We welcome you to ‘Six measures of barley’. As we share our life in Jesus Christ, let me tell you few things that you might be interested in knowing about our blog. To start with, we are a bunch of families sharing the same vision, redeemed, restituted and repurposed by the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Being part of the redeemed ministries ( http://www.redeemed4christ.com ) this blog is a platform for us to voice the love of our redeemer, share our passion for the word of God and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit. Let us walk together, learn together and inspire one another in this beautiful journey savoring the love of our sweet ‘Boaz’- Christ Jesus.
The story behind the name!
Every week on our way to church , I get to see a farm with old charm. As a matter of fact , I was so attracted to its name ‘Barley Sheaf’. While in the discussion process of a name for the blog , I was pressed by the Holy Spirit towards Ruth 3:15. “ Also he said, “Bring the veil that thou hast upon thee , and hold it.” And when she held it, he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her. And she went into the city.” The phrase “six measures of barley” enlightened me with the abounding grace of Boaz towards the gentile Ruth . Beyond plain text, I felt my soul stirred up by the grace, love, humbleness and a beautiful promise, all attached to the corners of the phrase ‘six measures of barley’ and that became the name of our blog!
Come with me to Ruth 3:15 and let the Holy Spirit lead you into this beautiful story of redemption. Don’t forget to closely follow Ruth, the gentile bride who resembles you and me. The story takes us to the barley threshing floor of Boaz. Men, women and children are all feasting and rejoicing as God blessed them with a great harvest after a season of drought. At the other side of the threshing floor, not much away from the crowd, we could see the beautiful, well adored and anointed Ruth, in total obedience to her mother-in-law, waiting humbly and patiently. The graceful Moabite daughter-in-law of Naomi chose to cling to Naomi in her distress saying, “your people shall be my people, and your God my God,”; left her hometown, her pagan gods and chose to find refuge under the wings of the God of Israel. Well aware of her worthless baggy Moabite ancestry, Ruth is waiting on the threshing floor to meet Boaz ;her ‘goel’ or ‘kinsman redeemer’ to ask if he would redeem her.
A goel is a close relative of a person who could perform the duties of redemption to a family.(redeem the relative from slavery, to repurchase the property of a relative who had had to sell it because of poverty; to avenge the blood of his relative; to marry his brother’s widow in order to have a son for his brother; in case the brother had no children.) Since Boaz was a recognized goel for the family of Elimelech – the deceased husband of Naomi, Ruth could request him to protect the posterity of Elimelech’s family, and take her in marriage. This act was regarded proper in those days. If Boaz did not fulfill this duty, then the direct family and name of Elimelech would perish. Perpetuating the family name of Elimelech (and every man in Israel) was thought to be an important duty. These protections to save the name of a family through the laws showed how important it was to God to preserve the institution of the family in Israel.
Let’s get back to Ruth who is at the threshing floor. In Ruth 3:6, “So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her.” After celebrating the winnowing of barley, women and children will leave the threshing floor, while men will lie at the field to protect the grains from being stolen. Further in the scripture we see Boaz lying at the edge of a heap of grain and then Ruth went and laid down at his feet as instructed by Naomi. At midnight Boaz finds someone at His feet and asks, Who are you? Ruth replies, in verse 9 “I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative.” Here she puts down her humble request for redemption and also makes clear to him the burden of her responsibility. Boaz being a man of character, graciously considers the request of Ruth, he praises her for her virtue and for the decision she had made to serve the God of Israel. Boaz admired Ruth’s trust in the God of Israel, under whose wings she is seeking protection and provision. Boaz did not keep the case pending, he did not look her down with contempt nor did he exploit her helpless situation. The Moabite women, considered as a girl born and bought up in sin, a girl from the wash pot, some one who totally does not deserve to receive any compassion, received acceptance from Boaz. When Ruth is leaving, Boaz asks her to bring her shawl and he measured six measures of barley, and laid it on her. Upon seeing it, Naomi understood the message – he was not only going to marry Ruth, but also redeem Naomi’s land. And he would not rest until he had settled the matter that day.