“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?” Ruth 3:1
All those weeks that Ruth has been gleaning and winnowing grain, and storing it away for their future needs Naomi has been thinking further down the road than merely the next harvest. She’s been thinking about Ruth’s future and she’s been hatching a plan.
But the truth must be spoken. Naomi isn’t entirely altruistic in her motives. Yes, she’s concerned for Ruth’s future welfare but it’s also true that Naomi’s future welfare is bound up in Ruth’s. If Ruth finds security in a marriage to a prosperous man Naomi will have a share in that security.
Naomi’s plan is a bold one. Should it fail Ruth’s reputation could be ruined but the reward was great and Naomi must have been confident that it would succeed.
The plan was for Ruth to prepare herself like she was getting ready to go to her own wedding and then sneak down to the threshing floor, where Boaz would be spending the night sleeping and guarding his harvest. Then, when she was sure that Boaz was asleep, Ruth was to go down and uncover his feet and then wait and see what Boaz would do and say.
So she did what Naomi told her to do. She got dress up, she snuck down to the threshing floor, she uncovered Boaz’s feet, and then she laid down and waited for him to get cold feet.
Ruth was, in fact, throwing herself at Boaz. It wasn’t acceptable for a woman to initiate a marriage proposal but it was permissible for Ruth to ask for the help of a kinsman redeemer. And this is what she does. And because redemption would be through marriage Ruth was basically asking Boaz to marry her.
And Boaz was thrilled. It’s obvious from previous passages that Boaz has noticed Ruth and admired her from a distance; the Hebrew used in their first conversation at the barley field is downright flirtatious. Now Boaz blesses Ruth and praises her for choosing him over other, younger, men. And then he promises that he will do all that Ruth has asked him to do.
Ruth has potentially risked her entire futures security, and that of her mother in laws, by going to Boaz the way she did. But she did so because she hoped to secure redemption from her kinsman redeemer.
In this world, we too risk much, to secure our future with our kinsman Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Jesus said that the world would hate us because of our connection with him. The apostle John wrote that because we know him the world doesn’t know us.
But Jesus promises that if we come to him seeking salvation he will save us. He won’t reject us. He won’t cast us out. He already loves us. He already desires us. He’s just waiting for us to want him to save us.