Rev. Zelwyn Heide, pastor at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Hannover, ND and Zion Lutheran Church in New Salem, ND, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Ruth 3:1-18.
Naomi and Ruth have placed their hope in the LORD; now they act on the hope that the LORD has given them. Naomi tells her daughter-in-law to act boldly, though not improperly, in order to request help from Boaz. Following Naomi’s instructions, Ruth goes to the threshing floor for a private audience with Boaz. His uncovered feet awaken him, and Ruth requests his provision and protection in marriage. Boaz recognizes her kindness, not only in coming to him over younger men, but also in clinging to the promise of the LORD. He promises to help her and Naomi, whether through his own marriage to Ruth or through a closer kinsman redeemer. The virtue of both Boaz and Ruth is evident as they part ways, and Boaz continues his generosity toward Ruth and Naomi even when he knows he may not be the one to marry Ruth. As morning dawns, Naomi and Ruth eagerly wait for Boaz to settle the matter, as he has promised.
“A Faithful Family in a Faithless Time” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Ruth. Throughout the Old Testament, even during the worst of times, the LORD always preserved for Himself a remnant. He always preserved His faithful people, and He always preserved the line of the Christ. The delightful narrative recorded in the book of Ruth recounts how the LORD did precisely that during the days when the judges ruled. Even in the most hopeless moments, the LORD gives hope to His people through the promised Redeemer.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor
3 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you? 2 Is not Boaz our relative, with whose young women you were? See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3 Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.” 5 And she replied, “All that you say I will do.”
6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her. 7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. 8 At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! 9 He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings[a] over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” 10 And he said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman. 12 And now it is true that I am a redeemer. Yet there is a redeemer nearer than I. 13 Remain tonight, and in the morning, if he will redeem you, good; let him do it. But if he is not willing to redeem you, then, as the Lord lives, I will redeem you. Lie down until the morning.”
14 So she lay at his feet until the morning, but arose before one could recognize another. And he said, “Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15 And he said, “Bring the garment you are wearing and hold it out.” So she held it, and he measured out six measures of barley and put it on her. Then she went into the city. 16 And when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “How did you fare, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her, 17 saying, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said to me, ‘You must not go back empty-handed to your mother-in-law.’” 18 She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today.”
- Ruth 3:9 Compare 2:12; the word for wings can also mean corners of a garment
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.