In Ruth Chapter 1 Naomi sought bread and in Chapter 2 Ruth sought grace. Now in Ruth Chapter 3, Ruth seeks rest. Naomi sought rest for Ruth so that she might prosper and be blessed in every respect. Ruth seemed satisfied for a while with bread and gifts from Boaz and Naomi now suggests something deeper; a more lasting, satisfying, and valuable joy could be found in union with Boaz.
How often do we seek the gifts rather than the Giver or presents rather than His presence? Or common graces rather than communion with the King of the universe, information rather than intimacy and ease instead of eternal blessings? We must seek God for Himself. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is our exceeding joy and great reward.
Naomi was guiding Ruth to better things and older believers can guide younger ones to mature in the faith. The greatest blessing is to have Messiah, to know Him, abide with Him and be in union with Him. This draws us closer to the Lord and inevitably in so doing one will become more like Him in character and come to understand His ways.
When you meet with the Lord and read His Word you will know what pleases Him and what does not please Him. This will save many from spiritual fads that change as often as the weather and from spiritual junk food because those who have eaten from His table have indeed tasted and seen that the Lord is good.
Naomi desired rest for Ruth. There is a rest that remains for the people of God. To be at rest is to be settled and in a figurative sense to find our home with the Lord when we abide with Him.
Naomi sought rest for Ruth in the form of marriage which should be a place of security. Marriage should be sought with prayers for guidance, His blessing and attention to biblical insight. Naomi carefully and wisely counselled Ruth and parents can also be a great blessing to their children through godly insight so that they might prosper and that it may be well with them.
When we consider marriage, we should consider whether that person will draw us closer or further away from the Lord. Will there be spiritual clarity or spiritual compromise, or even confusion? Do they love and obey God above all else? Is there character like that of Yeshua? Are their motives pure? Are they actively trying to encourage you in the Lord?
Naomi was growing in grace and fulfilling her function of a parent in an Eastern culture. She relinquished her claim to marriage, property and land and pooled her efforts and resources into Ruth.
For a moment let us enter the world of farming in the time of the judges. Barley or wheat would be threshed on earth or stone or a suitably hard surface. In the late afternoon, a cool breeze would aid the winnowing process. You pick up your fork and toss the wheat and chaff in the air and the chaff is blown away. This was an intense season of farming meaning it was normal to sleep on the threshing floor guarding the crop.
The wheat and tares look similar, but they are eventually sifted and the same is true in a spiritual sense. Some get themselves involved in ministerial activities, traditions and are comfortable with the ritual yet have no union or relationship with Jesus the Messiah. There will be a winnowing and sifting of souls at the end of the age. We need to be numbered with the Lord as the saints go to be with Him.
Naomi gives Ruth four helpful instructions that have useful application for our spiritual growth. Ruth is to wash herself, anoint herself, put on her best garments and to go to the threshing floor. Similarly the sinner is cleansed through the washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5), those who know the Lord have an anointing from God (1 John 2:20) and though our righteousness is as filthy rags the Lord clothes us in righteousness. We must draw near to the Lord since if we do so He will draw near to us.