What is going on in Ruth 3? Is there a moral lesson for us? How about this;
- Do what is asked of you.
- Be submissive, yielded, willing, and take direction.
- Put yourself into action and submit, do as Ruth did, and Naomi did, and as Boaz did.
Again though, that is putting you and me at the centre of this, making us the main character in this story, and essentially we’re then saying that the Bible is really about us. But, we know it’s not, don’t we?
So, where is Jesus in this?
Well, Ruth called out to be saved in v.9,
So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”
Ruth here then is living out the truth that redemption is found under the protection of the wings, being in the care of, submitting to, the redeemer. This brings safety, security, and salvation.
This has been a consistent message from Genesis to Revelation, maybe it is easier to see in some places than others, but that’s ok, more light is shone on this as we move along the bigger picture of the Bible. But, at the core, the truth has always been the same – call on the name of the Lord to be saved; call out, ask, seek, knock, trust.
One place that it is really clear and that helps us understand what Ruth has done here, and what you can do, is in the book of Joel, one of the Minor Prophets.
In Joel, we are reading a prophesy, a future prediction about the Day of the Lord. Joel writes on a couple of variations of it, ready?;
- The day is past, being experienced in a plague of locusts and in a natural drought and famine in 1.2-12.
- The day is current or imminent, the day was to be carried out by an enemy military force in 2.1-11.
- The day is future: immediately in the salvation of Jerusalem from current problems, long term, in the giving of the Spirit of God on all people and the deliverance of all who call on the name of the Lord, and ultimate in the eternal holiness of Jerusalem, protected from its enemies in 2.28-32 and 3.
In the future day of great judgement (end of the world type stuff) God says to His people Israel look,
return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.
Later in ch.2 we read that at this time of universal judgement, those Spirit-empowered, faith-filled, Redeemer-trusting people will be saved, will be redeemed. Now, Joel 2 is not a blanket truth; we don’t need to pretend we are the people of Joel 2, because we are not the people of Israel, are we, but, the principle within that pledge is so applicable and true;
call on the name of the Lord to be saved, ask, seek, knock,
as Ruth said, “Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.”
See, no matter how much evil there is in the world, no matter how far from God we think we may be, no matter how desperate the situation may be in which we find ourselves, no matter if we are childless widows from a different country, no matter the current state of the world or your life, God has already provided the solution, God has already provided a way out.
This solution came, He lived, He died, He rose again, and He ascended, at which time He sent another solution, another solution of the same kind. The Holy Spirit comes alongside us, to abide in us, to walk with us.
Ruth called out and said
Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.
Joel says to God’s people of the OT
The sunlight will be turned to darkness
and the moon to the colour of blood,
before the day of the LORD comes–
that great and terrible day!
It will so happen that
everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be delivered.
Paul says to the believers in Rome
…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
“everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
I’m saying to you today, now, that the same God who redeemed Ruth from a desperate and dire situation through the person and work of Boaz, is the same God who Joel says promises to redeem His people who call out to Him on the future Day of the Lord, is the same God who Paul is saying will answer the prayer of salvation from the believers in Rome, and is the same God that stands ready to redeem you if you call on His Name and take refuge in Him through faith in the person and work of Jesus.