Some scattered interpretations from Ruth:
Boaz is clearly the Christ figure in this story. That makes Ruth the Church (or God’s people). After all, Jesus is the bridegroom and the Church is his bride. Notice how much faith plays a part here. Ruth was faithful to her mother-in-law so she was shown great blessing from her redeemer because of it.
Ruth and Boaz were human beings and I’m sure they had their flaws, but they are wonderfully portrayed here without any of those flaws immediately evident. There are plenty of flawed characters in the Bible, so it isn’t like the truth is being hidden from us. However, I think the author focused on the ideal nature of their relationship in order to maintain the above analogy of Christ and the Church (even though Christ was yet to be born – amazing how God works through the Scriptures isn’t it?).
Naomi may have had a frustrated spirit in the beginning (who can blame her really?) but she never lost sight of the fact that the Lord is completely in control of the events at hand. If we all had that perspective during times of heartache and also took the time to remember that Christ is working for our good at all times (even when we can’t see it) we would be much more equipped to handle the times of trouble we’ll face in the future. And the Lord promises that we will face hurdles and times of great distress in our lives. But he also promises his salvation and blessings. Naomi says that she went out full and returned empty but the Lord made sure that she was filled to overflowing in the end.
The story of Ruth is also a beautiful love story and one that we can use as an example of Godly courtship. Ruth is an example of a Godly woman who willingly sacrificed her future for the sake of her mother-in-law. I can’t emphasize that enough. A fundamental need for women is security and provision and they very often desire a clear plan. Ruth clung to Naomi without knowing where her next meal was going to come from with no protection and no plan. But she accepted the Lord and his providence and was blessed for it.
Boaz was a Godly man that saw Ruth’s character and showed his affection for her by giving her gifts and protection. He praised her in front of others and gave her a seat at his table. He didn’t presume too much and he didn’t move too fast. He let her feelings develop and waited until he got a clear signal from her that it was ok to take the next step in their relationship.
I still need to research more about the courtship customs they went through, but from what I’ve read there was no immoral or scandalous activity involved. The covering with the blanket was a signal that he would cover her with his protection as a mother bird might cover a chick with her wing. A beautiful sentiment.
I may be missing some more so if I think of them I’ll add to them in future posts. Then I’ll move on to the “application.”