Under the cover of night and a distance away from the festivities, Ruth stepped onto the threshing floor. As she searched for a place to hide, a light breeze blew through causing her anointing oil fragrance to waft into the air. Catching the scent, she worried it would give her away. But she couldn't think about that now, she just needed to hide.
|Don Marco Crayon Art|
Finding the perfect hiding place, Ruth sat in the shadows and dreamed of her future. What might it be like to be the wife of Boaz? How many children would they have? Ruth determined she would be a good, loving mother, but not lax. She would train and discipline her children so they would be well behaved and respectful.
As time ticked by, her thoughts so engrossed her, she almost forgot where she was and why. Nevertheless, commotion from the festivities snapped her back into the present. Men were coming to find a place to bunk for the night. Keeping very still and breathing lightly, Ruth prayed they would not discover her before she carried out all Naomi’s instructions.
Then came Boaz.
Even in dim lantern light, Ruth could tell it was Boaz. She knew every detail of his frame, his walk, his voice, and the way his hands moved when he spoke. Her heart fluttered, but when he closely passed her hiding place, she thought it might stop. For a bed, Boaz chose a pile of grain in Ruth's direct line of sight. Thankfully, her wait was nearly over.
Sleep quickly engulfed Boaz and the others. Then ever so slowly, darkness increased, as one by one the lanterns flickered and died.
When the final lantern extinguished and the cadence of breathing conveyed deep sleep, Ruth knew it was time. Quietly, she emerged from concealment and tiptoed over to Boaz. She uncovered his feet as Naomi instructed, and lay down. The coolness of the night air would soon arouse him.
While she waited, Ruth pondered this obscure custom, never expecting it to apply to her. But before long, her body relaxed and she too drifted off to sleep.
The cool night air did its job in disturbing Boaz. When he turned to adjust his covers, he was startled to find a woman lying at his feet. “Who are you?” he sternly whispered.
Ruth, also startled, softly blurted, “I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative.”
Shocked, amazed, and thrilled by this proposal, Boaz quickly responded. "Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich…”
Boaz knew their age difference could have caused Ruth to seek younger men for marriage, especially since she was a Moabite and not bound by Israelite law. Even so, while she has been in Bethlehem, her reputation had been nothing less than virtuous and everyone knew it.
So he said, “My daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request…”
Next week we will take a closer look. Therefore, in preparation for our lesson, you may want to read the following scriptures: Luke 10:38-42; Luke 7:36-50; John 11:1-2; Rev. 1:17; Ezekiel 16:8-10