The book of Ruth begins in a time of famine, when the land of Israel was suffering from lack of rain. Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi were left with no food or money to buy it. They had only one option: to leave their home country and move to Moab, which was not experiencing the same drought as Israel.
Ruth Commentary Chapter 3
1 Then Naomi her mother in law said to her, “My daughter, I must seek security for you; go, return to your mother’s house, lest I be bereaved of you also.”
2 And Ruth said: “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following after you; for where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people shall be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I shall be buried. May the Lord deal with me as it seems good to him!”
3 On this account she went with her from Moab through the wilderness that leads toward Judah until they came at last to Bethlehem (a place where David had taken up residence).
In Ruth 3:6-10, you’ll learn that Ruth was a Moabite woman, a widow, a foreigner (non-Israelite), and a non-Israelite. She also happened to be young (and beautiful). The Bible does not explicitly describe her gender or age in these verses. But even if the text didn’t make it clear that she’s female—and we know it does—we can infer her femininity from her interactions with Boaz and Naomi.
We know from previous chapters that Naomi is Ruth’s mother-in-law; therefore, when Naomi tells Boaz about her daughter-in-law’s kindness toward her as well as how pretty she is (3:11), it seems safe to say that she means both of them are female.
As you read through this section, notice how Ruth and Naomi’s relationship is growing over time. They are now closer to each other than they ever have been before.
- Verses 11-12: The women returned to Bethlehem, where Ruth gleaned in the fields while Naomi worked as a seamstress.
- Verse 13: Boaz saw Ruth working in his field and invited her to eat with him.
- Verse 14: After eating with Boaz, Ruth told her mother what had happened (note that she did not mention that Boaz had asked for permission from Naomi first). Naomi then gave Ruth instructions on how best to approach him the next day so he would notice her beauty (and presumably fall in love with her). In other words, Naomi was helping her daughter get ready for marriage! This shows us how serious she has become about finding someone who will take care of them both financially once again.*Verse 15-16: The next day when Boaz saw her working again he asked for permission from his workers to speak with Ruth alone.*Verse 17-18: While talking alone together in private he told Ruth that if she wanted him as a husband then all she needed do was bathe herself properly and put on some nice clothes so that everyone could see what an attractive young woman she really was! After speaking these sweet words they went off together happily ever after…
When you walk in the ways of God, He will work things out for you.
As you walk in the ways of God, He will work things out for you.
God is faithful, good and merciful. He is patient and kind. He is just and loving as well.
The story of Ruth is a great example of how God works in our lives. He brings people into our path who are perfect for us and helps them become part of our lives. God knows what we need before we even ask Him for it. We just have to be willing to listen when He speaks or shows us what His plan is for us.