Why Naomi’s Advice is for You, too!
She replied, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today.” Ruth 3:18
I had waited all my life for this moment, and now it was finally happening. He had prepared everything. He wore his best suit. He filled his tank with gas. He double-checked his pocket to ensure he had not forgotten the ring. Then, he drove five hours through the night to ask my parents for my hand in marriage. All weekend, I waited nervously to discover whether his plan would render the answer we both were hoping for. I prayed with my friend when all of it was happening. Although her answer did not satisfy my nerves, it reminded me that what happened next was all in God’s good hands .
In Ruth 3:16-18, the writer pulls back the curtain and allows us to eavesdrop on one of the most significant conversations between the Moabite, Ruth, and her mother-in-law, Naomi. Upon Ruth’s return from the threshing floor with Boaz, Naomi’s response to her is notable. In verse 18, Naomi tells Ruth, “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out.” In this context, the Hebrew translation for “wait” is Yashab, meaning “to sit still.” In the verses preceding this one, Naomi instructs Ruth to act, yet now she advises her to wait and see what happens. Naomi’s reasoning for this was not because she did not want Ruth to ruin her chances of being redeemed by Boaz. Instead, she instructed her to wait simply because Boaz’s character won her confidence.
Naomi urges Ruth to wait expectedly: “for the man will not rest but will settle the matter today. (Ruth 3:18) In other words, Naomi’s explanation points to why Ruth should “sit still” and not worry herself over the outcome. Naomi reassured Ruth that Boaz had a plan, and she was confident that Boaz would follow through. Therefore, Ruth could rest because her future was in good hands. Up to this point, Ruth had done her part, and now all she could do was wait and see what God would do!
Naomi’s advice to Ruth reminds every believer that we, too, can wait and trust in the One who is always at work in our own stories. Instead of manipulating and trying to control the outcome of situations in our lives, we can “sit still”and wait on God, who is faithful to fulfill every promise to us in His Word. It would have been so easy for Ruth to worry, wonder, and repeatedly replay the threshing floor conversation in her mind, like so many of us would have done. However, faith is waiting expectedly and trusting God, who is committed to His redemptive work in our lives. When life feels out of control or when we are waiting on unanswered prayers, instead of driving ourselves crazy with every possible outcome, we can surrender the outcome into the hands of our faithful God. Then wait and see the great things He will do – the things He has already planned!
- Where in your life are you waiting on the Lord to work?
- How can you “sit still” as He works in this area of your life?
- What might change if you surrender this situation to Him instead of trying to control or manipulate the outcome?