Posted by: cindybythesea | May 1, 2010

An Enduring Love Story

    Ruth at the feet of Boaz

“On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:  KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”  Rev. 19:16

Last night, we had an amazing worship and praise service at the Church I attend.  About 200 or so men, women and children came out on a Friday evening to worship the Lord.  It was so uplifting and as I looked about the room of old, young, black, white, Asian and everything in between, I was able to get a glimpse of just what heaven will someday be like, when we join that mighty throng of every kindred, tongue, nation and generation around the throne in praise to our God.  As we poured out our hearts in adoration of our King, it struck me as to how mysterious this must appear to unbelievers, for it is a love story. The depths of which, unless one has been born of the Spirit, one cannot possibly begin to understand.

 In my last post I addressed Ruth gleaning in the fields of Boaz.  Today, I want to look at Ruth at the feet of Boaz.  It’s such an amazing story, no wonder this beautiful story of love has endured from the earliest days of Biblical history.

An Enduring Love Story

In Ruth chapter 3, Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law instructs her to wash, perfume herself, put on her best clothes and go down to the threshing floor.  When she arrives at the threshing floor she is instructed to wait until Boaz lies down, and when he does, she is to uncover his feet and lie next to him.  Apparently, it is not until after Boaz falls asleep that he discovers in the middle of the night, a woman lying at his feet.

“In the middle of the night something startled the man, and he turned and discovered a woman lying at his feet. ‘Who are you?’ he asked. ‘I am your servant Ruth,’ she said.  “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman redeemer.'”  Ruth 3:8,9

Now this is interesting, because a woman coming to the threshing floor was undoubtedly unheard of, for we read in verse 14 that Boaz says to her – “Don’t let it be known that a woman came to the threshing floor.”  So, why would Naomi have instructed Ruth to act so boldly?

The Hem of his garment

Within this beautiful story, we find three individuals.  Naomi, (the mother-in-law), who instructs Ruth (the bride to be) in approaching Boaz (the kinsman redeemer). On the instruction of Naomi, who I believe pictures the Holy Spirit, Ruth approaches Boaz for redemption.  Just as we, by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, approach Jesus our redeemer for our salvation. This is pictured by Ruth, who came to Boaz and by laying prostrate at his feet asks him to cover or spread the corner of his garment over her.  His garment of protection; his garment of salvation. The footnote in my Bible describes it this way: 

“A request for marriage (Eze 16:8), a similar custom is still practiced in some parts of the Middle East today.  With a striking play on words Ruth confronts Boaz with his moral obligations.  In the harvest field he had wished her well at the hands of the Lord‘under whose wings you have come to take refuge’ (Ruth 2:12).  Now on the threshing floor Ruth asks him to spread the “wings” (i.e. corners) of his garment over her .  Boaz is vividly reminded that he must serve as the Lord’s protective wings over Ruth.”

 Tzit, tzit (the hem or fringes of the garment)

* Image courtesy of the blog of Bonnie Calhoun http://bibleseek.blogspot.com/2009/07/hem-of-his-garment.html

It’s almost certain in light of the Numbers 15:38 commandment that the corners of Boaz garment would have included the Tzit tzit (fringes or tassels) – “Throughout the generations to come, you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments with a blue cord on each tassel.  You will have these tassels to look at and you will remember all the commands of the Lord.”

By spreading the Tzit,tzit or fringes of his garment over her, Ruth is reminding Boaz of his obligation under the Torah to function as her kinsman redeemer. In this same way, when we go to Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit to ask for salvation; redemption, we, in essence, remind Jesus, who is the living Torah, that by His own law and by his own character, he is obligated to redeem us – which is why in Revelation 19:11 he is called faithful, just and true. This is how we have our assurance!  God by his own character, would never violate his word or his promises. 

 In Revelation 19:16, – we see Jesus returning as King of Kings and Lord of Lord’s.  His name it says, is written on his robe and on his thigh.  What could this mean except the Tzit, tzit, the fringes on the corners of his garment, draping on to his thigh.  Visual reminders, both for him and for us, that Jesus, the completion, (goal, target) of the Torah is perfect, just and true in his power, ability and willingness to redeem us.  And, rightfully returns, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

+++++++++++++

As chapter 3 comes to a close, Ruth stays with Boaz until morning at which time he sends her back to her mother-in-law with six measures of barley telling her, “Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.”  Barley in hebrew is apparently spelled the same as gate, – as Boaz provided the way or gate for her redemption. Our worship and service to God, what we bring back to him.

Wow!  What a love story!  Is it any wonder we pour out or hearts in thanksgiving and gratitude to our God? As we approach Pentecost in the next few days, a time when it is traditional to read the book of Ruth, –  and the possibility of our soon going home on the near horizon – may our worship we deepened, our devotion sweetened – in thanksgiving to Jesus, our kinsman redeemer.

*For more great insight into the book of Ruth, click here: http://home.comcast.net/~jovial/learn/mc/ruth.htm  and the meaning of the Tzit tzit here: http://www.shofars.org/tallit.htm

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper who love thee.  Psalm 122:6   Grace and blessings in Messiah Jesus!  Cindy 

 

 

 

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Responses

  1. ….i thought the Israelites were commanded to stay away from marry outside of the Jewish community, which Ruth is a Moabite. So I am confused as to why this was okay…was it because she confessed she would serve Naomi’s God?

    • Hi Sue, Yes, Boaz was able to serve as a kinsman redeemer for Ruth, the gentile because she identified with the people of Israel and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, when she left Moab with her mother-in-law Naomi – “your God, shall be my God and your people, my people.” Boaz also served as kinsman redeemer for Naomi and she had no heirs (both sons had died) – fulfilling his obligation under the law for her family line to continue. Good question Sue and thanks for writing! Blessings for a great day in the Lord! Cindy

  2. […] 1An Enduring Love Story « Cindy by the Sea SUBMIT […]


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