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? Now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were? Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight. 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. It shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies and shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do." She said to her, "All that you say I will do."
In the passage above we see Naomi, once empty and bitter, now moving forward with hope and joy. You can almost hear the excitement in her voice and see the bounce in her step. She had a wedding to plan and it started with a night-time-proposal. In this time period, it was completely acceptable to arrange a marriage for a daughter. This passage reminded me of my own mother who actually played the match-maker with my husband and me 30 years ago. She, with her eagle-eye, spotted my future husband before I did, and with excitement, she went to work. So 2,000 years later, in OUR day, Mac and I are a product of my mom's and her best friend's plotting and planning of a first date! The rest is history.
On this special night, Naomi had specific customary instructions for her daughter-in-law in how this wedding proposal was to proceed. In his commentary, Warren Weirsbe teaches us how each of these actions point to the bigger picture of our own relationship with Christ:
Naomi tells Ruth to "wash herself"; this of course, symbolizes the washing of sin away from our hearts.
Then Naomi says, "anoint yourself"; just as Ruth put on fragrant oils which were used for protection, healing, and pleasant smells, we too, have been given the Holy Spirit that operates in these ways on our behalf.
Ruth was to "change her clothes"; as believers in Christ, we have been granted robes of righteousness in place of our filthy rags!
Ruth was told to present herself to her kinsman redeemer "at his feet"; likewise, we are to come humbly and hopefully to our Kinsman Redeemer, Jesus.
What a beautiful plan of action for Ruth with Boaz, and for us with our Savior! We have been given so much through His abundant grace.
Our passage ends with the simple yet profound response from Ruth to Naomi: "All that you say I will do." Ruth, throughout this whole book, faithfully obeyed. Think about this, what if Ruth didn't trust Naomi's words? And what if she didn't follow through with this planned out wedding proposal? Her part was to trust and obey. So is ours.
I want a childlike faith like Ruth who continued to walk into the unknown with confidence, where she received blessing after blessing.
For further reading: Psalm 51:7; 2 Corinthians 2:15; Ephesians 4:24; James 1:22
Thank You for teaching us about Yourself in the book of Ruth. Open the eyes of our heart so we do not miss anything as we unfold each verse. Today, may our faith be renewed in the promises You have waiting for us in Christ: the forgiveness of sin, the anointing of your Spirit, the gift of Your righteous robes, and the intent of Your pursuing LOVE! Give us hearts to obey so that we do not not miss any of Your blessings! In Your holy name. Amen.