Boaz Will Redeem Ruth
3 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek [a]security for you, that it may be well with you? 2 Now is not Boaz our [b]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 [c]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.”
It’s interesting that Naomi tells Ruth to wash, anoint herself (probably with some sort of aromatic oil or perfume), and to put on her best clothes. One would think she’s going out to wow Boaz and seduce him with her beauty and finery.
Naomi’s next advice seems strange in contrast. She says “do not make yourself known…” Ruth is instructed to wait until Boaz is asleep before she makes a move. It would be rather difficult to seduce anyone who is asleep!
One thing is clear, Naomi is not interested in attaching Ruth to a man who would be seduced. She wants a husband for her dear daughter (in-law) who will be honorable and do the right thing simply because it IS the right thing, with no motive.
Boaz did not have much to gain (financially or in status) by taking Ruth as his wife, yet Naomi had a hunch that this was a man of character and would make a good husband.
In American culture especially (but no doubt in others also), we put far too much value on appearance, and only think of character as an after thought. Alas, we have things sadly backwards. Do not be seduced (to marriage, or in any relationship, business, socially, etc.) by appearance, but look for people of character to associate with. And along the way, perhaps you’ll learn a few things and develop better character too.