-Naomi now had a plan to move forward in an attempt to find a kinsman redeemer for her lovely daughter-in-law, Ruth. She was seeking security for this young life and developed an interesting opportunity according to the cultural tradition. She had in mind Boaz; after all, he had shown incredible kindness already in showing them favor. Ruth was operating with his maids already in the harvesting of sustenance, so this was the logical maneuver. Somehow Naomi knew that Boaz would be winnowing barley at the threshing floor on a particular night. This was a section, usually outside the city where the wheat chaff, which was useless, was separated from the good inner kernel grain on an elevated site where the wind could do its work in blowing the chaff away (see Psalm 1:4, Daniel 2:35, Malachi 4:1, Matthew 3:12, Luke 3:17). The good kernels would remain for sustenance and provision. Boaz was probably there by appointment as individuals shared this common threshing area in the community. He was staying there for the night either to prevent theft, or he may have been there waiting his turn to thresh the wheat. Harvesting was done in the daylight hours, and threshing was more of a nighttime activity in this culture. Naomi had Ruth wash herself, anoint herself with perfume, and put on her very best clothes. She was instructed to then go down to the threshing floor without making herself known to Boaz until he had finished his eating and drinking. When he lay down for the evening, she was to go and uncover his feet and lie down (a culture tradition, no sexually explicit promiscuous come on here). Naomi told Ruth that Boaz would let her know what to do next. Ruth, as always, graciously complied to Naomi’s design and followed through with the plan (Ruth 3:1-6).
-When Boaz had eaten and drank his heart to merriment, he went to lie down for the evening at the end of the heap of grain. Ruth came in secretly and uncovered his feet and lay down. In the middle of the night, Boaz awoke startled as he bent forward and observed this young woman lying at his feet. In the dark, he asked, “Who are you?” When Ruth told him who she was, she encouraged him to cover her as his close relative and maidservant. Boaz blessed her in the Name of the LORD for her kindness in considering an older man, probably past his prime, for a redeemer. However, there was one matter that needed to be taken care of first. After telling her not to fear and that he would do all that she asked for because she was a woman of excellence, he related that there was a relative closer to their family than he. Ruth was instructed by Boaz to stay there with him for the night in safety until the morning when he could see if the other-closer relative would redeem her or not. If not, Boaz promised, as the LORD lives, to redeem her himself. She lay at his feet until morning in obedience to this benevolent man. But while it was still dark, she departed before anyone could recognize that a woman had come to the threshing floor, which could give indication that this kind of activity would not have been condoned by the society. But, he could have been keeping her activity hidden for the sake of the closer relative. He didn’t want to hurt any reputations it appears from the text. But before she could go, Boaz once again blessed her with sustenance to share with her mother-in-law. He asked for her outward cloak and filled it with six measures of barley. Ruth then went into the city and gave the provisions to her mother-in-law. Upon approaching, Naomi asked, “How did it go my daughter?” Ruth gleefully told her all that had transpired, and how Boaz did not want to leave Naomi empty-handed. The chapter ends with this fundamental statement, “Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today (Ruth 3:7-18).”
-*Application* Boaz must have considered his relationship with Ruth sometime prior to what happened on the threshing floor. He knew the cultural protocol, and kept his righteous ways before him at all times. His wisdom shines through and is perceived by all. He was a true man of success in every facet. Naomi, knowing his character, knew that Boaz was a man that could be counted on. How good are we at keeping our word and fulling our promises? This is the meditation of the day from this Scripture (Psalm 15:4).
Verses to Memorize: Ruth 3:6, 11