Ruth 3: Behind the Scenes

This entry is part 150 of 151 in the series 365 Key Chapters of the Bible

Appearances can be deceiving. A man and a woman meeting in a secluded location after dark—an outsider may jump to conclusions. But the story of Ruth shows the virtuous character of Ruth and Boaz as they seek to honor the Lord with their obedience, coming to know Him as they recognize Him at work behind the scenes.

A Marriage Covenant

When Naomi learns that Boaz has shown Ruth favor in his fields, she is thrilled. Boaz is one of their kinsman-redeemers. In other words, he can marry Ruth and continue the family line. As a result, Naomi tells Ruth to meet Boaz after dark and uncover his feet, and then to listen to whatever he tells her to do.

These instructions may seem strange to us, but the key lies in Ezekiel 16:8–14. In this metaphor, we see the imagery of the Lord adoring His people (portrayed by a woman) by presenting her with fine clothes. This is a marriage proposal that represents His covenant with them. In Ruth, then, the metaphor of uncovering Boaz’s feet is a symbolic request for protection and marriage.

Both Ruth and Boaz behave in a virtuous manner in this situation. Ruth obeys her mother-in-law and shows Naomi sacrificial love as a result, causing Boaz to call her a “woman of excellence” (Ruth 3:11). Boaz likewise shows his virtue in obeying the Israelite system. Instead of immediately agreeing to marry Ruth, he mentions that there is a closer kinsman-redeemer. He takes the proper route before entering into a marriage covenant with Ruth.

Behind the Scenes

Ruth and Boaz’s story may seem as though they acted on their own. But the Lord’s hand was on their situation, guiding their steps. In his providence, He led Ruth to Boaz’s field, a man who was not only of excellent moral character but also a kinsman-redeemer. Through their obedience to His will, He led them into a marriage covenant. He was at work in their story in every way, albeit behind the scenes.

In the same way, God is at work in your story. You may not see His hand clearly, but He is guiding you. His providential grace is leading you to know Him and His ways in the midst of all circumstances. And as you come to know Him more, you can trust that He is at work even when you cannot see Him working.

This teaching is based on Ken’s Handbook to Scripture

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