So Ruth lay at Boaz’s feet until the morning, but she got up before it was light enough for people to recognize her. For Boaz had said, “No one must know that a woman was here at the threshing floor.” – Ruth 3:14 (NLT)
A young woman creeps into a man’s tent at bedtime, beautifully adorned and smelling of sweet perfume. She’s made certain that no one has noticed her entry, and she’s given ample time for the man to have had his fill of food and libation.
When the man awakens at midnight to discover the woman lying with him in his bed, having uncovered his feet, the woman listens attentively for him to tell her what to do next. The woman then lays with the man until early the next morning, when she steals away in the shadows of dawn, before anyone is made aware of her nocturnal rendezvous.
Even if we hold to a literal interpretation of the “uncovering of feet,” such a sensual scene would probably be rated MA (for Mature Audiences) by most of us. But those who included the story in the sacred canon of Scripture apparently believed that the story, in all its suggestive detail, was indeed suitable for General Audiences.
We have this story in our sacred text because it points us to much more than the uncovering of body parts.
It points us to the uncovering of the taboo that is often associated with sex and human sexuality. It points us to the uncovering of the shameful confusion that many adolescents face as they enter the peak of puberty, due to the lack of candid sex education. It points us to the uncovering of the intercourse that God intended between flesh and spirit.
Lord, we thank you for revealing yourself in the flesh. Help us to find physical and spiritual delight in that incarnation. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Decatur, Georgia.