Posted by: arieliondotcom | March 15, 2013

My Master My Matchmaker (Ruth 2)

The Book of Ruth is about GOD revealing His Love for us through those that love Him. But it is also a great guide for those who love Him to meet the love of their lives He has prepared for them. If you are a single Christian, pay attention to the behavior of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz and you will learn the methods of the Master Matchmaker, GOD.

We met Ruth in chapter 1. She was a foreign woman who had met and married Naomi’s son when Naomi had followed her husband and son out of Israel during a famine. When both men died, Naomi came back to her homeland Israel and Ruth had come to love Naomi and Naomi’s GOD so much that she left her old life, her parents, idols and prospects to take care of Naomi in Naomi’s homeland and to become an Israelite and follower of the GOD of Israel for the rest of both of their lives.

Today we meet Boaz, a godly man and a relative of Naomi’s dead husband. We see immediately what kind of man he is, because we’re told he’s a righteous man in spite of this being during the time of judges when so many were unrighteous. Some Jewish commentators said he must have been a judge because righteous men were so rare but the Scripture doesn’t say that. But either way, he loves the LORD. We know he’s a kind man, because he makes a habit of blessing his workers when he sees them. He’s that great boss who smiles and says “GOD bless you! How are you doing?” and waits to hear your answer because he really cares.

Single ladies, find your Boaz. Find a godly man who has a track record of being godly. Don’t take his word for it. Watch how he behaves, if he acts like a Christian, if others respect him and he acts respectfully of others, if he works hard, if he provides for others, if he is cheerful and cares about others without an agenda.

Ruth and Naomi are destitute and don’t know about Boaz yet. Naomi has forgotten about him while away in the foreign land. But Ruth goes to find food for them GOD leads her to Boaz’s field to glean. Gleaning is when poor people would follow behind those who picked crops and cut the wheat and barley. GOD demanded in the Law that the people allow poor people to gather up whatever was dropped or missed during the harvest to feed themselves. So if you imagine the harvesters were like a lawnmower the gleaners would pick up whatever was missed or dropped or left behind. There’s a sense in the law where the LORD encourages His people to not scour the land but to leave some intentionally for the poor.

And this choice of going to the fields says a lot about Ruth. We get the sense she is an attractive woman. As a foreigner she could have been a prostitute and made fast money but she chose to work for it by harvesting in the field instead. And it is Ruth’s idea to go to work to provide for Naomi and herself. Naomi has come home heartbroken and bitter after the death of her husband and two sons. She isn’t thinking about how they will live. She just wants to die. And Ruth is respectful of Naomi. She asks permission to go and Naomi agrees.

And now comes “the GOD thing!” Ruth is working hard in the fields and just happens (quote unquote) to come to the fields of Boaz. These two people have dedicated themselves to love the LORD. And GOD in His Mercy (though they don’t realize it yet) brings those who love Him together. This is why Scripture emphasizes to wait for a truly Christian mate. If you love Him, He provides for you. But be very careful that it’s a GOD thing and not a “bod” thing. Lust seems a lot like love and desperation seems a lot like devotion. GOD doesn’t owe you a mate or anything else. And you must not try to obey Him only as a form of manipulation of Him or others. But while Believers are busy about GOD’s business, He leads two of them going the same way along His Way together though it may seem to have “just happened.”

Boaz notices Ruth out of all the other workers in the field. We’re not told why but if you’re a man you can guess. She wouldn’t have dressed provocatively, but there is something about her that sets her apart from all the other women for Boaz. Now Boaz is an older man. We get the sense from the language in the book that he is older than Ruth. He isn’t “on the make” or trying to bed her. If he’d wanted to he could have easily just as she could have been raped if he hadn’t told his workers to keep their hands off of her. Instead he asks about her and learns of her relationship to Naomi. Another plus for Ruth because she had been completely honest when asking the field supervisors to work in the fields. When thanking Boaz she says she’s a foreigner. She’s modest and never mentions Naomi. As a foreigner they might have refused to let her work but they do. In fact there’s a sense that the workers have already heard her reputation of being a blessing to Naomi, and Boaz has, too, once he realizes who she is.

Boaz provides for Ruth. He provides for her physical needs of food, rest, shelter and safety. Take note, ladies! Keep away from any man who can’t do the same for you. Grow up, men! Be husband material before you’re ever married by working and saving, building a means to provide for a wife, keeping faithful to the LORD and not dating around. And note that he gives orders that she should be able to glean from the fields until both the ends of the wheat and barley harvests. Those are two different crops and for both to be harvested meant their being in contact for at least two months, maybe much longer. Not only did they both love the LORD, they both had track records with friends and family. And they both had time to get to know the reality of the reputation. Naomi realizes, as Ruth returns home with plenty of food from Boaz and her own work, that Boaz is a gift from GOD. He hasn’t forgotten them or her husband and sons, though dead, needing a posterity. Ruth may be smitten but Naomi’s mind is suddenly realizing GOD has a plan.

Finally, Boaz is a symbol of the LORD caring for the Believer. We see in the way Boaz provides for Ruth for Naomi’s sake that the Father cares for us for Christ’s sake and for how we treat others in His Name. We see as he feeds her, a reflection of the LORD’s Supper as He feeds the disciples. And we see that Boaz calls her to stay in his protection for both wheat and barley, symbols of change or difference, come what may just as JESUS calls us to stay faithful in all circumstances and trust Him.

When we love the LORD, and are busy about His business, He provides all we need, including romantic love in its time.

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