Matchmaker, Matchmaker (Part 1)

Ruth 3:1 – 6 “One day Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, ‘My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be well provided for? Is not Boaz, with whose servant girls you have been, a kinsman of ours? Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.’ ‘I will do whatever you say,’ Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.”

In Jewish law, a childless, widowed woman had the right to claim one of her deceased husband’s brothers as her husband. This protected the land, which would be inherited by her future children. More importantly, it protected the woman from becoming destitute. If, as in Ruth’s case, there were no brothers, she could claim the closest relative as her husband. She had that right, and she could even take that man to court if he refused to marry her. If he still refused, he would be publicly disgraced.

The ball was in Ruth’s court, but she didn’t know that. She wasn’t familiar with Jewish law. Boaz had shown his interest in her, but he really had no right to ask her to marry him. She had to somehow make the move. She had to claim him as her kinsman-redeemer.

Naomi decided that enough was enough. It was clear these two young people were crazy about each other, but this relationship was going nowhere fast. Ruth didn’t have a clue how to tell Boaz she was interested, so Naomi took charge. She said, “Get dressed in your prettiest dress, and put on some perfume.” (Up to this point, Boaz had only seen Ruth in her work clothes, all hot and sweaty.)

Now, it seems strange that Naomi told her to go sleep at Boaz’ feet, but one thing is certain. Naomi wanted to leave no room for guessing. She wanted Boaz to know, without a doubt, that Ruth was interested. Who knows? Maybe Ruth was shy. Maybe Naomi knew this was the only way to get the message across. It was common for a servant to lie at the feet of the master, and even share the covers. By doing this, Ruth was saying, “I’m yours, if you want me.”

Much like Boaz, God has done everything to show His interest in us. He has given us air to breathe and water to drink, He has sent snow in winter and bouquets of flowers in spring. Then, in the greatest act of love of all time, He sent His Son to die for us. Now, the ball is in our court. He won’t force Himself on us. Like Ruth, we must choose to go to our Master, and say, “I’m Yours.”

Dear Father, I am the servant. You are the Master. I’m Yours.


One Response to Matchmaker, Matchmaker (Part 1)

  1. January 11, 2008 #

    Man, it really bums me out when I am right in the middle of posting a comment and the computer crashes.
    Anyway, it was a great comment.
    The gist of it: I pray today for friends and family who out of the hurts and disappointments inflicted on them by life and other people have turned away, rather than remained, lying close, at the feet of their saviour.
    Thank you, Jesus, for hearing my prayer.

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