So Boaz goes to bed, “in good spirits”, ahem ahem, and wakes because “something startles him”.
Oh wait, it’s probably the strange girl sleeping at this feet.
‘Ello Ruth. Whatcha doing down there?
I could break this down bit by bit, but what strikes me the most in this chunk of verses are not the bits and pieces, but the way Boaz and Ruth speak to each other and about each other.
This is probably because I tend to think the worst and sometimes struggle to give people the benefit of the doubt. (C Bear says I am a pessimist, I’m pretty sure I’m just a realist who sometimes has a bend towards pessimism.) Take that all into account, and take into account the strangeness of the whole scene and here is where I find myself: If I found a strange woman at the edge of my bed, I would not declare her a woman of noble character.
I would probably scream and holler and ask her what the heck was wrong with her.
(I’m just being honest.)
But Boaz does not. He speaks with respect. With respect towards how she has acted, with respect towards her character. With respect towards her as a woman. I find that to be remarkable.
And to be a challenge. My realism/pessimism and my penchant towards not granting the benefit of the doubt, sometimes leaves me with a lack of respect for the person I am talking too. I am sure that reflects more poorly on me than it does on them. But I am also sure that it means that I do not always speak of others with the respect and nobility that God would want me too. No matter what cockamamy idea someone has cooked up, I should be careful in how I address them.
What is even more remarkable to me is that at this point in the story it is fairly clear that Boaz has crush on Ruth, but he acknowledges that he is not the closest kinsman redeemer relative and before he takes Ruth as his own, he must clear it with the closer redeemer.
What I don’t know is why, at this point, Ruth doesn’t declare Boaz a man of noble character.
Isn’t that noble of him? Isn’t that admirable?
And then, he protects her reputation by asking the servants not to gossip about the woman who came to the threshing floor.
AND THEN, he fills her shawl with Barley.
What a man.
Sometimes I think that Bible stories are chopped up bizarrely. Chapters fall in odd places and verses get cut in places that don’t quite grammatically flow…but I love that the book of Ruth seems to always conclude chapters with a little glimmer of hope and promise. Ruth 3 is no exception.
Verse 18. Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.
For Boaz, the thought of Ruth becoming his wife is so exciting and urgent that he will attend to the matter immediately.
Makes you really excited for Chapter 4 to see what happens right?!