This is where the story tends to get a little confusing. Ruth goes back to Naomi and Naomi’s advice for her is not the greatest. She tells Ruth to get cleaned up and attractive. Some people will say this is like David after his period of mourning. Yet, this also closely resembles the prostitute in Proverbs who leads men astray. So there are mixed opinions about her motives. She tells her to get attractive for him though and then sneak into his house. When he’s had a good meal and has something to drink, then approach him.
Whether this was intended for it was clearly not the best idea. Her intentions may not have been for Ruth to seduce Boaz but she definitely set the scene for it to easily happen. This was the first piece of poor advice. What we learn later is that not only should Naomi not have sent Ruth to Boaz in what was at the very least a suggestive manner, but Boaz is also not the right guy in the first place. There was someone else who was to help her and redeem her by their laws first, and even though she made a very attractive and suggestive proposal to Boaz, she did all this to a man who was second notice to help.
The point here, we’ve got to be careful of the advice we take. I don’t think Naomi had bad intentions. I think she loved Ruth and truly did want her life to get better. However, the advice she gave her was unwise at best and immoral at worst.
We’ve got to be careful who we listen to when it comes to counsel. We’ve got to weigh the guidance of those around us against the only truth we have, the scripture. Ruth could have seen in the laws that Boaz was not her redeemer. She could have seen in God’s law that seducing and attracting, if that was her intention, was wrong. Her mistakes came because she didn’t examine the counsel she was receiving.
Look into your life. Who do you listen to? Who has your ear? Is there someone whose advice you hold dearly that may not be the best advice? Are you going to people who, while well intended, point you in a different direction?