This week in Ruth 3 we find a rather strange tale… even to our modern ear/eye. Especially because of our (limited) understanding of Eastern culture and the propriety between men and women, this encounter may seem out of place on the face. But as we read it in context and begin to understand the imagery in play, it becomes clear that we are now in the midst of this beautiful love story that is about to blossom. Perhaps it is no accident that this story unfolds on a threshing floor. A place of purification. A place of determining the useful in the midst of the useless.
Let’s ask some questions to help us grasp the significance of this moment at the threshing floor:
1. From your own point of reference, give an example of refining (food, gold, etc.). Describe the process.
2. In what way do our previous experiences prepare us for “refining moments”?
3. How had Ruth’s previous experiences prepared her for the moment she is about to encounter?
4. In what way(s) do vv.1-6 demonstrate Ruth’s continuing honor of Naomi?
5. Considering our cultural disconnect, what things in vv.7-15 strikes you as strange?
6. Do you find Ruth’s actions appropriate or scandalous? Why?
7. Even with our built-in disconnect, what things in vv.7-15 are beautiful about this interaction?
8. How does this portion of Scripture compare to the violence of much of the Old Testament?
9. Just for fun… what two universal truths are highlighted in vv.7&18?
10. What do you think… is the location of this story ironic or intentional?
11. How is our willingness to be open to the Spirit’s leading highlighted in the details of this story?
If you’d like to dig a little deeper follow the link to this commentary… Ruth 3.