Ruth 3* The directions given to Ruth by Naomi. (1-5) Boaz acknowledgesthe duty of a kinsman. (6-13) Ruth's return to hermother-in-law. (14-18)1-5 The married state should be a rest, as much as any thingupon earth can be so, as it ought to fix the affections and forma connexion for life. Therefore it should be engaged in withgreat seriousness, with earnest prayers for direction, for theblessing of God, and with regard to his precepts. Parents shouldcarefully advise their children in this important concern, thatit may be well with them as to their souls. Be it alwaysremembered, That is best for us which is best for our souls. Thecourse Naomi advised appears strange to us; but it was accordingto the laws and usages of Israel. If the proposed measure hadborne the appearance of evil, Naomi would not have advised it.Law and custom gave Ruth, who was now proselyted to the truereligion, a legal claim upon Boaz. It was customary for widowsto assert this claim, #De 25:5-10|. But this is not recorded forimitation in other times, and is not to be judged by modernrules. And if there had been any evil in it, Ruth was a woman oftoo much virtue and too much sense to have listened to it. 6-13 What in one age or nation would be improper, is not alwaysso in another age or another nation. Being a judge of Israel,Boaz would tell Ruth what she should do; also whether he had theright of redemption, and what methods must be taken, and whatrites used, in order to accomplishing her marriage with him oranother person. The conduct of Boaz calls for the highestpraise. He attempted not to take advantage of Ruth; he did notdisdain her as a poor, destitute stranger, nor suspect her ofany ill intentions. He spoke honourably of her as a virtuouswoman, made her a promise, and as soon as the morning arrived,sent her away with a present to her mother-in-law. Boaz made hispromise conditional, for there was a kinsman nearer than he, towhom the right of redemption belonged. 14-18 Ruth had done all that was fit for her to do, she mustpatiently wait the event. Boaz, having undertaken this matter,would be sure to manage it well. Much more reason have truebelievers to cast their care on God, because he has promised tocare for them. Our strength is to sit still, #Isa 30:7|. Thisnarrative may encourage us to lay ourselves by faith at the feetof Christ: He is our near Kinsman; having taken our nature uponhim. He has the right to redeem. Let us seek to receive from himhis directions: Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? #Ac 9:6|. Hewill never blame us as doing this unseasonably. And let usearnestly desire and seek the same rest for our children andfriends, that it may be well with them also.
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