“One day her mother-in-law Naomi said to Ruth, ‘My dear daughter, isn’t
it about time I arranged a good home for you so you can have a happy
life? And isn’t Boaz our close relative, the one with whose young women
you’ve been working? Maybe it’s time to make our move. Tonight is the
night of Boaz’s barley harvest at the threshing floor.

Take a bath. Put on some perfume. Get all dressed up and go to the
threshing floor. But don’t let him know you’re there until the party is
well under way and he’s had plenty of food and drink. When you see him
slipping off to sleep, watch where he lies down and then go there. Lie
at his feet to let him know that you are available to him for marriage.
Then wait and see what he says. He’ll tell you what to do.’

Ruth said, ‘If you say so, I’ll do it, just as you’ve told me.’

She went down to the threshing floor and put her mother-in-law’s plan into action.

Boaz had a good time, eating and drinking his fill—he felt great. Then
he went off to get some sleep, lying down at the end of a stack of
barley. Ruth quietly followed; she lay down to signal her availability
for marriage.

In the middle of the night the man was suddenly startled and sat up. Surprise! This woman asleep at his feet!

He said, ‘And who are you?’

She said, ‘I am Ruth, your maiden; take me under your protecting wing.
You’re my close relative, you know, in the circle of covenant
redeemers—you do have the right to marry me.’

He said, ‘God bless you, my dear daughter! What a splendid expression
of love! And when you could have had your pick of any of the young men
around. And now, my dear daughter, don’t you worry about a thing; I’ll
do all you could want or ask. Everybody in town knows what a courageous
woman you are— a real prize! You’re right, I am a close relative to
you, but there is one even closer than I am. So stay the rest of the
night. In the morning, if he wants to exercise his customary rights and
responsibilities as the closest covenant redeemer, he’ll have his
chance; but if he isn’t interested, as God lives, I’ll do it. Now go
back to sleep until morning.’

Ruth slept at his feet until dawn, but she got up while it was still
dark and wouldn’t be recognized. Then Boaz said to himself, ‘No one
must know that Ruth came to the threshing floor.’

So Boaz said, ‘Bring the shawl you’re wearing and spread it out.’

She spread it out and he poured it full of barley, six measures, and put it on her shoulders. Then she went back to town.

When she came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, ‘And how did things go, my dear daughter?’

Ruth told her everything that the man had done for her, adding, ‘And he
gave me all this barley besides—six quarts! He told me, ‘You can’t go
back empty-handed to your mother-in-law!’

Naomi said, ‘Sit back and relax, my dear daughter, until we find out
how things turn out; that man isn’t going to fool around. Mark my
words, he’s going to get everything wrapped up today.’—-Ruth 3:1-18

SPECIAL NOTE: First, let me just say that if I ever needed your
prayers, it would be now. You would be amazed (or perhaps maybe not)
how God has been moving when it comes to this series. It has truly been
AMAZING to see how far it has traveled (London, Germany, South
Africa—and to women my mother doesn’t even know); the amount of men
who are being influenced and affected; the married lives that are
receiving a fresh anointing and, most importantly, the yokes that are
being broken on the lives of many, many women. At first, I was writing
these every day and while that is still my goal, I have been
experiencing a level of fatigue that I know has nothing to do with my
physical state. Often when you come into the Enemy’s camp and take his
POW’s, he will find “non-predictable” ways to attack (message for all
people who are called to any form of ministry). So, know that I am well
but intercession is appreciated. I am very aware of where my gift and
strength comes from.

As I was approaching this chapter, I was trying to figure out how to
write it in a way where the “hot mamas in recovery” would not take this
as a license to sleep on the edge of the beds of the men that they want
to marry…seduce…break off…whatever. Thank God that I was led to a web
page that explains the cultural significance of Noami’s instructions as
it relates to Ruth and Boaz and the threshing room floor.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When God says that we should
get an understanding concerning all of the wisdom (including biblical)
that we acquire (Proverbs 3:13), there is a real benefit to it. Far,
far, FAR too many people are falling victim to the “Well, if they have
a platform, I will do whatever they say regardless of what my
conscience, research or personal prayer time with God reveals” spirit.
As a matter of fact, one of the main reasons why there are so many
scriptures listed within this series is because I have absolutely no
desire for you to take what I am saying at face value. That is simply
way too much responsibility (and arrogance) for one person to handle.
God has told all of us to seek out our own salvation with fear and
trembling (Philippians 2:12) and he has also warned us about false
prophets who are in the Earth (Matthew 24:24). We are at a place in
history where they are so many denominations and philosophies within
those religions simply because far too many men are putting a spin on
their interpretation of what the Word says (religion) rather than
pointing people to what God wants (relationship). Please, I beg of you,
be sure to take words from people (even if they are placed in
leadership) in context and do your own research following what you

Whew! Now, I didn’t plan on going there, but I believe God wanted me to and so I did. Now back to the threshing room floor.

