“Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, ‘My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.’” Ruth 3:1-3 (NKJV)
Anyone who has seen Fiddler On The Roof must remember the song, Matchmaker. “Matchmaker, Matchmaker, make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch…make me a perfect match.” But in the play, the young girl, Leitel’s dream, was shattered when her best shot turned out to be the financial security of marrying a prosperous local businessman old enough to be her father. All the while, Leitel loved an impoverished young man.
On the surface, we might be tempted to think that the matchmaker in “Fiddler” was modeled after Naomi and her search for security for her widowed daughter-in-law by matching her with the older landowner in Bethlehem. But two factors indicate that Ruth’s and Leitel’s “matches” are very different: 1) Much more than marrying for money was involved because Naomi undoubtedly knew Boaz’s character well and respected and trusted him completely. 2) Ruth was not at all interested in any younger men, no matter what their social status was, and that was already apparent to Boaz.
So, to whatever extent Naomi played the matchmaker, she was eminently successful. Despite the obvious massive differences in their backgrounds, Boaz and Ruth were well-matched. They were two-of-a-kind regarding excellent moral character. Having recently finished the book of Judges, we know that moral character was in low supply in the days of Ruth and Boaz.
That is a crucial principle that can be “gleaned” (pun intended) from that middle-of-the-night encounter between Ruth and Boaz and needs to be trumpeted in our day: Personal integrity commands at least as much respect and admiration under cover of darkness as in broad daylight.
Elevating your Faith with daily Bible reading and devotionals written by Steve Wiggins.
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