Ruth: A Woman of Character

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What positive traits would your family, close friends and co-workers say you have? Will they say you’re a kind, compassionate, or loyal? Will they call you a woman of character?

For this week, we will look at one of the most envied Bible character by single women…Ruth! Why was she envied? I guess because of her love story. She found her Boaz, her Prince Charming, in the most unexpected places. But that’s not the main focus of Minute Mondays today 🙂

We will look at the life of Ruth. How she found true love and how the Lord allowed this simple Moabite woman to be part of the lineage of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Who is this woman? Ruth was a Moabite and was married to an Israelite. Naomi was Ruth’s mother-in-law. (Israelites were discouraged to mingle or have relations with the other nations like the Moabites. However, this rule was not altogether followed by God’s chosen people (Israelites))

Unfortunately, Naomi’s husband and two sons, one of which was Ruth’s husband, died. So Naomi decided to go back to her homeland and allowed her daughters in law, Ruth and  Orpah, to also go back to their own hometown.

Orpah, did return to her homeland but Ruth clung to Naomi. She did not want to leave her mother in law.

RUTH

The Bible does not say why Ruth was so attached to Naomi but we can only assume that probably she has developed a deep love for the woman who has become a mother to her. Naomi may have spoken about her God to her family including Ruth. Because of Naomi’s faith, Ruth has also embraced the faith of her mother in law. Naomi had a strong influence on her daughter in law. Ruth wanted to know more about the God of Israel so she clung to her mother in law tightly.

She also took on the responsibility of providing for her widowed mother in law. She took an unsophisticated job in order to survive. She needed to put food on the table for her and her Naomi.

“And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.” Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.” ‭‭Ruth‬ ‭2:2-3 ‭NIV‬‬ 

Am I like her? Ruth’s commitment to Naomi and her dedication to the only job she had didn’t go unnoticed. Though it was a lowly task, she worked with all her heart and she was probably the  best gleaner in the field.

Aside from your family, who are the people under your care? How do you provide for their physical and spiritual needs? Has it been a joy serving them or do you wish the task was not given to you?

What is your attitude towards work? Are you grateful or do you complain all the time? What are the menial tasks you do that somehow discourages you because no one seems to notice them?

Whatever work the Lord has placed on your shoulders, whether it be work outside the home, putting the home in order or caring for others, God has allowed you to do that.

If you think nobody sees the work you do, take heart, the King of all Kings sees everything you do. He sees your dedication, sacrifice and your faithfulness in the big and small things He has assigned you.

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24 

What can I do? There were many challenges Ruth had to go through:

  • She was considered a second class citizen during her time simply because she was a woman.
  • She took care of her mother in law on her own
  • Work opportunities for women were scarce so she had to get any job to survive

Despite all these, Ruth stayed true to her character. She did not waver in her faith. She did regret caring for her mother in law. She did not quit and returned to her own family. She did not complain as she worked the fields. The purity and intention of her heart were not unnoticed. Someone paid attention to her deeds.

So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”

10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?”

11 Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before.12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

Find time to read the entire book of Ruth. I tell you, it’s an easy read, just four short chapters. Get to know her more and her relationship with the kinsman redeemer, her future husband.

13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son… 14 The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”

Ruth found love again and started her own family but she never neglected Naomi. All the women in their town praised Naomi because of her. The Lord has blessed Ruth tremendously by giving her another chance at love. He also gave her a rare opportunity to carry the line of King David and Jesus Christ himself.

RUTH2

I’ll post the same question I asked at the beginning of this post. What good traits do people say you have? Do you put on different masks depending on the people you are with? Or are you like Ruth, who has shown consistency at home, in her community, and at work? Are you a woman of character?

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank  you again for the inspiring life of Ruth. It is my desire to be as faithful and as loving as she is. Help me to develop a compassionate heart to the people you send my way. Teach me to appreciate the work that I have, love it and learn to work as if you were my boss. Cleanse my heart from impure thoughts or fill my mind with things that are only pleasing to you. I trust that you will help me accomplish all these things. I ask all these in Jesus’ name, Amen!