What is your idea of romance? Do you think of quiet walks, under a full moon? Or flowers and a nice dinner? I bet you aren’t thinking of an middle-aged guy tossing barley in the air! Or about land ownership rights! But that is how the romantic scene in Ruth 3 begins.
In Ruth’s culture, one provision for widows without a son was the kinsman-redeemer. He was a close relative of the deceased husband who would marry the widow. Any son of their union would be considered the descendant of the deceased man, and eventually inherit his property.
In Ruth’s case, Boaz was one of her dead husband’s kinsman-redeemers. But he was much older than Ruth. So, one night he was winnowing his barley. When he lay down for the night. Ruth secretly lay at his feet. Boaz discovered her in the middle of the night. In so many words, Ruth asked Boaz to be her kinsman-redeemer. Boaz’s reply is recorded in Ruth 3:10-11, “’The LORD bless you, my daughter,’ he replied. ‘This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character.’” (NIV) The following day Boaz took the legal steps to fulfill the role.
You really should read the story in Ruth 3!
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.