After the barley was harvested it came time to thresh it. At this time Naomi decides it is time to seek some permanent security for Ruth and herself. She tells Ruth to go to the threshing floor and wait quietly in the shadows until the men lie down to sleep. Then Ruth was to go to where Boaz was sleeping, uncover his feet and lie down. She was then to follow his instructions. Ruth agreed to do what Naomi told her and she did.
When Boaz woke up he found Ruth lying at his feet. He asked who she was and she told him and asked him to take her into his care since he was a close relative. Boaz was honored that she asked him but told her there was a closer relative who would have to receive the offer first. He told her to stay there safely till morning and then he would handle it. When morning came, Boaz sent Ruth home with about 80 pounds of barley!! When she arrived home, Naomi was well pleased and told her it would be settled that day.
But what is going on here? During this time in Israel close relatives were to care for their widowed relations and to buy the land of those who lost it to debt. Ruth is basically asking Boaz to follow the tradition and make her his wife. The first son they had would be considered the son of her first husband and inherit his property to keep the family line going. Thus preserving all the families. By giving Ruth such a large quantity of grain, Boaz is showing his willingness to care for both Ruth and Naomi. However another relative has a legal first right to claim the land (and family). Boaz promises to handle it and Naomi obviously trusts he will handle it quickly.
God’s plan for Israel insured that everyone was cared for. No one was to be left to suffer, their relatives were responsible to step in. God’s provision today may not be as obvious but he tasks each of us to care for those in need. When the church is doing its job, no one should be hungry or homeless. We are God’s hands and feet. We should care for others!
Do something to serve those in need in your community. Hand out food in a food bank, collect can goods, serve at a soup kitchen, even consider gathering outgrown clothes and toys to take to a charity that gives to the homeless or domestically abused. Model caring for others to your kids!