Ruth 3: The Redeemer
Read Ruth 3 before reading this blog.
Ruth 3:3-4 NLT “Now do as I tell you—take a bath and put on perfume and dress in your nicest clothes. Then go to the threshing floor, but don’t let Boaz see you until he has finished eating and drinking. Be sure to notice where he lies down; then go and uncover his feet and lie down there. He will tell you what to do.”
Although what Naomi asked Ruth to do may not be socially acceptable in our day and age, there’s so much goodness we can take away from this part of the story. You may read this story and think that Ruth was doing something a bit “promiscuous,” but in this story that wasn’t the case at all. In fact, Boaz described Ruth as a virtuous woman.
In that day, for a woman to go and lie at a man’s feet was to say “help me”. Ruth wasn’t trying to “make a move” as we might think, but she was saying “can you help me?”. Seeing Boaz as her redeemer, she went and lay down at his feet.
We learn in Ruth 2 and further in Ruth 3, that Boaz is Ruth’s kinsman redeemer. So, what does that mean? Here is a definition from wikipedia: a Kinsman redeemer “in the Hebrew... tradition, is a person who, as the nearest relative of another, is charged with the duty of restoring the rights of another and avenging his wrongs. One duty...was to redeem (purchase back) a relative who had been sold into slavery.”
In more simple terms relating to this chapter, it was Boaz’s duty as Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer to take her in. Since Ruth was a young foreign widow, she essentially had to work tirelessly to afford even scraps on her table. So here is where Boaz stepped in. As a close relative of her deceased husband, it was then his duty to step into his place, become her husband, provide for her, protect her, and carry on the family name. This is how Boaz redeemed Ruth.
Lord, Can you Help Me?
Since Ruth knew of Boaz as her redeemer, she comes humbly to his feet and says “help me.” This was a very noble and humble act on her part: to see Boaz as a man overly capable to help her and, even further, for her to seek his help.
Jesus is our kinsman-redeemer. Jesus is our nearest relative, we share the same Father. He was charged with the duty of restoring our rights as God’s children and avenging our wrongs. He redeemed (or purchased back) our life after we had been sold into slavery to sin. Continue to see God’s heart in Boaz’s character.
When Ruth saw Boaz as her redeemer, she went and lay down at his feet. And it is imperative that we do the same with Jesus. That we understand how He redeemed us. How He truthfully paid the most expensive price, the price of His life, to purchase us back from the slavery of sin. And no matter what the time of day, we can, and we must, always go and lay at His feet, asking Him for His help. Because He is overly capable and that’s His duty to us. Jesus desires and longs to work on your behalf. He wants to provide for you and satisfy you. He wants to fill you with hope and redeem you from every broken memory of the past. God is a good Father, and He is our Redeemer.
Notice how when Ruth humbled herself to the help of Boaz, saying “can you help me?” Boaz didn’t strike her with an iron rod, or say “no you need to do this all on your own.” His instant response was to bestow a blessing on her, to praise her for her loyalty, to assure her she doesn’t need to worry, and to do all the redeeming work for her.
1 Peter 1:18-20 “ For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.”