Naomi gave her loyal daughter-in-law (Ruth) some good advice in preparing for a relationship. In the book of Ruth chapter 3 and verses 1-5, we will find Naomi’s advice to Ruth, who is the loving and loyal widow of her late son. Let us listen and learn from Naomi’s instruction as it is presented from the New American Standard Bible :
(1)’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?”
(2)”Now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were? Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight.”
(3)”Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.”
(4)”It shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do.”
(5)”She said to her, “All that you say I will do.”
Now it is important to keep in mind that Ruth was a Gentile Moabite woman who married Naomi’s son and converted to Judaism. Then, Ruth’s husband, father-in-law, and brother-in-law all died within a short period of time of each other. This left Ruth, Naomi, her mother-in-law, and Orpah, her sister-in-law, to become widows in the land of Moab. Naomi decided to move back to Israel, her homeland and unselfishly admonished her daughter-in-laws to go back to their homes and find new husbands so that they could be well taken care of.
Orpah reluctantly took her advice and sadly went back to her family, but Ruth would not go. Ruth loved Naomi as her own mother and decided that where Naomi went, she would go and Naomi’s God would be her God. Probably, just as a footnote, this is where Ruth really converted to serving the Lord. It is one thing to convert by marriage, but it is another thing, altogether, to convert from the heart. Therefore, Naomi accepted Ruth as her own and they both traveled back to Bethlehem which was Naomi’s hometown.
This is where the story gets interesting, because now Naomi believes that she must be a matchmaker and find Ruth a suitable husband who can take care of both of them. Therefore, she positions Ruth to start preparing for a relationship. Unknown to her, however, the Holy Spirit was actually orchestrating the events in Ruth’s life to bring her into the family that would one day produce King David and, most importantly, Jesus, the Great Messiah. Therefore, the Lord was speaking through Naomi to properly advise Ruth who was to become the ancestor of the Savior of the world.
It is amazing how God will orchestrate and direct our lives when we show love, loyalty, and respect for his people. When we are respectful and obedient to our elders, especially those who are saved by grace, God looks well upon this behavior. And the Lord saw these attributes in Ruth and decided that her type of attitude was needed to be included in the bloodline of His only begotten Son.
Now we come to these all-important instructions that Naomi gives to Ruth for properly preparing for a relationship. First, she has to “…wash herself…”, it is important to be clean when you make a first impression. Although she was going to a threshing floor she did not need to look like a dirty threshing floor, she needed to make a good first impression. Second, she told her to “… anoint yourself…”, again, just because she was going to a dirty and probably smelly threshing floor did not mean that she should smell like a threshing floor. Naomi wanted her to put on some cologne (if you will) so that she can attract him rather than repel him.
The third instruction was to put on (if you will, in modern terms) your Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes. Naomi knew that Ruth would not make a good first impression on him if she looked like a homeless woman who had just come out of a storm. She had to dress for success (as they say) to make a good impression on him. And I am sure she had her own set of detractors and haters at the threshing floor when she came cleaned-up, smelling good, and well-dressed. But she had to keep in mind the real reason that she came to the threshing floor was to make an impression for a lasting relationship.
Next, Naomi told Ruth to go to where he would be present for while, don’t just wait for him to come to her; if she wanted to marry Him, she would have to be the one to take the appropriate initiative and go to where he would be. Isn’t this the same advice that we hear most matchmakers give to people who want to meet someone; well, it turns out that this was the right advise for Ruth, as well.
Naomi’s fourth instruction was the way that Ruth was to conduct herself when she arrived at the threshing floor. She was not to quickly get in his face, like a desperate woman, but she was to allow him to finish his work and finish his meal and only go to him when he was alone resting in a quiet area. Its hard to meet someone of this importance when they are busy and are surrounded by people vying for their attention. The wise thing was for her to wait until she could have his undivided attention, then, make herself known to him.
The final instruction was what Ruth was to do after she came to relax next to him and had made herself known to him. Naomi told her to listen and allow him to express to her how he felt and where he wanted to go with the relationship. Now that she had made a first good and wise impression on him it was time for her to hear him and let him make a better impression on her. Then, they could take the relationship to the next level.
Ruth carefully followed Naomi’s instruction exactly, and this led to her meeting and marrying Boaz her kinsman redeemer. Together, they would produce a child who would become the grandfather to King David and the ancestor to the little child born in Bethlehem would redeem the world of their sins.
How Do We Relate To Naomi’s Instructions?
We should equate Naomi’s instructions to our preparing for a relationship with the Lord Jesus. After all, the church is called the “Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25-27, Revelations 19:7-9, and Revelations 21:9). On an individual basis, however, after the Lord has saved our souls and come to live in our hearts, it is up to each of us to seek an acceptable relationship with Him on a daily basis. The Lord wants to take us to new and higher spiritual and faith levels in God. He cannot do this if we remain distant from Him as spiritual babies.
It Is Time For Us To Grow Up To Meet God!
God will not force us to be in His precious presence or to meet Him through prayer. That is not His way, instead He will draw us by His Spirit but only after we believe that “…He is and that He rewards those that diligently seek Him…”(Hebrews 11:6). Christians, like Ruth, need to listen to Naomi’s advice for preparing for a relationship with the Lord.
- First, we have to get cleaned up by the Spirit by denying ourselves through fasting from certain meals or foods, depending upon our level of health. We may also choose to fast from certain media devices (as is possible) television, radio, internet, magazines; it is up to the level of sacrifice each person is willingly to make to purge their spirits of self-will, even if it is only on a short-term basis.
- Next, we must become anointed by the Holy Spirit through anointed music, reading mighty passages from the Bible about seeking God. Or, even reading or listening to anointed books about being in God’s presence.
- Third, we must take off the worldly clothes of: lust, selfishness, negativity and greed and put on Christ’s robe of: goodness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17).
- Then, we have to go to where God is, that is to say, we must meet Him in praise and worship because the Bible says that God inhabits or dwells in the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3)
- Fifth, we have to make sure that we are in a quiet place where we can hear God speak to our spirits. We cannot hear God in a environment of ungodly noise. He desires to meet us in a closet-type place (Matthew 6:6) where it is just Him and us.
- Finally, after we have fasted and denied ourselves, and began to praise and worship God as we listened to anointed music in a quiet place, now it is time for us to listen and allow Him to speak His will to us. We must listen with the attitude of wanting to follow His instructions to take to a Higher place of anointing and faith in Him.
When we follow these type of instructions as well as those that are given to us by the Holy Spirit on a individual basis, we will not only meet God but we will open up our spirits to allow Him to teach us how to stay in His presence and in His will for our lives. Then, we will begin to enjoy a powerful prayer life which would allow us to literally affect our families, our communities, and eventually, the world. We could well be the people that God uses to change the eternal destiny of many in the world! A-men