Wednesday, January 01, 2020

2020.01.01 Hopewell @Home ▫ Ruth 3:7-13

Questions from the Scripture text: What had Boaz done (Ruth 3:7)? How did his heart feel? Where did he lie down? What did Ruth do? What happened at midnight (Ruth 3:8)? What did he ask (Ruth 3:9)? What does Ruth call herself? For what does she ask? What does Boaz say about her in Ruth 3:10? What reason does he give? What promise does he make in Ruth 3:11? What does he note about her character? What obstacle does he mention in Ruth 3:12? What procedure will he follow (Ruth 3:13)? What does he tell her to do?
The heart of this account is Boaz’s declaration about Ruth in Ruth 3:11 that he has learned from experience what everyone already knew about Ruth by reputation—that she is a “worthy woman” (verse 11). This is the same adjective used of Boaz in Ruth 2:1 (where some English translations dumb it down to “wealth”) and of the Proverbs 31 woman in Proverbs 31:10.

It is a sad comment on our culture then, that we are have grown so obsessed with perversion that many commentators now read such things into this passage. Ruth comes at the only time that she would not corner Boaz embarrassingly, and places herself in the position least compromising to him, while making herself very vulnerable. Boaz acknowledges all of this when he encourages her not to fear in Ruth 3:11.

He recognizes that whereas she could have gone first for a rich and young (or even poor and young) man, she has chosen to go after the man that seems best before Yahweh (by Whom He calls her blessed in Ruth 3:10). The implication is also that she is doing what is best for Naomi.

For his part, Boaz is willing to risk his own line to be a redeemer (the way that the other goel refuses to do on the next day). He also is willing to risk his own reputation (making modern commentators’ accusation all the more ironic) for her safety. The text is clear that their encounter is innocent. She lay at his feet until morning. But accusations from the wicked are not unique to our age, and it was a risk for Boaz to have her remain. Yet, with the gates of the city shut till morning, he finds it better to risk his name than to risk her safety.

We have here the way two different “worthy” (virtuous) people think—they think long-term and according to God’s priorities. How will we think, when it comes time to make job choices, school choices, and yes even marriage choices? God grant that by Christ’s grace, we would think “worthily.”
How do you make your little choices every day? What kind of big choices is this training you to make? What would it look like to be making your little choices in a better way?
Suggested Songs: ARP119A “How Blessed Are Those” or TPH119E “Teach Me, O Lord, Your Way of Truth”

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