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The Wonder of a Widow - Pt. 8

Ruth & Naomi - Part 3

Ruth takes a risk.

In my leadership Bible, there was some amazing notes. Here is the first footnote.


Ruth steps out and takes a risk.

Ruth took a risk in following her mother-in-law’s instruction. What allows a leader to risk?

Responsibility: Sense the need to step out.

Initiative: Act even when no one else goes before.

Sacrifice: Make sacrifices to make things right.

Knowledge: Possess enough information to trust the decision.

Let’s begin….

One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for. Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.” “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do. When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was 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 guardian-redeemer of our family.” “The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character. Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I. Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.” So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, “No one must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.” He also said, “Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out.” When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and placed the bundle on her. Then he went back to town. When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?” Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her and added, “He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’ ” Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”

-Ruth 3:1-18 NIV

What a powerfully risky story! I don’t know if my mother-in-law had asked me to do the same thing if I would be willing to surrender to the process. So many things could have gone so wrong. Maybe Boaz wondered about Ruth, but his fear came out of his mouth: “You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor.” We don’t know their age difference, but he was surely trying to disqualify himself. But, her act of engagement let him know she was open, which really Naomi told her to do. I feel like some of their conversations are missing from the text. But we can wonder? Did Naomi see an interest in Ruth? Did Ruth not care about her future and just wanted to honor her mother-in-law? I don’t know, but Naomi took matters into her own hands and gave a directive. “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. Or did the Holy Spirit give the directive through Naomi? 🤔

My bible had this second footnote:

The Law of Solid Ground: Both Ruth and Boaz Benefit

Naomi knew how a woman could property communicate her interest in a man. She told Ruth to enter the room where Boaz slept, uncover his feet, and sleep there. When Boaz awoke and discovered Ruth, he immediately understood the overture. Yet his sense of integrity would not allow him to sleep with her; he was committed to sincerely practicing what he preached. Integrity is about wholeness. The person’s words, thoughts and actions are whole.

The Ancient Greek word for “sincere” carries this meaning. It comes from the Latin word sincerus, which means “sound, pure, whole,” perhaps originally “of one growth,” that is, “not hybrid, unmixed.” Are your words, intentions, and actions “of one growth,” whole, unmixed? Are you a Boaz leader?

Integrity brings peace. Integrity brings confidence. Integrity brings safety. I didn’t really know that integrity meant pure, whole, and sound, but man I love this part of their story so much. She postured herself in a humble way that could have been perceived the wrong way. Another man would have taken advantage of her and dishonored her. This was out of Ruth’s character to do this, but she trusted the process. Naomi banked on Boaz showing his integrity and he did. His integrity showed up strong to the point that he gave her barley, and also said, I will go and handle this. It has to be done properly. Naomi said, trust and see he will not rest until this matter is settled today.

In this season of my life, it makes me curious about what more Jesus may have for me. Does He have a guardian-redeemer set out for me? Does He have a man of integrity who would take on this package-deal family? I surrendered this part of my story to the Father back in 2017. I did have a feeling I would have a second chapter, but that for a while it would be me and Jesus until I was restored back to wholeness again. Six years later I can say, “I’m still healing. I’m still receiving. I’m still believing.”

Wholeness still deeply matters to me. My mind, body and spirit all have to be restored for me to have the capacity to step into new things. So, yeah, this story makes me wonder again. Could I have a new beginning coming? Is my Boaz around the corner? Welp, for now, Jesus is my Boaz, and we have been getting along pretty well, I think. Singleness has been liberating, strength building and frustrating at times. I am proud of the woman I am becoming, and so is the Father I believe. So, I will continue to walk this widow road until He brings another along the road. ☺️

This community has been good to me. I’m thankful, humbled. I’ve been deeply impacted by the lives I’ve gotten to know. Oh, how Jesus truly loves them so. For, you and Jesus have filled in the gaps Ben left behind to fill. 🫂

I can’t wait to see how this story ends next week. It’s a powerful story of redemption and generational blessing. It’s going to be good.

Until next time,

Keep gliding 🪁

Abiding 🙇🏼‍♀️

& Smiling 😁

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