The motivation for all that happens next is found in Ruth 3:1, when Naomi says, “My daughter, should I not try and find a home for you, where you will be provided for?”.
The Hebrew word used here for “home” means “resting place”. It occurred earlier in the story, back in Moab, when Naomi blesses her daughters in law with these words, “May the LORD grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband” (1:9). Such a “resting place” would be hugely significant for Ruth, a poor, migrant widow: a resting place, a home, is somewhere to stay and settle, rather than move on from; a place of security from all that might threaten life. Biblically speaking this resting place can be a temporary rest on a journey, or a more permanent settling down as in the promised land, and the Psalmist uses it to speak of that eternal place of rest, heaven.
The end of the harvest creates a crisis in the narrative: Ruth and Naomi have known provision and protection during the harvest, but what happens, now the harvest is ending? Naomi, awake the dangers, intervenes. What she is suggesting to Ruth amounts to a proposal of marriage to Boaz, their kinsman.
What is interesting is that, although Naomi is the one initiating the action, it is God’s activity that is crucial. God is the one who has both provided and protected during harvest, and it is God who is at work to bring a more lasting resting place for Ruth. This is an answer to Naomi’s prayer of blessing spoken over Ruth and Orpah back at the beginning of the story: the LORD is at work to grant Ruth rest, just as Naomi prayed.
As we seek out security in our lives, are we doing so confident that God is at work in the details of our lives and through our actions, to bring about his purposes of providing us rest?