1 tells us that Boaz was a worthy man which would have meant, rich, a warrior, a person of high character. It does not tell us how he looked but it shows that he is a man worth following.
Boaz is so impressed that he says her seeking to be with him is shows more kindness that all the kindness she showed to her mother in law. (He said this in a prayer of blessing)
Proverbs 31:10 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
Proverbs 12:4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones
Boaz saw Ruth as a crown that he would proudly wear around on his head for everyone to see.
2) Wait patiently
Obedience is easy when we know what to do and when all the circumstances are in our control but when we have to wait for things to work out that are not in our control. Ruth had to wait because Boaz knew there was someone else that was supposed to take the role of redeemer for Ruth ahead of him. The order for how a widow was to be taken care of was brother, uncle, cousin, and then closest in clan. (Leviticus 25:48-49; Numbers 27:11)
How do you act when you have to wait on others?
How do you act when you have to wait on God?
If I know what to do I am full steam ahead the problem I have is waiting for God or others to do some things behind the scenes. Ruth did all she could do now it was up to Boaz to do the rest. This passage shows me that Boaz had already thought this out because he already knew there was someone in line to have Ruth. Boaz wanted to do things by the book and not just rush ahead even though his desire was to get married to Ruth. He did not want Ruth’s name to be tarnished by doing the right thing the wrong way.
Have you ever asked yourself what is the Rush?
Why do I have to want what I want right now as opposed to waiting a little while?
We are like children that want a toy in the store and we do not wait till Christmas. We want everything right now and if we cannot get it then we throw a fit. God sometimes puts us in a holding pattern as He works things out behind the scenes and when we rush ahead we actually get ahead of God.
In 1 Samuel 13 there is a story of King Saul who grew impatient waiting on Samuel and so he offered the sacrifice to God himself which went against God and what He had commanded. King Saul waited 8 days but then decided to move ahead and by doing so was disobedient. You can do the right thing the wrong way when you do not wait for Gods timing. Waiting on Gods timing is not easy and we can quickly get out of Gods will for our lives when we decide we need to move ahead and not wait anymore.
“Faith in God includes faith in His timing.” Neal A. Maxwell
Psalm 37:7 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Number 9:8 And Moses said to them, “Wait, that I may hear what the Lord will command concerning you.”
If you have a hard time waiting go to WWW.Biblegateway.com and type in the word “wait”.
Boaz gave her a promise
What if the other relative said he wanted Ruth? We do not wait because we are afraid we will miss out on something. We are afraid that if we do not act now then the opportunity will pass us by. Sales pitches work on this premise that if you do not act now you will miss out and many people have bought things are got involved in things they later regretted.
Do you trust God’s Sovereignty enough that you will not miss out on anything if He chooses not to give it to you. Do you trust God enough, that if you are seeking His will and are doing things His way, that He will work them out for you?
Boaz sent Ruth home full of food so that Naomi would know what the intentions were. The gift would have been a sign to Naomi that Boaz was going to handle it and do his best to take care of them.
Wait my daughter until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today
2 Peter 3:8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
It feels as though with the Lord every day is a thousand years. We are a microwave society that wants everything very quickly but God sometimes has us wait while He works things out behind the scenes. We have to be careful to not grow impatient while we wait on Him to do what only He can do behind the scenes.
Obedience to God means we need to Listen carefully and Wait patiently. Those are two traits that will help you be obedient to God. Seek Godly advice but then wait on God to do what only He can do.