“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)
The barley harvest was over and now only winnowing remained. The evening breeze was perfect for winnowing and Boaz along with his reapers and workers headed to the threshing floor. For days, they reaped the harvest in the hot sun, but tonight, the cool wind gusts would drive away the chaff and lighten the mood. Throughout the grueling days of harvest, everyone looked forward to this night. There would be laughter, merriment, and the satisfaction of a job well done.
Naomi’s friends had shared stories from the threshing floor, so she was familiar with the evening’s activity. Tonight, they may have to work until midnight, since the Lord had blessed with such an abundance of grain. The exhausted men would just sleep among the piles of grain, but not only because it was late and they were tired. Their presence on the threshing floor also provided a deterrent for thieves.
With the harvest over, gone were Ruth’s daily encounters with Boaz. When would she see him again? If too much time elapsed, would he forget his attraction to her? Naomi wanted the best for Ruth. A home, a husband and children would be security for Ruth. This is what Naomi desired for her wonderful daughter-in-law. Naomi never expected such an opportunity for Ruth, but God has supplied.
Therefore, tonight was the night. This could be Ruth’s one and only chance to give Boaz permission to redeem her, to purchase Elimelech’s field, and to father a child to carry on Mahlon’s name.
Lovingly Naomi instructed Ruth, “…wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment...”
This is good advice for anyone preparing for a dream date. But remember, God is the author of this book. In the timing of this scene and in these simple instructions, He has placed deep spiritual meaning.
The barley harvest was the early harvest. Sometime later, the wheat harvest begins.
In the fullness of time, the Lord Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us. He did this to seek and save the lost or in other words, to harvest souls.
As true believers, we are of the early harvest culminating with the rapture or catching out of the church.
Nevertheless, just as the wheat harvest begins weeks after the barley harvest, there is coming another spiritual harvest. But, this one comes during a time of great tribulation.
Now, we must notice Naomi’s instructions. Ruth was to wash, anoint herself, and don her best garment. These too have deep spiritual meaning when we are approaching our Boaz, the Lord Jesus Christ, and next week we will learn how it all applies.