As I mentioned before, there are romantic elements in this story, and the matching up of Boaz and Ruth is really touching. Encouraged by her mother-in-law (really her adopted mom), Ruth went to Boaz’s threshing floor at night. Her request for him to “spread the corner of your garment over me” is about as bold a proposal for marriage as a woman could've presented, especially during that time. He had made his attraction to her about as obvious as it could get, humorously telling his workers to “accidentally” drop some stalks on the ground for her to pick up. He was a kind and generous man, but the fact that he went so far and above what the Law required displayed pretty clearly that he thought of her in terms other than merely an object of his welfare.
Now the woman he’s been eyeing for several months comes and literally lies at his feet and pleads for him to marry her. The way he reacts to her shows just how decent and honorable he is. There isn’t even a hint that he even considered taking advantage of her desperate state, which undoubtedly would've been common during those days.
He’s perfectly willing to marry her, even eager to do so (he’s a single guy, and she’s a beautiful young woman, so duh). But even so, he’s not just an honorable man but a godly one as well. Before he can marry her, there’s another man who actually has the first right to do so as the Kinsman-Redeemer (which we’ll discuss tomorrow). He'd love to get married tomorrow, but he's determined to do things God’s way.
Since I once was a single guy engaged to a beautiful young woman, I can definitely relate to how difficult that can be. One of the most difficult things I’ve ever done is drive away from my beloved fiancée, leaving her at her parents’ home, night after night for several months. I don’t condone sex before marriage, even between fiancées, but I can certainly understand how tempting it is to take “shortcuts.” Anybody who’s single and trying to stick to the Lord's plan has my sympathies.
Trust me, though, it’s worth it. My beloved and I were able to give each other the best wedding present of all: our virginities. One day, we’ll be able to tell our children and grandchildren “Do things God’s way like we did” instead of “Please do things God’s way instead of what we did.” God forgives and restores no matter what our past, but it’s always a great idea to follow God’s plan RIGHT NOW FROM THIS POINT FORWARD. Doing so will produce the absolute minimum of heartache. Don’t take my word for it, ask any long-term believer. In all the history of mankind, there has never been anyone who did things God's way who ended up regretting it.
Father God, your plans for me are nothing but good and perfect, plans to prosper me and not to harm, plans to give me a future and a hope. Whatever you want, the answer’s “yes.”
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