There is something so beautiful about God and the way he operates. Just
today, I was talking to someone who was sharing with me a joke about a
woman who was praying to win the lottery night after night until
finally God said, “Can you at least help me out and buy a ticket?”

OK, all of my super legalistic people. Don’t miss the point of the joke
because you are so focused on the gambling issue. The point is that,
while God doesn’t need our help to perform miracles in our lives, he
often desires it. Just like a responsible parent knows that the
16-year-old will appreciate their car more if they had to save up from
a part-time job to get it, God knows that when we play a role in the
manifestation of our dreams becoming actualized, not only will we see
his power in action, but the power that he has placed inside of each
one of us as well:

“Also, every man to whom God has given riches and possessions, and the
power to enjoy them and to accept his appointed lot and to rejoice in
his toil–this is the gift of God [to him]. For he shall not much
remember [seriously] the days of his life, because God [Himself]
answers and corresponds to the joy of his heart [the tranquility of God
is mirrored in him].”—Ecclesiastes 5:19&20 (AMP)

When Ruth made the sacrificial decision to put Naomi’s life before her
own, God did not forget that and neither did Naomi. This is the beauty
in covenant relationships. It’s not just so that you will be held
spiritually accountable, but because it is through the eyes of the
godly and obedient that things of God are seen and revealed.

Do you have any friends (especially girlfriends) who drain your energy?
It seems that they rarely have anything positive to say and as you
elevate in spiritual sense, the more you share about your life’s
direction, the more ridiculous it seems to them? You feel that you are
called to go back to school and they are telling you how crazy you are
to leave that high-paying job. You tell them that you need to be
abstinent for a couple of years and they are telling you how “gettin’
some” is the only way they can get through their week. You tell them
that you are not interested in getting drinks this weekend and they are
calling you every hour on the hour to tell you what men from your past
are at the bar and how if you don’t want ‘em, they’ll take ‘em.

Ladies (and gents) let me tell you that if you want to move forward
with your life, you must surround yourself with healthy (exercising and
showing good judgment) relationships (Proverbs 12:26). If your friends
do not walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), they will not get very far
when it comes to all that God has for them, nor will they be much of a
help for you on your life’s journey.

And, because people who are not in relationship with God tend to me
more “them focused” (in other words, selfish), your needs are rarely a
top consideration/priority, anyway. It takes a Word reader and doer
(James 1:22) to know what God requires of us on a daily basis:

“Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife,
selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty
arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind)
let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself
[thinking more highly of one another than you do of

s 2:3 (AMP)

Naomi was a godly woman and so she understood and respected the “sowing
and reaping” principle (2 Corinthians 9:6). Because Ruth sowed into
Naomi’s life and blessed it, Naomi had no problem doing the same. As
she stated in Chapter 1, Naomi again reminded Ruth (in Chapter 3) of
her desire to see Ruth with her own family. Now, I love what she told
her to do before they even got to the Boaz part:

“Take a bath. Put on some perfume. Get all dressed up.” (verse3)

Ladies, I know we all have heard the saying “If you ain’t sellin’,
don’t advertise” but please don’t take it out of context. If you ain’t
tryin’ to pimp out your goodies (and I pray that we have all gotten
beyond that at this point), no you shouldn’t have everything out all
over the place; but remember that advertising is:

Advertise: To make public announcement of, especially to proclaim the
qualities or advantages of (a product or business) so as to increase

The packaging of an item speaks volumes for its content. How would you
feel if a man approached you with sleep in his eyes, dirty fingernails,
and wrinkled clothes all the while talking about how good of a man he
is and how well he can take care of you? Uhh, yeah right. Next.

Some of us are getting the “next” because we don’t keep our hair done,
wear clothes that compliment our figures or put a little lip gloss on
every now and then. There is no way that a discerning man is going to
trust you with keeping his home in tact when you can’t even maintenance
the inside and outside of your own temple. To look attractive is not to
be carnal; it is a way of praising God for the shell that he gave you.

