3 One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for. 2 Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. 3 Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. 4 When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.”
We get a sense that despite God’s hand of protection and provision for Ruth and Naomi thus far, Naomi is eager to take control and seal the deal. She gives specific instructions to Ruth. She tells Ruth to freshen up…wash, splash perfume, get dolled up in your finest clothes. Not too bad so far. But then she tells her to go to the threshing floor without Boaz knowing and to wait until he has finished eating and drinking. She tells him to go where he lies down and uncover his feet and lie down. Then wait for Boaz to tell her what to do. It just doesn’t feel right, does it?
How many times are we walking obediently in God’s will, watching God provide for us, but we want to speed things up or hurry an outcome along?
We see this many times in the Bible and there are often devastating consequences (some seen immediately and some seen further down the line). We never want to get ahead of God to pursue our own plans. We want to trust in His good plans and be obedient to His will. Above all we never want to go in a direction that isn’t pleasing to God, even if it is for an outcome we think will be pleasing to God. While God can use all things for His purposes, He does not approve of ungodly ways of accomplishing them. EVER. It is never right to do the wrong thing to try to accomplish the right thing. We must be discerning and prayerful.
Sometimes we are called to act and other times we are called to wait on God. His timing alone is the perfect timing. But let’s be honest, it is a tricky balance. Many commentaries point out that though it seems forward to us, it was regarded as proper in the day (David Guzik).
How do we know when to act and when to wait? How do we know when we are doing the will of God or taking things into our own hands?
Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek FIRST God’s Kingdom and God’s righteousness, and essentially everything else will follow as it should. In all things, pray. Ask God for wisdom over decisions. Look for scripture regarding your decision. Seek wise and Godly council from those you trust. If we earnestly seek God, He will show us the path to take.
Have you ever acted impulsively in a way that was probably not the best, or even in a way you knew was wrong, to try to control a situation or get something you wanted? What was the outcome?
How can you make a habit of going to God first when there is something you really want to happen?