Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thoughts on Ruth 3

Ruth 3 can be read .here.

Remember the movie Fiddler on the Roof? That song, match maker? This scene reminds me of that movie! (Off subject this song (If I Were a Rich Man) is my favorite from the movie!!)

In Ruth 3 we see Naomi planning a scheme for Ruth. The purpose is for her to go and ask Boaz to redeem her. It is a very peculiar scene. Something that you really need to understand Jewish customs to understand fully. We must remember that this period of time is the time of the judges. Israel was not in its prime as far as following God goes. There was lots of sin that abounded. Because of that Boaz had to stay with his harvest. It was a good time because famine had once plagued the land but now a plentiful harvest had come. It was not uncommon for field owners to stay with their crops all night to guard them from theives.

The plan was for Ruth to quietly approach Boaz on the threshing floor after he was asleep. She was to then uncover his feet with the corner of the garment that covered him. She would have laid down at his feet in a T position. That is where a servant would usually sleep. Something startled Boaz and he woke up seeing a woman at his feet.

Ruth revealed who she was to him. She then asked him to redeem her. The symbolism was covering her with his cover like God covers us with His wings. This was such an important thing in these days. A redeemer could purchase land back for a widow and carry on the name of the deceased spouse by providing children. The redeemer would be a husband to the widow and provide and care for her. In these days that security was important for a woman. Ruth's mother in law knew Boaz was a redeemer who could do this so that is why she sent Ruth to him.

This was a risk for Ruth. Boaz agreed. He was humbled because he knew she could go after any man. She also could go after younger men, apparently Boaz was older. Ruth continues to think about her mother in law and caring for her. Ruth is not selfish. Boaz speaks of her noble character and how all the townspeople know of it. He tells her he will handle the matter the next day at the city gates (which was like the court system). However, Boaz knew that there was a redeemer that was closer than him. Redeemers were people within the family and there was an order of who is closest. This other man had the right before Boaz. Boaz would settle the matter the next day.

What an exciting and anxious time for Ruth. She now knows she will be married to someone. Either Boaz or this nearer redeemer she does not know. Wonder how that made her feel? She slept the rest of the night the same way in a servants position. Then before it was light enough for anyone to recognize her Boaz sent her away with lots of grain for her mother in law.  This was to show his intentions of handling the matter. Ruth then goes home and tells Naomi all about it. Wouldn't you love to be a fly on that wall?

Over and over we see Ruth displaying great and noble character. She never expects anyone to take care of her. She provides for herself and her mother in law. She is a hard worker. She focuses on the important things. She is brave and obedient to her mother in law. She has a good reputation. She seems to embrace the culture of the Hebrews. She is a Proverbs 31 woman.

Just for fun! This is my second favorite song from Fiddler on the Roof. Do you love me?
Do you have a favorite song from the movie??

1 comment:

Shelley said...

I have never watched Fiddle On The Roof but I do remember my mum singing "If I Were A Rich Man" lol

I may have said this already but I'll say it again - I heart Boaz - Kinsman Redeemer - bless the LORD.

Have you ever read the short story by Francine Rivers called Ruth - its wonderful.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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