January 30, 2022

Naomi’s Perilous Plan, part 2

Passage: Ruth 3:9-18

Last time we were in the book of Ruth, I’m sure you remember, we began looking at the “perilous plan” that Naomi had put together. She told Ruth to go to the threshing floor, wait until Boaz had gone to sleep, and then uncover his feet and lay down near him. Naomi believed that Boaz would wake up, find Ruth lying there, and respond appropriately.

This whole plan depends on Boaz’s good character and wisdom. That’s why this is a rather delicate and dangerous plan—how is Boaz going to respond to Ruth and her request? What’s going to happen when he wakes up and finds Ruth lying there?

Naomi seems to be confident that Boaz will do the right thing. He’s proven himself to be a good and godly man; he’s a man of virtue and good reputation. He was not like so many others of that era who did whatever was right in their own eyes. Naomi had confidence in Boaz; he will tell Ruth what to do next; he’d do the right thing.

We, like these characters, must respond to the challenges and temptations of life with virtue and honor. When given the opportunity to do wrong, we must do right. We may think we have virtue until we are put into a situation that tests our virtue. We may think we’d withstand temptation until we are tempted. How we respond to these situations demonstrates whether we have virtue/honor or not.

Before returning to the text, we should remember that the theme of the book is how God demonstrates His faithfulness by loving, superintending, and caring for His people. Chapter 3 shows how God will provide a home and security for Naomi and Ruth. And he’s going to do it through, or perhaps in spite of, Naomi’s perilous plan.

We should also note that this passage uses two words we have defined previously—goel and hesed. Boaz is the goel—the near kinsman, and he is impressed with the hesed—the loving loyalty—that Ruth shows toward Naomi and toward him.

We’ve seen previously that

  1. Naomi hatches a plan. .1-4
  2. Ruth agrees to follow the plan. .5-9

In this next part of the passage, we’ll see if Naomi was right to trust Boaz. Will he respond to Ruth appropriately?

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