Ruth 3

* The directions given to Ruth by Naomi. (1-5) Boaz acknowledges

the duty of a kinsman. (6-13) Ruth's return to her

mother-in-law. (14-18)

1-5 The married state should be a rest, as much as any thing

upon earth can be so, as it ought to fix the affections and form

a connexion for life. Therefore it should be engaged in with

great seriousness, with earnest prayers for direction, for the

blessing of God, and with regard to his precepts. Parents should

carefully advise their children in this important concern, that

it may be well with them as to their souls. Be it always

remembered, That is best for us which is best for our souls. The

course Naomi advised appears strange to us; but it was according

to the laws and usages of Israel. If the proposed measure had

borne the appearance of evil, Naomi would not have advised it.

Law and custom gave Ruth, who was now proselyted to the true

religion, a legal claim upon Boaz. It was customary for widows

to assert this claim, #De 25:5-10|. But this is not recorded for

imitation in other times, and is not to be judged by modern

rules. And if there had been any evil in it, Ruth was a woman of

too much virtue and too much sense to have listened to it.
6-13 What in one age or nation would be improper, is not always

so in another age or another nation. Being a judge of Israel,

Boaz would tell Ruth what she should do; also whether he had the

right of redemption, and what methods must be taken, and what

rites used, in order to accomplishing her marriage with him or

another person. The conduct of Boaz calls for the highest

praise. He attempted not to take advantage of Ruth; he did not

disdain her as a poor, destitute stranger, nor suspect her of

any ill intentions. He spoke honourably of her as a virtuous

woman, made her a promise, and as soon as the morning arrived,

sent her away with a present to her mother-in-law. Boaz made his

promise conditional, for there was a kinsman nearer than he, to

whom the right of redemption belonged.
14-18 Ruth had done all that was fit for her to do, she must

patiently wait the event. Boaz, having undertaken this matter,

would be sure to manage it well. Much more reason have true

believers to cast their care on God, because he has promised to

care for them. Our strength is to sit still, #Isa 30:7|. This

narrative may encourage us to lay ourselves by faith at the feet

of Christ: He is our near Kinsman; having taken our nature upon

him. He has the right to redeem. Let us seek to receive from him

his directions: Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? #Ac 9:6|. He

will never blame us as doing this unseasonably. And let us

earnestly desire and seek the same rest for our children and

friends, that it may be well with them also.
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