Text: Ruth 3:1-13
Everybody has awkward first dates. Right?
Naomi sets Ruth up on this incredibly intimate and awkward first date. First of all, she tells Ruth to go to the threshing floor. The threshing floor was like the the middle school bleachers. Hey-O! Hosea 9:1 makes it pretty clear that the threshing floor was a place where folks went to make whoopie.
But whoopie is far from Naomi’s plan for Ruth that night. There is no indecency in her plan; it is, rather, a chaste plan to find Ruth’s kinsman redeemer. Naomi wants to find a husband for Ruth; she wants Ruth to be at rest. And with the right partner, marriage is rest!
Boaz is a good guy. He was a farmer, and on this day he was winnowing. Winnowing is party time because it is the final step to separate the wheat from the chaff. The harvest was finally ready and he and his workers were having a well-earned celebration.
Boaz is a good boss. He worked with winnowers, then ate and drank and celebrated with them. Then he went to bed at a good hour, so that he was already asleep by midnight. Oh Boaz, you good guy. He was all set to be ready for work again the next morning.
Boaz is a plain man. He lay out in the corn that night, not because he didn’t have a bed, but to guard his corn and to be close to work tomorrow. He is a man’s man. Ok, so are we totally in love with Boaz now?
Naomi sends Ruth to him. And when you put a man and a women together alone in the dark, it’s a risk, right? But Naomi knew Boaz was sober-minded and Ruth was chaste. Naomi trusted that Boaz would tell Ruth what to do. Our dear Ruth creeps onto his farm, uncovers his feet and lies down.
She waits on the hard ground, wide awake, for Boaz to wake up and acknowledge her. This date is completely terrifying. “What if Naomi was wrong? What if Boaz looks at me and recoils in horror? What if he rejects me?”
She lies at his feet and awaits her doom or her redemption.
In the same way, we lay ourselves at the feet of our redeemer to accept His will. We are sometimes on the cold, hard ground of life, putting our reputation at risk, waiting for our redemption. Our redeemer does not recoil in horror. He does not reject us. He looks at us, small and shivering, and gathers us close to him. He loves us.
She calls to him, “Take your maid servant under your wing.” And that night Boaz sends her away no less chaste and more happy than when she came. He gives her the promise of marriage and protection.
Call out to your redeemer to take you under His wing! Lay at his feet and bask in your redemption.
And tell me about your awkward first dates!