Archive for June 4, 2007

Ruth – Part 5 – As the Threshing Floor Turns   4 comments

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My last post on Ruth was back on April 7th and here we are in June. Two months. It has been quite some time hasn’t it?  Well, imagine that same time span or even more between Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 of Ruth.  What has been going on with the characters of our story?

Life has been busy. Naomi and Ruth have their routines down.  Ruth goes to work every day.  Naomi is at home and has had all that time to think about where she has been, where she is now and what on earth will the future hold when the barley season is over. She has property that needs to be dealt with and she probably has been considering all her options. The next thing she knows is, its not April any more. Its June! Two months or so have gone by and barley season is almost over.  Where did the time go?

Ruth 3

One day Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for. 2Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.” 5“I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered.

Verse 1 is Naomi’s waking up from the routine and saying, “Enough! Its now or never. Let’s get this show on the road!” She has a plan to get Ruth and Boaz together.  Verses 2-4 describe Naomi’s plan. 

You might be thinking the following after reading Naomi’s plan:

Okay, let me get this straight.  Naomi’s plan is for Ruth to get dolled up, go to the threshing floor, but make sure Boaz doesn’t see her, wait till he goes to sleep, then go and uncover his feet and lie down and Boaz is going to tell Ruth what to do.  Naomi you had two months to come up with a plan and that is the best you could come up with? What on earth are you thinking woman?

We have to stop thinking 21st century and start thinking in OLD TESTAMENT times.  Here is Naomi’s plan spelled out so we in this century can understand it a little better:

“Ruth, get out of your widow garb you have been dressing in to go to work every day. Wash up, perfume up and put your best dress on.  No widow’s clothes any more.  Today, hopefully your widow days are over. Winnowing time on the threshing floor is a big celebration here in Bethlehem and you need to fit in and look like the rest of the folks at the celebration.

This is a time where we are supposed to give thanks to God for providing a bountiful harvest. There may be others who are partying it up and have no regard for God, but the true purpose of this celebration is to thank God while the winnowing is going on. As you know, the winds that come through here in the evening help us in the winnowing process.  This is what separates the barley from the chaff. 

Now blend in with the crowd and watch for Boaz.  Make sure he doesn’t see you.  Keep your eye on him and check out where he is going to sleep for the night.  You see, he will be sleeping by his freshly winnowed barley to protect his harvest so no one steals it.  There will be other families there sleeping around their barley as well.  This is the custom here in Bethlehem.  When he falls asleep, go and uncover his feet and lie down.  

Ruth, your actions will be a proposal to Boaz. You will be letting him know you have chosen him to be your kinsman- redeemer.  From his actions and the kindness he has bestowed on us I think he is interested in you and has shown he is interested in being your kinsman-redeemer. But, we will have to see what he says. The ball is now in your court Ruth. Boaz will tell you what to do.”

Ruth trusted Naomi and did what she said.

Oh my!  No pressure.  Ruth probably was aware that this little plan was risky. How would Boaz respond? Is he really interested in me?  He seemed interested in me. Was he just being nice because of Naomi? The thoughts that must have been running through her mind.

I am going to leave you in suspense by closing this post for today with a quote from J. Vernon McGee on love and the book of Ruth:

The most remarkable feature of the entire book is that the word love is entirely omitted from the narrative.  It does not occur once.  This is altogether amazing when it is recognized that our modern age uses the term love frequently in all of its literature.  Every novel, every song, and every play abounds with a superfluity ad naseaum of this word.  It is certainly over worked in an age that boasts of sophisticated genius.  Perhaps the literary lights today might learn from this love story that the most ardent passion and deepest devotion do not require the raven-like reputation of this much abused word.

 With that, I promise it will not be two months until I post again on Ruth!

Posted June 4, 2007 by Lana G! in Bible, Bible Study, Christianity, Faith, Geneology, God, Jesus