DAILY WORD 4/21/21
7. After Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he lay down at the far end of the pile of grain and went to sleep. Then Ruth came quietly, uncovered his feet, and lay down.
8. Around midnight Boaz suddenly woke up and turned over. He was surprised to find a woman lying at his feet!
9. “Who are you?” he asked.
“I am your servant Ruth,” she replied. “Spread the corner of your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer.”
Today’s Passage returns us to the Story of Naomi and Ruth and brings us to a portion of the story where Ruth is quite vulnerable. She has followed the instruction of Naomi and has trailed Boaz to the threshing floor.
He has concluded his work for the evening, separating the grain from the chaff, and has eaten and drank his fill. Satisfied with both his labor and his full belly, Boaz finally lays down to sleep. This is when Ruth enacts the bold plan that Naomi has concocted to find Ruth a husband. I mentioned in Yesterday’s Commentary that Naomi was trying the ensnare Boaz; this is Ruth springing that trap.
From our perspective, Ruth is overly forward and shameless in her actions. However, what she is doing is just an old Jewish tradition in which a woman who is a close relative of a deceased husband makes it known that she wishes to wed the individual whose feet she uncovers.
It is not the actions themselves that are necessarily brazen; it is how Naomi insists that she perform them. She had Ruth sneak over to the fields under cover of night and spy on Boaz until he fell asleep, then launch this plot to do something that he may have been considering in the first place.
The issue here isn’t the actions themselves. It is how Naomi went about enacting them. She is taking control of what God is already doing. If this were all on the up and up, there would be no need for Ruth to sneak around in the night. She could have simply told Boaz of her intentions and performed the deed.
But Naomi’s insistence on interceding in God’s Business required secrecy and concealment. If she were proud of her actions and there was no question involved, it could have been done out in the open without all the mystery and slinking around in the dark. God is a Being of Light. When you have to tiptoe and sneak to get something done, it’s a pretty good indication you’re not doing it correctly.
Ruth was not wrong to do what she did. She was just following Naomi’s lead. It was Naomi that made the mistake here. Just like she didn’t Trust God when her husband and sons died, and she was left destitute in a foreign land, blaming Him for His apparent Anger toward her, her clandestine plot proves that she still doesn’t fully Trust Him.
If she Truly had Faith that he would Do as He Promised and Never Leave or Forsake her, she could have been patient and waited until He Displayed His Manufactured Mercies and Showed His Hand of Grace in her life. But Naomi couldn’t wait. She had to put her stamp of mediocracy on the situation. Because of her Lack of Faith, she had to intercede in God’s Plan, enacting her own.
So often, when tragedies strike and life seems to be dealing us a raw hand, we know that God is Able, we know that He is Capable, we know that He has Promised to Come Through for us, but we can’t wait. We decide that if things are going to change, we have to do something. We have to be the ones that make things happen.
But God does not need our help to do His Work. Yes, we are His Hands in the world when it comes to Evangelism. But when it comes to making changes in our lives, when it comes to His Manufactured Mercies, God isn’t looking for our intervention.
The Psalmist who wrote the 46th Chapter of that Book says it best. He tells us that God is our Strength and will Help us when we are in trouble. No matter how bad things may get, He is still in Control. Even in the face of the most tremendous adversity, we have ever encountered, even when our enemies are screaming in our faces all that they plan to do to us, even when death itself is at our door, we have a Refuge in the Strong Tower of God’s Mighty Arms!
This is the time to “Be still and know that” He is God! (Psalm 46:10). He does not need our help to Perform His Miracles. He does not need our intervention for His Manufactured Mercies. All He needs is our Faith! That is the proof that we Truly Trust Him at His Word. That is what he is looking for. It is not our ability to sneak around in the dark and finagle a covert solution to our problems; it is our capacity to let go and bask in the Light of His Power!
He can do it. We just have to let Him. When adversity comes at us and our life derails, sending the cars of our Faith off track, do you have what it takes to Trust God, to Lean Into His Power, and not try to do His Work for Him? Can you Stand Still and Know that He is God?
Have a Wonderful Wednesday and Stand Still; Let Him Prove what He is Capable of!