READ: Ruth 3:1-18
Go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do. (v. 4)
Barley threshing was in progress, and each evening following their work Boaz and his men celebrated another harvest day with food and drink. Then some of the men would go to sleep on the threshing floor to prevent theft. Women were not allowed on the threshing floor, as it was difficult and dirty work.
After Boaz was asleep, Ruth followed Naomi’s instructions. She uncovered Boaz’s feet and lay down. Not a seductive act, this Israelite custom showed Boaz that by law he was invited to become Naomi and Ruth’s kinsman–redeemer. He could find someone to marry Ruth or marry her himself. Ruth’s careful compliance with her instructions demonstrated her complete faith in Naomi.
Ruth trusted Naomi to show her the right thing to do in this foreign land. When Ruth requested that Boaz “cover” her with the corners of his cloak, Boaz gave his promise to provide for her future. In this Boaz functions as a sign, pointing to his (and Ruth’s) great descendant. Jesus covers us with his blood, cleansing us of our sins and giving us a hope and a future in him. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
Jesus, my Blessed Redeemer, thank you for the gift of the cross. Amen.
About the Author
Rev. Peggy Byland lives in Traverse City, Michigan. Ordained in the Reformed Church, Peggy is a frequent guest pastor in other churches and denominations. Peggy works as a Spiritual Care Coordinator with Heartland Hospice. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother of eight. She reads, writes and walks with her dog, Isa.