This question tumbled in my thoughts as I read and pondered this chapter. Today I struggled to receive devotional thoughts from the Lord. Most of the struggle was my doing. I didn’t guard my time in the Word. I read and got distracted, I read again and my mind flitted to other things. I came back again to the Word and bounced from it to other things and back again. Like a super ball bouncing in a small room, I ws all over the place. This was not my finest hour.
I persevered, literally, throughout the day. Now almost 4 pm I write, having first read the text at 8 am.
At different moments throughout the day, Naomi, Boaz or Ruth would seem to be highlighted. In the end I landed with Ruth.
Can a person be both humble and bold at the same time? Watching Ruth, I would have to say, “Yes.”
Ruth is incredibly humble. First she listens to and then attends to Naomi’s plan with nary a complaint or fuss. Now maybe Boaz is a hunk, a real catch but the circumstances would seem to indicate, NOT. He is after all, successful and unmarried (that suggests some issues) and advance in years (hmmm, more issues). There must be some reason he is unmarried.
Then the plan itself calls for Ruth to put herself in a position of extreme vulnerability and humility. Threshing floors were outside in the open air, so after Boaz is fast asleep from a hard day of work, she slips under his cloak at his feet. I suspect lying at his feet made for pleasant sleeping???! Apparently that maneuver implies her willingness to wed Boaz. A woman approaching a man in that day and age … bold, dare I say, ‘BOLD move Ruth!’
Here I see the two seemingly disparate character traits combining. She is humble enough to place herself in a completely humble and vulnerable position, yet bold enough to advance the notion of them marrying.
Lord, may I display such a mix in my life. May I always be humble before You and may I put others in a position where they feel good about themselves. Yet, Lord, may I draw so close to You that I have the boldness to believe that You are at work and that You will open doors. Lord, steer me from the arrogance that says I am right, that puts off others and gives Your name, in whom I live and move and have my being, a bad rap.
Bold and humble, Humble and bold… they are worth striving for together. Like Jesus before Pilate, bold and humble, humble and bold. Teach me how to put these two together in my life… amen.