To start, chapter four is quite different from the previous three, for the two leading ladies of this book do not utter a single word; in fact, more than half of this chapter’s focus is on Boaz. SPOILER ALERT: for anyone who has not read chapter four yet READ it NOW. For everyone else, as you already know Boaz and Ruth end up together in the thirteenth verse of this chapter and live happily ever after. Nonetheless, I think (myself included) on first, second or third glance, one doesn’t recognize the full beauty behind that happiness. Let’s dig in.
If you remember in Ruth 3:12-13, Boaz stated a closer relative (guardian-redeemer) could marry Ruth. In verses two-four of chapter four, Boaz suggests to the guardian-redeemer that he should buy Naomi’s piece of land. The man responds that he will do it. In verse five, Boaz said, “your purchase of the land from Naomi also requires that you marry Ruth, the Moabite widow. That way she can have children who will carry on her husband’s name and keep the land in the family.” How interesting. The part that intrigues me the most is how Boaz structures the conversation. He mentions the land BEFORE mentioning Ruth. Was Boaz hoping that the man would reject redeeming the land, so Boaz would not have to bring up Ruth? Whatever your belief on this might be, I do believe that there is a key mentioned about Boaz’s thought process a little further back.
So let’s back up a bit. We don’t get a whole lot of information as to what Boaz was doing prior to talking to this relative except it says, “Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat down there” (Ruth 4:1). First, why is “Meanwhile” there? Well, at the end of chapter three, Naomi instructed Ruth to wait and see how Boaz handles the situation. It’s curious that we next see Boaz sitting. Why is he? The next half of the verse shows that Boaz was waiting for the relative. Moreover, as I read it again, I believe that Boaz was seeking God’s guidance.
Boaz wanted to marry Ruth, but he was aware that this relative could have the honor instead. It wasn’t until some months ago that I believe God gave me a fresh insight when it came to Boaz in chapter four; Boaz does something that we ladies need to pay close attention to once we become fond of a man. Husbands are called to lead their wives and love them the way Jesus loves his bride (Ephesians 5:25-29). Even so, what I believe is overlooked is what kind of leader is the husband called to be. Most of us may think of financial provider, physical protector, and maybe, emotionally present as qualities in our husbands. What about spiritual head though?
A man who is the spiritual head is the kind of man who will wait to hear from God before leading you into a huge change like moving to a different location or a job change—among other important decisions. Think on it for a moment; if the husband’s the head then, whom does the husband go to for guidance? Ladies, before some of you cringe about your future husband overlooking you or not including you in decisions, your husband does need to talk to you prior to making decisions that affect both of you. There is a strong likelihood that God will speak through you to give him the answer. Even so, your husband needs to depend on God (NOT himself) just as you need to depend on God. Your husband can’t rely on you solely to pray on his behalf; he needs to be praying for you and himself as well! Not only that but only God can cultivate within him precisely how to love you and treat you.
I’m guessing there’s a chance that you already know where I’m going, as I rabbit trail back to Boaz. Boaz took thirty seconds, a minute, or ten minutes, who knows how long he sat there; but as he sat, he was still. Perhaps, he was trying to figure out what to say and in what order to the relative. I think it went deeper though. I believe Boaz prayed and asked for God’s help in the ensuing conversation. He knew the conversation might not go the way he desired, unless God blessed it. What a man of God!
I pray that each lady reading this waits for God to bless you with a man humble enough to know that he can’t do life on his own. Verse eight, I think speaks volumes to what happens when God’s involved in the situation. It says, “So the guardian-redeemer said to Boaz, ‘Buy it yourself.’ And he removed his sandal.” Did you see it? With God in it, things just come together the way it should. There’s no forcing it.
You and I have to remember each day that we need to submit (yield) to God. Because, if we desire God’s will, then we must accept that it truly is in His hands and not our own. He knows when the right time is for the door to open in the area(s) we are waiting for change. We just need to choose (and it is a DAILY choice for all of us to make) to depend on Him and not doubt that He will provide!
All Bible Verses are from Holy Bible: New International Version and New Living Translation