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Ruth - Lesson 03

Memory verses for this week: Ruth 3:1 Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?

Introduction: We continue our study on the book of Ruth this week as we find Ruth resting at the feet of her kinsman-redeember who was Boaz.


Finding GRACE and seeking REST constitute two of the key expressions of the book of Ruth. These may only be found at the feet of Boaz (a type of Christ). The events of this chapter would lead to marriage, and we see the importance of parental guidance in choosing a mate. Even though she was a grown woman and a widow, she needed advice. This is lacking today in many instances, and it reveals why there are so many failed marriages in our time.

I. Ruth Seeking Rest

Ruth 3:1 Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee?
Ruth 3:2 And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.

Ruth consults Naomi about finding rest. Naomi a type of the Godly remnant in Israel. She is concerned about a Gentile finding rest.

Matt. 11:28, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

A proper marriage was a place of rest and protection for the woman in the days of Ruth. It certainly should be today, and the decision to marry and who to marry is a very serious issue.

I Tim. 5:14, I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

It was Ruth's duty to take the initiative.

Deu 25:5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.
Deu 25:6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.
Deu 25:7 And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then let his brother's wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband's brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband's brother.
Deu 25:8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;

Deu 25:9 Then shall his brother's wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother's house.
Deu 25:10 And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.

Boaz as a type of Christ is a separator. Here he took the barley and separated the chaff from the true grain. This is a process that happens now at harvest when the combines cut the wheat or barley and the beater bars beat the grain from the plants. In Ruth's day, all of this had to be done by hand of course.

Matt. 3:12, Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

The light chaff and all that is frivolous and empty is to be winnowed away in our lives.

Ruth 3:3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.
Ruth 3:4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.

Ruth as a type of the Church and individual Christian must be washed. Only by the blood of Christ can we be washed from our sins.

Eph. 5:25-27, Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

II Cor. 7:1, Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Ruth as a type of the Church must be sealed and anointed by the Holy Spirit.

Eph. 1:13, In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.

Eph. 5:18, And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.

Ruth as a type of the Church and of the believer, must be dressed in proper apparel meaning modest apparel.

W. G. Heslop is quoted as saying:

"Nudity is of the devil. Exposing of the body is wicked, sinful and devilish. Immodest dress or undress is to be condemned as Satanic and corrupting. We must dress right if we would please our Boaz (Christ). Dress is a sure index to the condition of the mind and the state of the heart."

Ruth as a type of the Church should be at the feet of Boaz (the Christ).

Luke 10:39-42, And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

If we want to know what to do in our life, nothing can beat studying at the feet of Jesus. Today we can't be in his presence, but when we open the Word of God, he can still teach us as if we were at his feet. The Holy Spirit will guide us unto all truth.
Boaz the redeemer will tell her what to do. Mary told the servants at the wedding party to do what Jesus told them.

John 2:5, His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

Ruth 3:5 And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do.
Ruth 3:6 And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her.
Ruth 3:7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.

Ruth at the feet of Boaz promises to follow Naomi's instructions. Verse 6 shows that as stated, she performed her promise. It is not implied that Boaz was drinking strong drink. A person can certainly become merry of heart with intoxicating beverages. In verse 7, it shows Ruth at his feet.

NOTE: It cannot be stressed too strongly that nothing immoral or unscriptural took place that night. Boaz was an honorable man and Ruth was a virtuous woman.

J. Sidlow Baxter said "There is not the faintest touch of impurity about it. ...There was no impropriety in them...Boaz probably slept upon a mat or skin; Ruth lay crosswise at his feet, a position in which Eastern servants frequently sleep in the same chamber or tent with their master; and if they want a covering, custom allows them that benefit from part of the covering on their master's bed. Resting as the Orientals do at night, in the same clothes they wear during the day, there was no indelicacy in a stranger, or even a woman putting the extremity of this cover over her."

All of this must be understood in the light of the customs of that day and the teaching of the Old Testament Law. Of course such a thing today would not be done in this adulterous age.

John Gill said this about verse 6.
Ruth 3:6 And she went down unto the floor,.... From the city of Bethlehem, from her mother-in-law's house there, to the threshingfloor of Boaz, which was at some distance from it, and lower:

and did according to all that her mother in law bade her; both before she went, and after: she washed and anointed herself, and put on her best clothes before she went down, and when she was there took care not to make herself known to any, especially to Boaz, and marked the place where he lay down after he had supped.

