Ruth, a woman of valor
During Shavuot the book of Ruth is read
Ruth is the only woman who is called a: woman of valor. The only place where we find the more specific characteristics of a woman of valor is in Proverbs 31:10-31. This beautiful song is read or sang on erev Shabbat, that is Friday evening when the Shabbat commences.
G-d’s leading in the life of Naomi and Ruth
In the book of Ruth 2:17 we read about Ruth how she has worked in the fields of Boaz. It is the first time that she worked in the fields and she gleaned one ephah of barley, that is a volume measurement of 22 liter.
At that moment Ruth did not know that Boaz was family of Naomi, her mother in law.
It was as it were accidentally, that Ruth came to work in the field of a relative. However most of us do not believe in ‘accidents’, but we believe that the hand of G-d was working in the lifes of Naomi and Ruth. His everlasting arms were bringing restoration to Ruth and Naomi after a long time of terrible misery.
The Torah applied through the leading of the Ruach haKodesh
When Ruth returns home to Naomi, Ruth tells her mother in law all that happened that day: “And Naomi said to her daughter in law, “May he be blessed of the Lord who has not withdrawn his kindness to the living and to the dead.” Again Naomi said to her, “The man is our relative, he is one of our closest relatives.” Ruth 2:20
We see here how suddenly hope is dawning in the lifes of Ruth and Naomi. Here the Torah shows us new opportunities led by the holy Spirit or Ruach haKodesh that sensitive hearts will listen and follow and bear fruit for the Lord.
Naomi is opening her heart for the leading of G-d in her life, because hope is replacing the bitterness of the past and Naomi sees new exciting opportunities for the future: hope, faith and love are doing the work of restoration in her heart.
Feminine way of thinking and acting
Naomi tells Ruth to do the following: “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. “And 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.”
And she said to her, “All that you say I will do.” Ruth 3:3-5
Here you see how much Ruth trusted her mother in law who knew the Torah. In this situation her life with the Jewish family of her deceased husband had effected the life of Ruth so much, that she desired to be part of the people of the G-d of Israel and learn from them. Furthermore Naomi said to Ruth: Boaz is one of our kinsmen. Ruth3:2. That means that Boaz is according to Torah able to buy back the field that belonged to Naomi’s husband and sons. Because Boaz is wealthy he is able to do so and according to Torah by buying it back for Naomi, Boaz also will acquire Ruth as his wife. Lev. 25:25/ Deut.25:5
Boaz calls Ruth: a woman of valor
Ruth 3:7-15 “When Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain, and she came secretly, and uncovered his feet and lay down. And it happened in the middle of the night that the man was startled and bent forward; and behold, a woman was lying at his feet. And he said, “Who are you?” “And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid, for you are a close relative.” Then he said, “May you be blessed of the Lord, my daughter. You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich. “And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence. (that is: a woman of valor or eshet chayil in Hebrew)
“And now it is true I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. “Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you. But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the Lord lives. Lie down until morning. So she lay at his feet until morning and rose before one could recognize another; and he said, “Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” Again he said, “Give me the cloak that is on you and hold it. “So she held it, and he measured six measures of barley and laid it on her. Then she went into the city.”
Boaz and also Naomi knew the Torah and apply it here to their lives. We see now how Ruth also comes into the prophetic realm of faith by obeying G-d’s rules and regulations and listening to His voice. In Torah we learn how much G-d cares for the generations. Ruth is taking care of the restoration of a family tree through the instructions that are given by Naomi, her Jewish mother in law. Through this obedience fruit is coming: restoration of a family and a child that Ruth and Boaz are going to receive: a son who will become an ancestor of Messiah Yeshua. Through this we learn how much fruit obedience to G-d brings.
During the time of the counting of the omer
Ruth comes into the land of Israel during the counting of the omer: the period from the day after the Pesach sacrifice till Shavuot are 50 days, 50 days of counting the omer. After that we celebrate Shavuot: “You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a wave offering made of two-tenth of an ephah; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the Lord. Lev. 23:17
For Jews and non-Jews
Here we are allowed to bring to the Holy Temple leavened bread, the wave offering for Shavuot made with our own hands: two loaves of bread per family. It is during the time of the counting the omer, that Ruth enters the land of Israel. The prophetic meaning is incredible: Ruth the Moabite who joins the people of Israel, this being pictured in the two loaves of bread as seen by some scholars: Jew and non-Jew joining together in serving the G-d of Israel! Ruth learning from the Jewish people, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Torah and the temple service and the promises. Rom.9:4
When we celebrate Shavuot we thank HaShem for the giving of the Torah, his promises, Messiah, the Ruach haKodesh. We eat special recipes with milk products, to remind us of Israel, the land of milk and honey. Also the Torah is like milk to our soul that feeds us spiritually.