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Offensive behaviour?

“Offensive behaviour?”

All that thou sayest unto me I will do. —Ruth 3:5

Read Ruth 3:1-15

This scripture passage deals with a custom that might seem offensive and provocative to our modern minds. Sometimes Ruth is portrayed as a woman who sought for a man in a dubious way, but if that is also your opinion, you are mistaken. First of all, Ruth did not devise this plan, but followed the direction of her mother-in-law. Moreover, Ruth took her duty seriously: according to the laws of Israel, she was to raise a new generation on behalf of her deceased husband. For that reason, she agreed to seek for a man out of her husband’s family. She went to the threshing floor while it was dark; she would have been ashamed if someone had seen her there. People might think that she visited Boaz with impure motives, but that was not the case.

Ruth was ashamed to be regarded as a dishonourable woman, and took no initiative as she lay on the threshing floor. If she had improper motives, she would not have waited for Boaz to fall sleep after his daily labour before she laid herself down at his feet. After waiting until he noticed her, Ruth finally asked Boaz to be her redeemer. She also asked him to deliver her and Naomi out of their financial difficulties and to take her to be his wife. Boaz responded positively, which showed his appreciation for Ruth’s love, faithfulness, and self-sacrificing obedience on Naomi’s behalf.

What conclusions can we draw from Ruth and Boaz’s behaviour?


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