Moving on…

Now here is where I need to share Naomi’s point in telling Ruth to go to Boaz that evening to lay at his feet:

“What is a kinsman-redeemer? The definition of ‘kinsman’ is ‘nearest
male blood relative. If anyone from poverty was unable to redeem his
inheritance, it was the duty of the kinsman to redeem it’. The Hebrew
word for ‘kinsman’ is ‘goel’. ‘Redeemer’ is defined as ‘one charged
with the duty of restoring the rights of another and avenging his
wrongs’. The Hebrew word for Redeemer is also ‘goel’. In Biblical
times, these words were interchangeable. If a man was the redeemer of a
family, he must have been a kinsman. And if he was a kinsman, then it
followed that he was a redeemer for the family. Back in Ruth’s day, the
kinsman-redeemer avenged deaths, claimed inheritances for poor family
members, and married the widow of a dead male relative. He played a
role very similar to the one that Jesus played for all mankind, but for
his family.

So when Naomi told Ruth that Boaz was their kinsman-redeemer, it held
great meaning for them both. As time went by, Naomi told Ruth that she
would do her best to find a new husband and house for Ruth. She then
gave Ruth some very peculiar instructions: ‘Wash and perfume yourself,
and put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but
don’t let Boaz know you are there until he has finished eating and
drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go
and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.’ (Ruth
3:3-4) If Ruth thought her mother-in-law was a little crazy, she didn’t
let on. She simply replied “I will do whatever you say.” She did
everything she was told. That night, after all the men had prepared the
barely, it was kept in a pile on the threshing floor, with all of the
men sleeping around it to protect it.

Everything was peaceful. Suddenly, in the middle of the night, Boaz
awoke. Maybe he thought that a man was sneaking in to steal the barely.
To his astonishment, he found a woman lying at his feet. When he asked
her name, she replied, ‘I am your servant Ruth. Spread the corner of
your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.’ Boaz quickly
covered her, praising her, and promising to do what she asked. He
warned her, though; there was another man closer to them than he was,
who could also redeem them. The next day he went to see the man in
front of ten elders, and presented the matter before him. However, this
man was already married, and couldn’t redeem Naomi and Ruth, so the
task was handed to Boaz. He claimed that he was their redeemer before
the witnesses, who blessed him and his future. So he and Ruth married,
and in due course she gave birth to a son named Obed. Obed was the
father of Jesse, who was the father of David, who was a descendant of
Jesus Christ.”

Hear me when I say this: Ruth did this out of respect for Naomi’s
culture; however, by no means did it compromise God’s principles. Also,
because Boaz had proven himself a man of merit way before this ever
took place, God, Naomi and Ruth all knew that he could be trusted. When
it comes to courtship, while there may be times when God calls us to do
something that may seem peculiar to the flesh, it will never cause the
spirit to compromise itself. In other words, God is not going to tell
you to sleep with your courtship partner before marrying him (Ephesians
5:3). He’s not going to tell you to go after someone else’s husband
(Luke 16:18). He’s not going to tell you to chase a man and hunt him
down (Proverbs 18:22). He’s not going to tell you to walk around
half-naked (I Timothy 2:9). And, he’s not going to tell you to compete
with other women, or feel threaten by them (James 3:16).

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine and I were discussing the beginnings
of a certain relationship and I remember her saying, “All I know is she
better not tell him that she loves him, first”. In my mind I thought,
“Hmm, is that biblical or just her perspective?” It’s the latter. In my
opinion, there are many examples of courtship and marriage because
there are many ways to get to the end result. The way Adam and Eve did
it has nothing to do with Jacob and Rachel or Hosea and Gomer, but they
were still examples of God’s love and the power of a marital union.

I say all of this just as an advisory that when it comes to your
individual courtship situation, you will have a lot of people in your
ear about how to do it but no one knows you (or him) like God does and
so make sure to always put God and his instruction(s), first (Proverbs
3:6). When you do, he will place people within your path that will
provide you with additional direction on an—and this is so key—“as
need basis”. Some of us are confused about what to do and it’s because
we put people first and the Source of all things last. Take it from me.
Nothing can jack you up more:

“But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no
end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so
you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this: Fear
God. Do what he tells you.”—Ecclesiastes 12:13

Back to Boaz. Because he was a man of integrity, he didn’t take
advantage of the sweet-smelling woman lying at his feet. No, rather
than putting his carnal desires first, he verbally affirmed her for
being a virtuous woman (verse 10&11). As a matter of fact, although
she did nothing “wrong” in coming into the threshing room that night,
because he wanted to protect her reputation (by avoiding the appearance
of evil—I Thessalonians 5:22), he provided a disguise for her on the
way out (verse 14&15).