II. Ruth Finding Rest

Ruth 3:8 And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet.
Ruth 3:9 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.

Boaz had provided shelter, and the discovery was made about Ruth laying at his feet. A confession is made as Ruth identified herself. She is not now Ruth the Moabitess, nor Ruth the Gentile stranger, nor Ruth the weeping widow, but "Ruth thine handmaid." Remember that Ruth means "satisfied," and so should we be satisfied at Jesus' feet.

Ezek. 16:8, Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.

Ruth makes a request of Boaz. She asks that his skirt be spread over her. The skirt or covering is a picture of the robe of righteousness, which the Lord gives to the saved.

1Co 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Ruth 3:10 And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich.
Ruth 3:11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
Ruth 3:12 And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.
Ruth 3:13 Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning.

There was love between Ruth and Boaz, and Ruth had eyes for Boaz alone. She did not follow the young men, but the kinsman-redeemer alone. This may imply that Boaz was not a young man, but he certainly was not an old and feeble man.

In verse 11, Boaz testifies to her being a virtuous woman.

Prov. 31:10, Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Boaz reveals to Ruth that there was a nearer kinsman. If he will not do as commanded by the law, Boaz says the he would redeem her. We might well be reminded that no one would or could redeem us except Christ.

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Ruth 3:14 And she lay at his feet until the morning: and she rose up before one could know another. And he said, Let it not be known that a woman came into the floor.
Ruth 3:15 Also he said, Bring the vail that thou hast upon thee, and hold it. And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her: and she went into the city.

Ruth lay at Boaz's feet until morning. After this, Boaz provided food to sustain her. Boaz proved a place of rest. It was not yet time for her to be revealed. Notice how careful he was to protect her reputation as well as his own. In verse 14, Boaz as a type of Christ bestows gifts as he gives her six measures of barley.

Matthew Henry made these comments in his commentary.

We are here told, I. How Ruth was dismissed by Boaz. It would not have been safe for her to go home in the dead of the night; therefore she lay at his feet (not by his side) until morning. But as soon as ever the day broke, that she had light to go home by, she got away, before one could know another, that, if she were seen, yet she might not be known to be abroad so unseasonably. She was not shy of being known to be a gleaner in the field, nor ashamed of that mark of her poverty. But she would not willingly be known to be a night-walker, for her virtue was her greatest honour, and that which she most valued.

Ruth 3:16 And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.
Ruth 3:17 And she said, These six measures of barley gave he me; for he said to me, Go not empty unto thy mother in law.
Ruth 3:18 Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.

Naomi asks what has transpired, and Ruth tells all. She explained all the things that had transpired since the previous day. Now, Ruth could only sit and wait. Naomi promises her that things will finish up that day and they will know what will transpire. The kinsman-redeemer will not rest until he is finished.

Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

NOTE: Typically, the book of Ruth sets forth:
Ch. 1—Decision for Christ.
Ch. 2—Meeting with Christ..
Ch. 3—Resting in Christ.
Ch. 4—Union with Christ.


1. Give two of the key expressions of the book of Ruth.

Grace and Rest.

2. How is marriage related to rest in this chapter?

The woman comes to find protection from the husband. This is what Ruth sought in Boaz.

3. Name the three things Ruth was instructed to do before going to Boaz, and give their typical meaning.

Ruth 3:3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking.

Ruth 3:4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.
Wash, Anoint, and put on raiment. (Us putting on the imputed righteousness of Christ.)

Go down to the floor and not tell him he was there until he finished eating and drinking. Waiting upon the Lord.
Uncover his feet and await to be told what to do. Following the commands of Christ once saved.

4. Where did Ruth lie down and what is the typical meaning?

At his feet. Point of subjection and place where we must come in humble contrition to be saved.

5. Why was there nothing improper in what Ruth did, and explain why this would not be proper today?

It was commanded in Ezekiel how this was to be done. Today any room shared with a person of the opposite sex would certainly be looked upon as questionable.

6. What did Boaz say about her moral character?

She was a virtuous woman.

7. What one thing stood in the way of Boaz redeeming Ruth ?

There was a kinsmen closer than he that had the right to be the redeemer.

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Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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