Real Excitement in the Kitchen: Ruth 2:14-3:1 August 30, 2020
When Ruth was overwhelmed at the warm welcome home to Naomi by the women of Bethlehem, no one criticized her and her husband for running off during the famine. No one blamed her for causing the deaths of her husband and two sons in Moab. No one criticized her for bringing back a foreigner with her. Yet, all that was not enough to bring the peace of God back to her soul.
God had two surprises to show her one warm evening. Ruth came in the door a heavy basket 2/3 full of grain. Second, Ruth identified who gave her so much: Boaz the wealthy farmer. “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.”
Ruth explained that Boaz was very kind to her. He blessed Ruth, saying, “The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.” (Ruth 2:12). She was humble and did not understand what “full reward” and “wings” or “refuge” meant to her mother-in-law. These were Jewish law language in farming and inheritance—real estate.
That did it. All her bitterness was overwhelmed. God did it. Naomi shouted, “Blessed be he of the LORD, who has not forsaken His kindness to the living and to the dead!!” (Ruth 2:20). There was real excitement in the kitchen that evening because it would require the nearest male relative to marry the widow. He and widow were to have a son (if possible) who would grow and inherit the property. This also helps a widow to escape poverty.
Then her mother-in-law spelled out the Jewish law custom and what it meant to her and to Ruth her daughter-in-law. The Marriage Duty of the Surviving Brother – “Levirate Marriage” If one brother died and left his wife with no son, a brother’s duty was to marry the widow and with her bare a son. Deuteronomy 25:5-6. Here are 2 points:
(1) The two brothers must be living together and sharing responsibilities as one large family unit; and
(2) the widow was to be without a son, and who would be the legal inheritor of his father’s estate and who would represent his father’s name. It was this provision of posterity which was part of the nature of the divine covenant.”
Boaz qualified to marry that widow and redeem the real estate. The only thing delaying the marriage of Ruth and Boaz would be the busy farm harvests. Meanwhile Ruth continued working in the fields of Boaz and caring for her mother-in-law—about 3 months.
Naomi said to Ruth, “My daughter, may I not seek security for you, that it will be well with you.” (Ruth 3:1). What was Boaz doing? He found out that he was 2nd in line to marry Ruth.
This is a true story that shows how God takes care of widows and deaths of Elimelech and Mahlon (the dead, 2:20) and the living--Naomi and Ruth. This again shows that God loves and cares for widows and families.
Pastor Ed Anderson