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Ruth: 3:10-13; comfort in a promise. The God who cannot lie; the Christian who cannot lie.

RUTH-3-180404
length: 63:52 - taught on Apr, 4 2018
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Title: Ruth: 3:10-13; comfort in a promise. The God who cannot lie; the Christian who cannot lie.  

 

RUT 3:1 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you?

 

RUT 3:2 "And now is not Boaz our kinsman [relative, not redeemer], with whose maids you were? Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight.

 

RUT 3:3 Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.

 

RUT 3:4 And it shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do."

 

RUT 3:5 And she said to her, "All that you say I will do."

 

Ruth’s obedience opens her eyes to God’s chesed.

 

RUT 3:6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law had commanded her.

 

RUT 3:7 When Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came secretly, and uncovered his feet and lay down.

 

RUT 3:8 And it happened in the middle of the night that the man was startled and bent forward; and behold, a woman was lying at his feet.

 

RUT 3:9 And he said, "Who are you?" And she answered, "I am Ruth your maid. So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative."

 

Ruth’s confidence in the chesed of God gives her courage. “I am your concubine. Spread your covering over me and marry your concubine. You are a redeemer.”

 

All three are bold statements. All three are leaps of faith. Boaz will immediately comfort her.

 

We also noted that under strict levirate law, Boaz is not her redeemer, nor is he obligated to buy Naomi’s land, but under the spirit of the law, in the lovingkindness of God, which is certainly entrenched in Boaz’s heart, he is the redeemer of Ruth, Naomi, and their land.

 

RUT 3:10 Then he said, "May you be blessed of the Lord, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich.

 

Boaz recognizes the hand of Yavah in all that is happening. “Your last chesed is better than the first.”

 

Ruth’s beginning kindness was her loyalty to Naomi. She was willing to forsake a family and her homeland and her religion out of devotion to Naomi, and ultimately to Yavah.

 

Her present chesed is that she is now willing to marry a man that is probably about the same age as Naomi in order to provide for Naomi.

 

First chesed: leaving Moab behind in devotion to Naomi.

Last chesed: marrying an older man to secure Naomi.

 

Boaz knows every eligible bachelor in Bethlehem. Ruth is known all over the city as a woman of valor. Showing herself to be a Jewess in heart, she would have had opportunity to at least pursue (Hebrew: walk after or follow) young men, even rich ones. If a pursuit of young men by Ruth had zero chance of success then what Boaz says has no weight. He commends her for this. Ruth had other opportunities that were more enticing to her personally but would have left Naomi aside. 

 

The Hebrew word for “young men” has the definite article with it, meaning “the” young men. This also indicates that there were other opportunities for Ruth since it infers that Boaz had certain young men in mind.

 

Ruth is only interested in providing for her love Naomi. The love of God is in her heart and so she has chesed for Naomi.

 

Ruth’s love for God has put chesed in her heart. She does not fear the lost opportunity of marriage to a younger man. Her desire to provide for Naomi far outweighs it.

 

The desire for the glory of God, meaning righteousness, justice, mercy, love, grace, sacrifice, compassion, comfort, etc., etc. significantly outweighs personal desire and opportunity when the love of God dwells in our hearts.

 

EPH 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;

 

EPH 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

 

EPH 3:18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

 

EPH 3:19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.

 

RUT 3:10 Then he said, "May you be blessed of the Lord, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich.

 

For Ruth, there is a problem with the young men of Bethlehem; none of them are goels - redeemers. If she married any of them she would only be benefiting herself and not Naomi. Passion and greed have been laid aside.

 

Passion and greed consistently tempt us, but chesed has the power to lay them aside.

 

Ruth considers her own happiness to be secondary to Naomi’s. How rare this is, even, unfortunately, among Christians. Ruth could have married for love or money, but she chooses to marry for Naomi. Ruth sees the fulfillment of chesed to be far more valuable to her than her own desires.

 

The exhortation has been inked on paper since 60 AD, “let us esteem each other better than ourselves.” Yet, how many have determined to set their minds on it? It is not a matter of being ready or mature enough. Paul wrote that to the Philippians just a few years after the church was started by brand new believers. It is a matter of being willing to set aside self for the will of God in order to see and walk in the glory of God. Don’t let another day advance without setting your mind on it; the things of the Holy Spirit.

 

Chesed has the power to consider others as more important than ourselves. Its function becomes far more valuable to us than our own desires.

 

Boaz’s Gentile mother, Rahab, risked her life in faith of Yavah and now he is going to marry a Gentile woman who is doing the same.

 

Boaz immediately sets to comfort her.

 

Taking a risk like this, Ruth would have to have some angst in her heart. What if he said no, laughed at her, or sent her away? Boaz doesn’t linger on the right thing to do. He doesn’t tell her that he’ll sleep on it. He doesn’t wait. He comforts her and reassures her that he will take care of everything the very next day.

 

RUT 3:11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.

 

The Hebrew phrase is “you are a woman of valor.” In a matter of a couple of months Ruth has gained this reputation.

 

If you or I were in a new place for a few months, what would our reputation be?

 

Ruth may have been an attractive woman, but what is most attractive to Boaz is her virtue or honor. If she was beautiful and that was the extent of her attraction, Boaz could have easily said, “All the people know you are beautiful.”

 

RUT 3:12 And now it is true I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I.

 

RUT 3:13 Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the Lord lives. Lie down until morning."

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