Ladies, a man who loves you is not going to have you driving over to
his house at two o’clock in the morning. A man who loves you is not
going to talk about you to his boys in a way that makes them feel like
they “know” you when they meet you. A man who loves you is not going to
make you feel uncomfortable in front of his family or yours. Simply
put, a man who loves you is going to take extreme measures to protect
your safety, your reputation and your heart. A guy who calls you at
midnight talking about “So, what you doin’?”, if you are wanting a
husband and not a John, please hang up. A heart of Boaz—-at least in
this season—he has not. That being said, my favorite part of this
chapter is that, even with his desire for Ruth, Boaz still wanted
things done decently and in order just like the God that he served (I
Corinthians 14:40).

In that time and culture, the closest relative was first in line to
marry her and so he told Ruth that he would speak with him concerning
the matter, but he did not let her depart without blessing her, first
(verse 17) in a way that would also bless Naomi. I am going to take
some extended creative license on this one but I feel that God is
giving me the “OK” to, so let’s roll with it.

A man may see you, love you and desire you to be his wife but he still
may need to get some things in order. Ladies, by all means, let him do
it. He may want to purchase a home first. He may need to finish up his
education. He may be super-focused on getting his career off of the
ground. Or, he just may want a little more time to receive a
confirmation from God. It can be a test and/or toll or you, but in all
of these scenarios, if you have a confirmation as well within yourself
that he is the one, patience is key:

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at
you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is
forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out
of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and
well-developed, not deficient in any way.”—James 1:2-4

When it comes to marriage, remember God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16)
and what so what he does, it is meant to last forever (Ecclesiastes
3:14). 6 months, 2 years…TBA—when it comes to placing you into the
arms of your mate for life, remember when we operate in the spiritual
realm, we are on God’s timetable, not ours. At the same time, know that
once the man does receive confirmation, he is not going to drag his
feet. When Ruth returned home, because Naomi was a covenant friend, she
could discern in the spirit realm the motive of Boaz and so she knew
that the day would not end with him finding a resolve to the dilemma.

Ladies, if you have been dating the same man since you both were in
pre-school, ask God to reveal to you why. If you both are being
disobedient, that could be a part of the reason (I Peter 2:7&8).
But, it may just be that he doesn’t want to be with you—yet or ever.
Perhaps, to yourself, you didn’t prophesy but prophe-lied. Your Father
is not interested in any of his daughters being punked out and so if
you are not clear on what’s going on, don’t go to your girlfriends, his
mama or the DVD collection of “Sex and the City”. Go to the Source of
all answers:

“If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over
themselves; but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most
blessed.”—Proverbs 29:18

This beautiful story ends in Chapter 4 with Boaz getting the blessing
to marry Ruth, which not only blessed his life but Ruth, Naomi and
their family legacy as well. The Bible says in Ruth 4:21 that Salmon
was the father of Boaz, Boaz was the father of Obed, Obed was the
father of Jesse and Jesse was the father of David who was in direct
lineage to Jesus Christ. All of this came as a direct result of Ruth’s
sacrificial obedience, which leads me to the final lesson for today.

Ladies, you may be tired of “threshing in the fields” of your life. You
may be wondering how long you are going to have to work overtime to pay
your mortgage or how long your child is going to be in a single-parent
family environment. See, the tricky thing about the (layout of) the
Bible is that when you read the stories in it, you tend to think that
everything happened like a 30-minute sitcom. Who knows how long Ruth
was out there working before Boaz took notice? And, who knows how long
it was before Naomi approached her with the plan of getting Boaz’s
attention? But, because she respected timing—God’s timing, it all
worked out for the best. If any of them had moved out of turn, it’s
very possible that the closest relative would’ve been single and then
he would’ve married Ruth and who’s to say of David would’ve even
existed? Do you see how powerful obedience to God’s way is?

I say all of this to say, don’t worry about what’s going on around you,
just do you. Remember, you serve a God who loves you and wants to meet
your every need and even some of your innermost desires. When the
threshing becomes too much for you to bear, he will be there to help
you (Psalm 46:1). In the meantime, chill out. He knows the plans he has
for your life and they are good ones (Jeremiah 29:11) but you can only
get them through obedience.

Homework for today: Get your outer shell right! Ruth was a hard worker
and Boaz peeped that. But she was also an attractive woman and there
was time for him to get that in his mental rolodex as well. Some of you
are wondering where your husband is and God is being merciful to you as
he waits for you to make that hair appointment, get a facial and some
acetone to remove that month-old fingernail polish. Remember, the only
one who can read the heart (immediately), is God. A man sees first.
Help a brotha out!

Class dismissed.

©Shellie R. Warren/2006