Sit Still - Let God Work
Sit still, until you know how the matter will turn out
All of us have lost something in our life.
Something valuable, of great worth to us personally.
Some of us have been robbed of things with great sentimental value.
Some have lost loved ones.
- A mother losing her daughter’s intimate relationship because of rebellion.
- A man or woman losing their spouse to death.
- A couple losing their love, shredded by divorce.
- Some have lost great possession such as a house to a fire or flood.
These are all tragic losses that have been taking place down throughout the ages.
Some of the losses were due to foolishness, such as a drunk driver killing an innocent victim.
Some losses were the result of foolish faithless decisions made such as was the case with Elimelech, leaving his poor widow victimized.
In the days of Naomi, about the worst thing that anyone could lose was their inheritance.
The Kinsman Redeemer
One wonderful provision that God had made for His people living in the Promised Land, who had lost everything, was the law about a Kinsman Redeemer.
They had the power to rescue what had been lost, regardless of the reason, in order to restore that valued inherited possession back to its rightful owner.
This attitude of Redemption is so powerfully demonstrated to us of the human race who lost our heavenly inheritance to foolish prideful sin, leaving us with only a tragic future of eternal living outside of the boundaries of God’s intended blessing.
Jesus, our Kinsman Redeemer, comes to the rescue in our behalf and buys back what we had lost.
Boaz, Ruth’s Kinsman Redeemer
Unknown to Ruth, God had provided such a Kinsman Redeemer who would come and rescue Ruth, restoring to her many times over, an inheritance that she thought she had lost forever.
In a society where there was not any Welfare or Social Security, the Kinsman Redeemer wouldn’t only buy back the lost inheritance but would often take on the responsibility of caring for the widow and producing through her an heir that could maintain the property within the family inheritance.
This required a special kind of person.
- They had to be sympathetic to the widow.
- They had to be willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice.
- They had to be tenderhearted.
- They had to understand the painful plight of the widow.
- They had to be a giving person.
- They had to provide for her in every way.
- They had to defend her.
God never intended for any of us to live the rest of our life as losers:
God, by His own nature loves to…
- Reinstate what was lost
- Resurrect from the dead.
For Ruth, God takes a complete foreign stranger and Redeems for her what she had lost, but in the process, graft her into the royal lineage, where kings would come from her and eventually the Messiah.
1 Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you? (NKJ)
No longer the relationship of a daughter-in-law with mother-in-law, the relationship had progressed to mother and daughter.
Naomi wanted security for her newfound daughter.
“I want you to have a future.”
2 "Now Boaz, whose young women you were with, is he not our relative? In fact, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. 3 "Therefore wash yourself and anoint yourself, put on your best garment and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 "Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what you should do." 5 And she said to her, "All that you say to me I will do." (NKJ)
What confidence Naomi had in Ruth’s character and in Boaz’s response. Ruth’s confidence in her mother-in-law’s advice was impeccable.
- Make note of his behavior.
- Notice his mannerism.
- Observe where he sleeps.
- Watch his routine.
Without understanding the culture, nor the purity that is intended rather than the abuse, many look at these verses and try to interpret it based on today’s very polluted customs.
What kind of advice is this for a young woman?
We interpret it to say,
- Take a good bath,
- Put on some perfume,
- Wear a seductive lingerie
- Crawl into bed with him.
- That way you can capture the man to become you husband.
Our overactive minds would then conclude that Boaz being a normal guy should take the bait and without restraint take sexual advantage of her.
- After all it was dark,
- Nobody would know,
- I can get lucky,
- She wants it anyway.
- She is the one who instigated it.
Shallow people use scriptures like this to justify their sins.
It was a provision in the law to protect victims in a society that didn’t have a system set up to take care of them.
It was the relative’s responsibility.
So then we have the following questions:
- Why did Naomi give her beloved daughter-in-law this advice?
- Is there feminine enticement being used here to manipulate a man?
- What can we learn from this that is apropos to today’s culture?
- What is really meant here?
- Ruth is instructed to go at night to the threshing floor to speak to Boaz in order to avoid embarrassing her potential Kinsman Redeemer.
Take note that Boaz is sleeping near his harvest to protect it from theft so he is not in a secluded room, though they are hidden by the darkness.
- To approach Boaz in a brazen manner, in the daytime, at his home or in the field would have come across as very pushy on Ruth’s part.
- Boaz would have had loss of face due to the embarrassment.
- Men need a quiet and private hint without a public disgrace.
6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her. 7 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. 8 Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet.
She uncovered his feet, no other part of his anatomy.
In turn Boaz did not uncover any part of her figure.
9 And he said, "Who are you?" So she answered, "I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative."
What was meant by these words?
“Take your maidservant under your wing."
Is this some coded seductive way of trapping a man?
Literally in Hebrew:
“Stretch forth the mantle of your garment over me.”
There weren’t any coded messages here.
What Ruth said was clearly understood by Boaz.
She was requesting covering.
“I’m requesting that you exercise your responsibility as Kinsman Redeemer and cover me with your protection.”
Ruth was operating within the confines of God’s laws regarding her need for covering.
He was the man for whom God had willed to provide for Ruth the refuge she sought.
Do you remember what Boaz said to Ruth in Ruth 2:12?
“The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge."
“You are the man, Boaz, that God has chosen to fulfill that need in me.”
Boaz understood clearly the implications:
- Ruth didn’t have a father to speak for her.
- Ruth didn’t have a close male relative to represent her.
- Ruth had to represent herself.
- Ruth had to speak frankly to Boaz of her own need.
- Ruth was saying, “Will you take me into your home as your wife?”
Boaz is a single man, but older than Ruth.
Boaz’s Reply Shows the Integrity of Their Actions:
- Boaz knew that Ruth was a woman of impeccable integrity.
Look at the high regard that Boaz has for Ruth.
10 Then he said, "Blessed are you of the LORD, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 "And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.
Boaz explodes with blessings for Ruth.
Boaz is impressed by Ruth’s character, the greatest part of beauty in a woman.
She must have been physically attractive because he suggested by his statement that she could have had any man she wanted, whether poor or rich.
He comforts her again by reassuring her, “do not fear. I will do for you all that you request.”
“I will bring you under my covering.”
Boaz declares her virtue when he said, “…for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.”
- Boaz’s Commitment to Cover:
12 Now it is true that I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. 13 "Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a close relative for you-- good; let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, as the LORD lives! Lie down until morning." 14 So she lay at his feet until morning, and she arose before one could recognize another. Then he said, "Do not let it be known that the woman came to the threshing floor." 15 Also he said, "Bring the shawl that is on you and hold it." And when she held it, he measured six ephahs of barley, and laid it on her. Then she went into the city.
Boaz wanted to protect Ruth from lions and predators.
The six ephahs of barley that he sent home with Ruth was an indication, that Naomi was also included in the package and that Boaz was going to bring her in as his mother-in-law.
16 So when she came to her mother-in-law, she said, "Is that you, my daughter?" Then she told her all that the man had done for her. 17 And she said, "These six ephahs of barley he gave me; for he said to me, 'Do not go empty-handed to your mother-in-law.'"
18 Then she said, "Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day."
- Sit still…
- Until you know how the matter will turn out.
“Be still, and know that I am God;” Psalms 46:10a