When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?” Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her and added, “He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.” Ruth 3:16-18
Naomi devises a plan for Ruth to essentially let Boaz know she is “interested” and that he is a guardian-redeemer. She is basically asking Boaz to marry her. Like the laws God gave the Jews about gleaning in the fields to provide food for the less fortunate, God also put in place a way for widows to be taken care of and the family name to be preserved where there were no heirs. The guardian-redeemer is a male relative who has the privilege and responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble or in need. The Hebrew term translates to one who delivers, rescues or redeems property or a person. Again, we see God in advance of all things making a way to protect and provide for His children.
In Ruth’s story, we see a foreshadowing of Jesus, our ultimate deliverer, rescuer, redeemer.
Meanwhile, back at the threshing floor, Boaz continues to protect Ruth with dignity and respect. He wants to make sure no one misinterprets her presence to protect her reputation. He ensures she leaves with provisions for her and her mother-in-law, sending her off with more barley…more meals. They won’t be going hungry on his watch. He may not be the official redeemer yet, but he intends to take care of them.
Naomi is encouraged as she eagerly awaits the outcome. Hope emerges. Things just may indeed change for this bitter woman trying to heal from a devastating set of circumstances.
Questions: How hard is it for you to wait for something you really want? How long before you start to scheme up plans to move things along quicker?