April 24

Ruth, Part 5

Ruth 3:5-8 And {Ruth] said to [Naomi], “All that you say to me I will do.” So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her. And after Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was cheerful, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came softly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet.

Let’s take a look at just two more lessons from Ruth’s behavior. They are simple but powerful in their ability to change our lives if we apply them.

First, after obeying Naomi, and putting herself at the feet of Boaz, Ruth had to wait. In the context of the Old Testament, Ruth had put on the whole armor of God, and “having done all,” she had “to stand” (Ephesians 6:12). “Now it happened at midnight,” that Boaz responded to Ruth’s presence. Can you imagine what might have been going through Ruth’s mind during this time? Was she peaceful, and full of trust in the instructions of her mother-in-law? Was she content to wait, having done all she was told to do? Or was she worried and anxious?

How do you get when you’ve done all and have to wait? Scripture doesn’t specify, but it also never indicates any apprehension or impatience on Ruth’s part. The overall tenor of the book is one of clear and simple love and obedience, and their many rewards.

Another lesson is one that’s clear from what Ruth didn’t do. She didn’t help God. She could have touched Boaz, or somehow made her presence known, you know, to move things along. If you step back and look at Ruth’s life, you realize the many opportunities she had to get Boaz’ attention, to use her youth to attract someone, and even to try and put Boaz into a temporarily awkward position at the threshing floor, to, you know, move things along.

How about you? Are you one of God’s helpers? After obeying, do you still keep looking for opportunities to add your own energy, perspective and action to the mix? Looking back, if you did that before, how well did that work?

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the beauty of Ruth’s example. Help me to be patient in waiting, and help me see when I am trying to add my own plan to Yours. Forgive me for doing that, and help me to trust that You really know best how to make things happen.