Ruth 3 – Advent Week 3

REST IN PROVISION

As the parent of Ruth, Naomi seeks to find her daughter a husband in order to keep the family name alive as described in Deuteronomy 25:5. Naomi desires a “rest” for her daughter-in-law (v.1), that is, to find her a state in which she will not have to live in such a depressed situation as the one which they now live, being widowed and without a place in the world. Naomi does not wish to subject Ruth to the weariness of the burden that is being without a family name to perpetuate. Knowing who Boaz is, Naomi trusts that the rest that Ruth will find is under his care (Matt 11:28). So she instructs Ruth, leading her to her redeemer (Rom 10:14-17).

Boaz is the picture of Christ in this story, and this chapter shows us how he is a type of fulfillment of the law. As stated earlier, the law concerning widowed women state that the woman shall not be married to an outsider, but to the closest living relative of the deceased husband (25:5). This is the role that Naomi sees in Boaz, he is the Kinsman-Redeemer.

Ruth is told by Naomi to go to the threshing floor where Boaz is sleeping and lay by his feet, he will tell her what to do next (vv.2-4). Ruth has absolutely no idea what to expect from her with the man she is to encounter, only the word of her mother-in-law, and in faith, will have to take bold action to find rest (Heb 4:4-16).

As the picture of Christ, Boaz Shows us just how our Lord displays His mercy and love when we approach His throne, in humility. Much like our Lord, Boaz does not deal cruelly with the one who comes to Him for rest. Here in v.10, he blesses Ruth the afflicted, and assures her that he will grant her the rest she seeks. This again is like Christ, who tells us that God will give rest to those who diligently seek Him (Matt 7:7-11). God works all things together for the spiritual good for His people (Romans 8:28). He does not deal with them cruelly, but gently, as a husband does to his wife (Eph 5:25-29).

Like Ruth, we are called out of a foreign land. We are a foreign people, like the Moabites, and are natural enemies of God and His people (Judges 3). But God, in His mercy, calls us to draw near to His throne, to be reconciled to Him through His Son (Rom 5:10). Through that we are entered into the family of God and are recipients of His gracious promises (Rom 10:12).

Study Questions

  1. Ruth does not seem intimidated at the interaction she is about to have to have with Boaz. She hears Naomi’s words and immediately does as she’s told, seemingly disregarding the possible outcome of the situation. What does this say about how we are to respond to the Gospel and approach the mercy seat?
  2. What characteristics can you find in Boaz that show the foreshadow of Christ in this passage?
  3. In Ruth 3:1, the word “rest” is used in the same context as in Ruth 1:9. How does the use of the word give you more understanding of what Ruth needed in Ruth 3?
  4. Ruth is putting herself and Naomi in great risk as she presents herself to Boaz. What have you read already in Ruth that leads you to trust Boaz in this tense moment?
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