Ruth 3:1-7: The Threshing floor!
“This chapter relates the climatic turning point of the entire story. Indeed there is no higher level of dramatic tension and suspense than here.” Robert Hubbard Jr.
Re-cap~Read verse 2:2. Ruth is a: fo____________, a young _____________, al____________, and vul________________ in the harvest fields and yet she does what?
The plot thickens! Let’s dive into God’s version of The Bold and the Beautiful!! Read Ruth chapter 3.
1. At which precise point in chapter three do you think the tension is at its peak? Where is the turning point?
2. In 3:1 Naomi undertakes to provide for Ruth by finding her a husband. What had Naomi realized at this point? What do you think is the cause of Naomi’s sudden initiative?
3. Someone read 3:2.
It’s time for some “On The Job Training!” Harvesting grain in ancient Canaan took place in April and May (barley first, wheat a few weeks later). The men would harvest during the day and winnow at night taking advantage of the night breezes. They would throw the grain in the air then the chaff (the waste) would be blown away, leaving the barley to fall to the ground to be gathered. When everything was done, they slept on the threshing floor to protect the harvest. It involved the following steps:
· Cutting the ripened standing grain with hand sickles (usually done by men);[i]
· Binding the grain into sheaves-usually done by women;
· Gleaning, i.e., gathering stalks of grain left behind;[ii]
· Transporting the sheaves to the threshing floor—often by donkey, sometimes by cart;[iii]
· Threshing, i.e., loosening the grain from the straw—usually done by the treading of cattle, but sometimes by toothed threshing sledges or the wheels of carts;[iv]
· Winnowing—done by tossing the grain into the air with winnowing forks so that the wind, which usually came up for a few hours in the afternoon, blew away the straw and chaff, leaving the grain at the winnower’s feet;[v]
· Sifting the grain to remove any residual foreign matter;[vi]and
· Bagging for transportation and storage. Maybe you are in a “threshing floor season”. Do you feel up in the air? Separated and blown away? Scattered? Sifted? Cut? Bound? Trodden down? Sledged? Do you recognize when God is blowing away the waste in your life in an effort to bring you to the great Winnower’s feet?
4. Ruth 3:3: It’s a new day! Naomi told Ruth to prepare for the good stuff. Remember: If Boaz is a picture of _____________________, Ruth is a picture of His ______________________, the church—you and me.[vii]
5. What 4 things did Naomi tell Ruth to do?
A. ________________ yourself. Paul says we are suppose to be washed with the water of the Word in Ephesians 5:26. Nothing is more important than keeping in the Word (reading the Bible) every day of our lives.
· Read Psalm 119:105-128 about reading God’s Word.
B. _________________ yourself. Anointing is a picture of the work of the Holy Spirit. In Luke 11:13, what does Jesus say we are to ask the Father for?
A new day, a new beginning can come your way and if you want to reach it, grab it, and squeeze everything you can out of it day by day, wash yourself in the Word and anoint yourself in the Spirit!
C. Put on your best ______________________. Let’s read one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Isaiah 61. Just as you and I are to do, Ruth was told to put away her garments of heaviness and instead wear garments of praise. I need a reader! Don’t raise your hands all at once. I get overwhelmed easily.
· What does Psalm 33:1 say about praise from the upright?
D. Go to ___________________________________________.
Think~What choices can we make on any given day to be blessed in a giant way?
6. Ruth 3:4: “Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do.” NKJV
· Ruth would remove the edge of Boaz’s outer garment from his feet and lie down by his uncovered feet. What is the significance of touching and holding his feet? What kind of action is Naomi asking Ruth to take?
6. Ruth 3:6&7: “So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her. And after Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was cheerful, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came softly, uncovered his feet, and lay down.”
· Why was Boaz at the threshing floor?
· Girl Talk~What helpful tips can we learn from this portion of text as women?
7. Ruth gleaned for herself then at the threshing floor she gave of herself. Throughout the Bible, the threshing floor teaches us about separation and sacrifice. Let’s go gleaning!
· 2 Samuel 24:10-25: How many days did plague afflict the country?
How many died?
What did David do?
Araunah offered to give it to David, but how did David respond? (2 Samuel 24:24)
· Judges 6:11-18 Where was Gideon?
Who was Gideon hiding from?
What did God do?
· Luke 22:31: What analogy did Jesus use? What did Jesus tell Peter about the night before his betrayal?
8. So! The threshing floor speaks of SACRIFICE! Where are you in your walk with God? Are you in the field gleaning everything you can glean for yourself? Are you at the threshing floor giving of yourself? In Matthew 28:6 what did the angel say to the women at the tomb? _____________________________________________________________________________________________.
9. Do you see the place where the Lord lays in your life? When you go to the tomb, what do you see Jesus has done for you?
[i] Deuteronomy 16:9, 23:25; Jeremiah 50:16; Joel 3:13
[ii] Ruth 2:7
[iii] Amos 2:13
[iv] Deuteronomy 25:4; Hosea 10:11; Isaiah 41:15, Amos 1:3, Isaiah 28:28
[v] Jeremiah 15:7; Psalm 1:4
[vi] Amos 9:9
[vii] Jon Courson’s Application Commentary, Old Testament, Volume 1: Genesis – Job, Copyright @ 2005