Meet Me at the Threshing Floor, 28-30JAN

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It’s a great read of the second half to the story of Ruth. She doesn’t beg favor but gains it from the generosity of Boaz who let her gather gleanings of grain off of the field.  She does not trick him but listens to her mother-in-law Naomi in how to find the quiet secluded time to talk to him, she meets him quietly at the Threshing room floor. Ruth helps Naomi by bringing food and she honors her self-appointed obligation to take care of her with grain-filled gifts. She is a helper to restore Naomi’s life change. Naomi’s life changes, Ruth’s life changes, Boaz’s life changes, history changes. 

Boaz goes thru all the right “legal” channels and clears the way for Ruth to marry him, not for fancy but for the fulfillment of a promise and dedication to take care of the past. Ruth marries Boaz, conceives a baby boy, conceives specifically because the Lord takes favor on her, makes her fertile and sets up His human History plan. She gives birth to Obed who became the father of Jesse, the father of David. Yes David of David and Goliath fame, yes King David fame (and folly), yes David of shepherd David’s Psalm 23 ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ that gifter of song and praise.

Yes, that David. LIFE CHANGED each time he re-approached the Lord. The Lord said he was a man after His Own Heart. He raised up unto them [the Israelites] David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will. Acts 13:22

Ruth’s change in life comes from OBEDIENCE and the gift of Boaz into her life (whom a friend reminds me is a symbolic Jesus representation). Ruth’s change in life comes from hard work and righting hardships of widow life, of being a foreigner. Burdens to blessings. Unknowns to knowns. Boaz takes her in. Jesus takes us in.

“Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” Boaz says – and gives her grain. God gives us both the goods from His Hands into ours and gives us the Savior to save. God gives us the best even though we did not work for it. 

Yes, Boaz’s gift of taking care of Ruth is Jesus-like giving from what he has – is Jesus-like of taking care of us. So is the place where Ruth approached Boaz, at the Threshing Floor, appropriate for how we meet Jesus. Jesus, so generous in gifts, generous in working His mission of separating the wheat from the chaff. He is continually working His Harvest, gathering and preparing good grain. The flip side is that Jesus takes out the chaff and burns it. The non-fruit chaff separated and discarded. Listen to John the Baptist describe Jesus: He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11-12

We too come to Jesus with our hopes and our obedient hearts and He fills us with HOPE. We can try to present ourselves to Him, but the truth is that He is happy to meet us where we are – and in our lives He comes to us. We can be obedient each time we call upon HIm and wait. He also grinds away the chaff in our lives. He separates us from our sin. He throws away all that impedes us from thriving with Him. Others who don’t seek Him, don’t ask Him, don’t hold Him as Lord and actively work against Him will be hit with that unquenchable fire. We ask Him to be LORD and SAVIOR so that we don’t just have Him as “fire insurance” as a pastor preacher continuously says but so that we are OBEDIENT to Him.

Please do read this great story of Ruth, Naomi, Boaz and of HOPE. It is sweet in it’s gifts, it is firm in it’s attention to detail and is about doing the right thing by going thru channels, it is a reminder to meet Jesus at the Threshing Floor. It is a LIFE CHANGE for all these people. And for us, it is a LIFE CHANGE to meet Jesus and call Him Lord. 

“Your Father in Heaven gives good gifts to those who ask Him!”

Amen

————–

Ruth 3-4

Ruth and Boaz at the Threshing Floor

One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for.  Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him 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.”

“I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.

When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. 8 In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!

“Who are you?” he asked.

“I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.”

“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 the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character. Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I.  Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.”  So she lay at his feet until morning, but got up before anyone could be recognized; and he said, “No one must know that a woman came to the threshing floor.”

He also said, “Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out.” When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and placed the bundle on her. Then he went back to town. 

When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?” Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her and added, “He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’”

Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”

Boaz Marries Ruth

Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat down there just as the guardian-redeemer he had mentioned came along. Boaz said, “Come over here, my friend, and sit down.” So he went over and sat down.

Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, “Sit here,” and they did so. Then he said to the guardian-redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our relative Elimelek. I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line.”

“I will redeem it,” he said.

Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.”

At this, the guardian-redeemer said, “Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.” (Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.)

So the guardian-redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself.” And he removed his sandal.

Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from his hometown. Today you are witnesses!”

Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

Naomi Gains a Son

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”

Then Naomi Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

This, then, is the family line of Perez: Perez was the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, Boaz the father of Obed, Obed the father of Jesse,

and Jesse the father of David.

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