14 So she lay down at his feet until morning but got up while it was still dark. Then Boaz said, “Don’t let it be known that a woman came to the threshing floor.” 15 And he told Ruth, “Bring the shawl you’re wearing and hold it out.” When she held it out, he shoveled six measures of barley into her shawl, and she went into the town.16 She went to her mother-in-law, Naomi, who asked her, “What happened, my daughter?” Then Ruth told her everything the man had done for her. 17 She said, “He gave me these six measures of barley, because he said, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’”18 Naomi said, “My daughter, wait until you find out how things go, for he won’t rest unless he resolves this today.”
Tick. Tick. Tick. Flip. Flip. Flip. Sigh. 2:00AM…2:01….2:02……3:00AM. Wide awake. The thoughts won’t quit running across my brain as the minutes quietly tick by. I go through every step made, every word said, every possible action and reaction. Did I do the right thing? Did I make a wise choice? In the dark, every thought is magnified 100%. Every word – every action and reaction is replayed again and again until I’m ready to scream! Yet, I must patiently wait…
At this point of the story, I am certain that Ruth must be having a night similar. She has listened to the wise counsel of her mother-in-law. She has followed every step of the plan and now, as she is lying at the feet of Boaz in the dark, her thoughts are running wild. “Did I do the right thing?” “Why did I do this!?” I know I trust Naomi…And I trust God—so YES!…Maybe…OH! I don’t know! Maybe I should leave now…before he sees me…Before ANYONE sees me. Oh No! Was I careful enough? DID anyone see me?!” And the thoughts start again…
Even after the initial waking, brief conversation, and instructions from Boaz to lie back down until morning, I’m sure her thoughts wandered. And obviously his did too. They both arose while it was still dark. And Boaz’s first thought was of her reputation. He was concerned that no one should know that she had been there. He knew it would ruin her reputation and character. And as a God follower, it wouldn’t help his. These are the things you can’t get back…At least not easily.
Throughout the Bible we are reminded how important character is in life:
Proverbs 20:11 states that even a child makes himself known by his acts.
Philippians 1:27 declares, “Only let your manner of life be worth of the gospel of Christ…”
Ecclesiastes 7:1 points out that a good name is better than precious ointments!
1 Timothy 3:7 reminds us, “Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders.”
Boaz himself knew what kind of woman Ruth was, but not everyone did, so it was important that others not know that she had been there. Being a wise man, Boaz also wanted to send a message to Naomi—an unspoken agreement—that everything would work out. One way or the other.
Back home, I can only imagine the restless night that Naomi had as well. She was ready to pounce the moment Ruth walked in the door! Once Ruth relayed the evening’s events and presented the gift, I’m sure that Naomi let out a deep sigh. Acknowledging that Boaz would now take care of everything, she reassured Ruth that it was now just a matter of time and patience.
In these days of social media and instant gratification, it’s hard to be patient or even consider the future character implications that an action or a social media post may have. Yet we must because just as the clock keeps on ticking, so do our lives…Tick. Tick. Tick.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- When was the last time the you couldn’t sleep? Were you worrying? Replaying every event and decision? Next time, get out of the bed, go into another room, and talk to God about the situation. Read the Bible. Ask God for help in turning the worries over to Him. Easier said than done—I know—but try.
- Each day on the news, we are seeing old social media posts pulled up questioning someone’s character. PAUSE BEFORE POSTING. Yes, we will all go through tribulations. Just make sure it’s a tribulation worth defending.
- Has God asked you to wait patiently for something? Some days it’s hard and you just want to take over the situation yourself. (I know I do.) Read these verses as reminders:
- Romans 12:12
- Galatians 6:9
- Romans 8:25
- Psalm 37:7-9
- James 5:7-8
- Psalm 40:1
Pray for potential adoptive parents for the children of Hope for Tomorrow, a Hope for the World Partner ministry working in Central America. Pray for the staff, volunteers, children, and adoptive parents of this ministry.