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Risky Ruth

I realize that it’s been two months since I wrote my original post about Myers-Briggs and Ruth, and I never followed up on it like I had wanted.  So I’m going to pepper my blog with some posts about Ruth’s personality through the lense of ENFP again.  So here we go!  ENFP’s are risk-takers.

In chapter two, Ruth approaches Naomi for permission to “go to the field and glean among the ears of grain” (2:2. ESV).  Perhaps this doesn’t seem much like a risk today, but given the historical context of Ruth’s story, her desire to go out and work is bold, courageous, and somewhat foolhardy.  The book of Ruth takes place during the time of the Judges in Israel (1:1).  In this time period, the nation of Israel falls into this constant cycle of destruction where they walk away from God, and “there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).  Crazy things happen in the book of Judges, including gang rape, murder, and kidnappings–and it was all accepted by the people.  For Ruth to want to go out and work meant that she was willing to risk being abducted and abused in order to procure a better life for herself and her mother-in-law.

Ruth takes another huge risk in chapter three when she goes to the threshing floor.  Even though the plan was concocted by Naomi, Ruth’s willingness to follow through and her trust in Naomi and Boaz show her bravery.  Ruth’s job is simple–follow Boaz to the threshing floor, and when he is asleep, lay down next to him until he wakes up (maybe this includes startling him to wake him up, but who knows).  When he is awake, ask him to do right by her and Naomi and be their redeemer (it’s a lot of property rights jargon that doesn’t quite translate to modern thought).  Boaz could have done whatever he wanted with her. This is a point that my friend Jordan made.  When Boaz saw her there, and he was alone with her in the middle of the night, he could have done anything to her.  He could have raped her, and nobody would be the wiser (she would have been asking for it?).  It was the time of the Judges, and everyone did what was right in his own eyes; nobody would have cared.  She was a widow with no legal support (darn patriarchal societies).  Boaz could have done anything, but he didn’t.  He treated her with the utmost kindness and care, a true gentleman.

Ruth took risks.  Perhaps they don’t seem like the smartest choices, but she made them.  Through it all, God was protecting her, and her risks were worthwhile.

Take a risk today.

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