(Today we continue to pick up the thread through the Bible of our snapshots that are still in Ruth)
Snapshots: Day 164
The Snapshot: “Tonight ….Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor.” (Ruth 3:2-3) We are about to witness a beautifully gentle act to test the water of relational feelings. Watch any ‘soap’ that portrays young people and it is all about developing feelings and entering into relationships. Foolishly modern TV portrays the first steps of a possibly growing relationship as sexual without realising that this reduces the male’s need to express concern, respect and love for his potential partner, and instead go for physical gratification, while the girl surrenders to his wishes in the hope that it will engender concern, respect and love, which it mostly doesn’t. If they do arise it is despite sex, not because of it. We’re about to see another way.
Further Consideration: I find when you read this story of Ruth and Naomi, it stirs a sense of the holy in me, in that it is so different, almost alien to what is portrayed on TV in the West today, that it almost makes me feel uncomfortable. Not uncomfortable because it seems naïve and clichéd but because it is so simple, so basic, so uncomplicated, and so trusting, that I realise that I am not used to this.
There are TV series that come out of both the States and Canada, about families, and I know the producers want there to be a slight edge to them so you are wondering how it will all work out, but so often there are broken relationships and optimism in creating new relationships that is rarely successful. Yes, there are clever script-writers creating complex scenarios but if they write on the basis of what they see in the world around them, it is a pretty messed up world.
In this story of Ruth, guided by Naomi, yes she is operating on normal, natural feminine instincts in that she wears perfume and her best clothes. She is trying to look her best but thereafter she is to trust to Boaz’s goodness and perhaps God’s guidance for the outcome. She is an alien but she is seeking to act in accordance with the norms of this new society that she has been experiencing since she came to Israel with Naomi. It was utterly inappropriate that she should throw herself at Boaz so she approaches him in a careful, gentle, even caring manner. He is a property owner with a good reputation and she is not about to spoil that. She is to bide her time, waiting for the right moment and then drawing near to him in a way that is not presumptuous, scheming, or shameless. It is totally in keeping with the righteous, respectful manners of the day that one might expect from righteous leaders of the community. We will see more of this shortly but for the moment try and catch that sense of the holy that I referred to earlier.