After hearing my pastor preach on this section of Ruth yesterday, it fit right into the all in relationship that we are called to live. Ruth was from a foreign land she was not an Israelite but had married into an Israelite family. When her husband died she could have left like her sister-in-law back to her own people yet she stayed with her mother-in-law Naomi. She was all in committed to her new family.
Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Therefore, wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do. And she said to her, “All that you say to me I will do.”
Ruth 3: 1-5
Some people may look at this verse about Naomi and Ruth and get the wrong idea, why would Naomi ask Ruth to clean up and go get herself a man? Ruth would have been living and wearing widows clothing, she had been working every day just getting enough food to feed her and Naomi, so she probably didn’t smell that fresh. Naomi understood that Ruth needed a family redeemer (someone in the family who would marry here as per the custom of the Israelites) and Ruth needed to let him know her intentions. This wasn’t some booty call, this was an act of redemption, a chance for Ruth to rise above where her current situation. Ruth took the instructions and lay at his feet as a symbol and custom akin to a marriage proposal.
This draws such a parallel to our conversion story. We were once Ruth, lost alone and in need of a redeemer. We didn’t know if we had one nor did we know how to get his attention. Someone, a Naomi, could have been a friend, Pastor or stranger told us about Jesus and provided us with the directions to be redeemed. As believers, we are now called to be Naomi’s. We should be sharing how the Ruth’s out there can find the redeemer. Jesus called us to reach the world with his love showing them the way to him. He is the redeemer and we are to share his love. The awesome difference between us and Ruth is he doesn’t expect us to clean ourselves up nor change our clothes before we can approach him. He meets us right where we are, dirty, torn and broken.
If you are Ruth today and need a redeemer today, Jesus is calling for you, he wants to connect with you, throw yourself at his feet, let him know you are sorry for sinning against him ask him to forgive you of your sins. Stand up confident that he has heard you and had redeemed you.
If you are Naomi, go and share who the Redeemer is with other. To truly have an all in relationship with God we must be doing this. To avoid this mission given specifically to each believer is to be disobedient. There are millions if not billions of people who need to be redeemed. What is holding you back?
Father, I pray that you work in your people to be sharing the faith. The ball is in our court and we need to be taking action. Just like Naomi, we need to tell others about your redeeming power and faithfulness. For those that need to know and meet you, I pray that when someone tells them they will respond in acceptance. Use us to reach others. Help our all in relationship to flourish and that those around us will see you in us. Amen