Wednesday, November 25, 2015

EmmDev 2015-11-25 [Resilient Ruth] Fatalism or Activism

Fatalism or Activism

2 Is not Boaz, with whose servant girls you have been, a kinsman of ours? Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3 Wash and perfume yourself, and put on 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.
9 "Who are you?" he asked.
"I am your servant Ruth," she said. "Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer."      (Ruth3:2-3)
Naomi had seen God's hand in leading Ruth to Boaz's field. I find it interesting that although she recognised that God was at work, she did not encourage Ruth to sit back and do nothing.

Many people are fatalistic about God's provision. Paul had to confront the Thessalonians who were so convinced that Jesus was coming soon that they gave up their jobs and sat around wondering whether "today was the day" while others had to feed their kids.

Wesley said: "Work as if everything depended on you and pray as if everything depended on God."

Naomi would concur. Boaz was God's man for the situation, but he would need to be asked. Ruth would have to ask him to be her kinsman-redeemer.

There are some who argue that the threshing floor was a place of immorality and that Ruth actually seduced Boaz there. This is conjecture based on Canaanite fertility practices of the time. It is more likely that Ruth impressed Boaz by the opposite behaviour. She was penniless and he was a good catch - some would argue that her only power was the power of ensnaring seduction, but Ruth, through Naomi's guidance makes a noble appeal when others would have expected a seedy entrapment.

So Naomi "gets" it: We don't rest on our laurels in demanding expectation that "God will provide." Rather we give our very best in every situation we find ourselves in without ever compromising on what is right and honourable.