Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Ruth 3:18 (NIV)
Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”
Ruth 3:18 (MSG)
Naomi said, “Sit back and relax, my dear daughter, until we find out how things turn out; that man isn’t going to fool around. Mark my words, he’s going to get everything wrapped up today.”
“Then Naomi said, “Sit and wait, my daughter, until you learn how this matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today.” -AMPLIFIED
When we left Boaz and Ruth yesterday his last words to her were words of hope and encouragement. “Spend the rest of the night here. In the morning, I will give him the chance to act as your kinsman-redeemer and redeem you and your family. If he is willing to do this, good. But if he is not willing to fulfill his responsibility, then as the Eternal One lives, I promise I will redeem your family by marrying you. Now remain here until morning comes.” -Ruth 3:13 (VOICE)
So we find Ruth obeying Boaz’s instructions and laying down once again at his feet to rest and wait till morning. She must have rose before the sun was completely up because Scripture tells us this, “So she lay at his feet until the morning, but got up before anyone could recognize another; Boaz said, “Do not let it be known that the woman came to the threshing floor [last night].” -Ruth 3:14 (AMP)
Why the need for secrecy? One, Boaz was concerned for Ruth’s reputation. He wanted no rumors of impropriety. Two, Boaz still needed to approach the other kinsman redeemer and he wanted to do it in his own way and his own time, without any hindrances. Remember, Bethlehem was a small village. Everyone knew everyone else’s business. Rumor mills are quick to run in small towns and villages and Boaz did not want the other, closer, kinsman redeemer to hear the news before he even had a chance to present his case. We all have heard the saying, “Loose lips sink ships”. Times have not changed much, nor have people.
Before Ruth leaves Boaz though he does something over and beyond; this once again shows us his character. “He also said, “Give me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out.” So Ruth held it and he measured out six measures of barley [into it] and placed it on her. And she went into the city.” -Ruth 3:15 (AMP)
In this way Boaz blesses Ruth and in turn blesses Naomi. He measures out six measures of barley into Ruth’s shawl. Six measures is thought to be the equivalent of approximately 50 pounds of barley. Once he filled the shawl he helped her to place it on her head; which was where women carried heavy loads in that day, and then Ruth headed home.
Meanwhile, I highly doubt that Naomi had any rest that night. In my mind’s eye I see her waiting and praying all night long. I am sure that she must have been up and waiting at the door expecting Ruth’s arrival at any time. The expectancy that Naomi was feeling comes across in Scripture, “When she came home, her mother-in-law said, “How did it go, my daughter?” Ruth 3:16a(AMP) Naomi was looking for some reassurance that things had gone well.
Ruth told her everything. For the outcome of this meeting would affect both of their lives. “And Ruth told her everything that the man had done for her. She said, “He gave me these six measures of barley, and he said to me, ‘Do not go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’” -Ruth 3:16b-17 (AMP)
Naomi’s response to Ruth after hearing her story is a lesson to us all in trust; now it is time to sit and wait. Sitting still and waiting is not something that most of us do well. Naomi basically is telling Ruth that they have done all that they could do; now it is time to trust Boaz and God.
The sons of Korah wrote these words many years after the story of Ruth and Naomi, but I think that they would have taken comfort in these words. “Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.” -Psalm 46:10 (AMP)
It was Solomon, Ruth’s great-great-great grandson and Naomi’s great-great-great-great grandson, who wrote these words; “Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].” -Proverbs 3:5-6 (AMP)
Learning to trust and rely on God was being instilled in this family. It has been said, “Our greatest strength may be our ability to stand still and trust God.” -author unknown.
Are you taking the time to be still and wait on God; trusting Him to work out His good will in your life? Be still and know that He is God!
Lord, one of the most difficult things for me to do is to sit still and wait on you. Patience is not one of my best qualities; I acknowledge this. Forgive me, please. Help me to patiently wait for you to do your good work. Help me to trust you more. Help me to rest in the confidence that you have everything under control in my life and in this World. God, I will trust in you!