5 Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?
6 And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:
7 And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house.
8 Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens:
9 Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.
As a good boss Boaz recognized that there was a new worker in the field. In response to being asked who she is, the head servant’s answer is interesting. He emphasized Ruth’s foreigner status, but at the same time he seemed to recognize her right to be there. He said she came “back” with Naomi. Implying that this was as much her home as it was Naomi’s. Perhaps I’m reading too much into one little word, but I think that anyone who knew the story (which apparently was everyone in the area) knew of Ruth’s unswerving loyalty to Naomi. This was someone who was not leaving anytime soon.
Ruth had made an unusual request. It would seem that she had asked to glean right from the already harvested sheaves instead of scouring the field for what had been dropped or left behind. Perhaps she felt she had nothing to lose in being so bold. She was a foreigner. People might not have wanted her in their fields under any circumstances so she boldly asked for a favour.
Apparently the head servant did not have the authority to grant this request so Ruth had to wait patiently for the boss to arrive to see if her request would be answered. What a lesson for us. She waited not knowing if she would be given her request. Not knowing if she was wasting precious time. This can be the hardest part of asking for something… waiting for the answer.
I remember the months and years that I pleaded with God for a husband. I probably cried a river in that time. Waiting quietly implies trusting. I think one of the reasons I had to wait was because God wanted me to learn to trust Him. As I look back now, I realize that about six or eight months before I met my husband I had finally come to a place of trust and quiet. Interestingly this roughly corresponds to the time my husband joined the church that I met him in. It was a time of maturing and growth for both us.
And when the answer came how glorious it was! Boaz not only granted her request, but he also placed her under his protection and gave her access to water. In the days before easily accessible water having ready water at her disposal would have saved her much time and allowed her to be able to glean more.
When I finally met my husband, God gave me the best friend ever. From the beginning we found little that we disagreed on when it came to major life issues. There was no long engagement. Within three months of meeting we were married. I remember a former friend being pretty negative about that. I wish I could see her now and tell her that a fast engagement does not have to equal divorce. Seventeen years later our love is stronger and sweeter.
Lamentations 3:25 says, “The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” We waited for God to bring His choice into our life and were given a spouse beyond our expectations. Ruth waited for an answer to her unusual request and was given so much more. When we allow Him to, God always more than meets our needs. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” Ephesians 3:20.