6
May
2015

RUTH 3:12-18 WAITING ON GOD

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Ru 3:12 "Now it is true that I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. 13 "Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a close relative for you-good; let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, as the LORD lives! Lie down until morning." 14 So she lay at his feet until morning, and she arose before one could recognize another. Then he said, "Do not let it be known that the woman came to the threshing floor." 15 Also he said, "Bring the shawl that is on you and hold it." And when she held it, he measured six ephahs of barley, and laid it on her. Then she went into the city. 16 So when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, "Is that you, my daughter?" Then she told her all that the man had done for her. 17 And she said, "These six ephahs of barley he gave me; for he said to me, 'Do not go empty-handed to your mother-in-law.'" 18 Then she said, "Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day

Why did Boaz not initiate a proposal of marriage? Evidently for two reasons: he assumed Ruth wanted to marry a younger man, someone closer to her own age (v. 10), and he was not the closest eligible male relative (v. 12).

Boaz protected her

Kept her from walking the street that night alone

Boaz promised to redeem her and proposed to her provided the other did not want to be the redeemer

He gave his word a second time, this time with an oath to the Lord as the LORD lives

"Not to carry through his commitment after invoking the Lord's name would have been a violation of the third commandment Ex 20:7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

Even though Boaz wanted to marry Ruth, he did not violate the Mosaic Law to do so. His submission to God's Law reflects his submission to God. We see here another reason he was an excellent man (2:1)

There was the obstacle of the nearer relative to be overcome, but he committed himself to act on behalf of Ruth and Naomi.

What seemed to Naomi to be a simple procedure has now turned out to be a bit more complicated, because there was a man in Bethlehem who was a nearer kinsman. Boaz didnt withhold this problem from Ruth, for he didnt want her to return home with false hopes in her heart. Joy and peace that are based on ignorance of the true facts are but delusions that lead to disappointments.

The great concern of Boaz was the redemption of Ruth, even if another kinsman redeemer had to do it.

When you see this as a picture of our redemption in Jesus Christ, it impresses you strongly that God obeyed His own law when He accomplished our salvation in Christ.

Boaz not only calmed Ruths fears and gave her assurance for the future, but he also met her present needs in a gracious and generous way.

As before, Boaz's gift of barley was a token of God's blessing on Ruth and on Naomi through Ruth

Naomis question in 3:16 has puzzled translators and interpreters. Why would her own mother-in-law ask her who she was? The Living Bible paraphrases the question, Well, what happened, dear? and both the NIV and the NASB read, How did it go, my daughter? But the Authorized Version translates the Hebrew text as it stands: Who are you, my daughter? In other words, Are you still Ruth the Moabitess, or are you the prospective Mrs. Boaz?[1]

He gave evidence of his commitment as he sent Ruth home with six measures of barley

It is noteworthy that as Naomi, Ruth and Boaz all revealed their active faith in what God has said in his Word, they all acted with unselfish, generous, costly kindness. Naomi took the initiative for Ruths benefit, not her own. Ruth submitted to Naomi and asked Boaz for protection for Naomis benefit and for the sake of her deceased husband. Boaz committed himself to acting for Ruth and Naomis benefit. Each of them therefore points us to the Lord Jesus and the greatest act of unselfish, costly, generous kindnesshis redeeming death on the cross. It is as we continue in the pattern seen both in Ruth and most wonderfully in the Lord Jesus Christ, that God uses our active unselfish faith in the continuing implementation of his great Plan of Redemption.

Waiting is one of the most difficult things for me to do, whether its waiting for a table at a restaurant or waiting at a red light. Im an activist by nature, and I like to see things happen on time. Perhaps thats why the Lord has often arranged for me to wait. During those times, three phrases from Scripture have encouraged me: Sit still (Ruth 3:18, KJV), Stand still (Ex. 14:13, KJV), and Be still (Ps. 46:10, KJV).

Sit still was Naomis counsel to Ruth, and wise counsel it was. Ruth would have accomplished nothing by following Boaz around Bethlehem, trying to help him keep his promises. Their strength is to sit still (Isa. 30:7).

Our human nature gets nervous and wants to help God out; and when we try, we only make matters worse.

Stand still was the command of Moses to the people of Israel when the Egyptian army was pursuing them. There was no need to panic, for God had the situation well in hand. Then the Lord commanded the people to go forward Exodus 14:13

Have you put yourself at the feet of the Lord of the Harvest, and are you trusting Him to work?

One evidence of your trust will be your willingness to sit still and let Him have His way.

Lessons

1. We must respond positively to the love God has shown us to in order to enter into all He wants to give us and bless us with

2. Service towards others will change your perspective

3. Taken as a whole, the chapter teaches that God carries out his work through believers who seize unexpected opportunities as gifts from God."