Good morning my friends and followers. Another beautiful day shall soon be breaking and therefore let us usher it in with the Word. This is more of a study than a message, so grab some coffee and let’s feast …
As we reflect back on (Proverbs 31) and refresh our memories; we can see that one of the main characteristics of a woman who is leading a victorious Christian life is virtue ….
A virtuous woman is willing to conform to both moral and divine law, someone who glows with purity and goodness. Sounds like an overwhelming goal, doesn’t it?
Well, just like everything else in our lives, God has given us exactly what we need to triumph in the virtues He would have us attain …
Ruth has always been one of my favorite women to read about. For those who aren’t aware of Ruth; there’s a tiny little book in your bible, only about 4 pages, but those 4 pages tell a powerful story of a woman who impacts the genealogy of our Savior Jesus Christ. Ruth is her name …..
As a Moabitess; Ruth came from a very distant country, filled with false idols and false gods and evil practices such as child sacrifices to their god Chemosh. But through God’s mercy, forgiveness, and transformation, Ruth comes out of that to become a woman of immense faith, strength, and devotion to her family and of more importance, to the Lord. She becomes exactly what Proverbs 31 describes as a virtuous or noble woman …
The word virtuous or reference to a woman of virtuous or noble character is only found in Proverbs (12:4), (31:10, 29), and our opening verse of (Ruth 3:11), in which we find Boaz using the same words to describe Ruth. She is an excellent example of a woman of valor or what a woman of noble character really looks like ….
In the beginning of the chapter of Ruth, we see that she hadn’t been in town long but her reputation had already preceded her (2:11-12). Everyone knew how she had left her own home, and how she was caring for her mother-in-law and she believed in the God she had not known. She gained favor of the Lord. She had sought refuge under the Lord’s wings and it was shown for others to see ….
In the same manner; a woman of valor seeks after the Lord and when she finds Him, she walks in His ways all the days of her life, making everyone take notice of the changes in her life and the transformation and character being built by the Lord …..
If a woman is seeking the Lord in all that she does and living for His glory, people that she comes in contact with and everyone around her will begin to take notice because the Holy Ghost’s work in a person’s life cannot be hidden. God’s glory will always shine through …..
In a culture where sons were highly esteemed and even desired, Ruth received the greatest of praise. Her husband trusted her. The people acknowledged her and knew Naomi and Boaz were blessed people as a result of having Ruth in their lives. She was a blessing to all she came into contact with and this is why Ruth surpassed all other women. Because her faith in the Lord and His transformation of her heart and life she completely reflected the character of Christ …
“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.” (Proverbs 31:20).
In studying Ruth; we can see that she didn’t choose Boaz just because he could be her kinsman redeemer. Actually there was another man who should have been the first in line for that (Ruth 3:12), but Ruth chose to ask Boaz to be her kinsman redeemer because she and Naomi both knew he was a godly man, a man that would treat her well with kindness and respect. Boaz was an elder in the city and it was clear that he was well respected by all …..
“Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.” (Proverbs 31:23).
In the same manner, as we compare Ruth’s story to the way Proverbs 31 describes a virtuous woman; she did the same in marrying a man that treated her respectfully and was respected in the town too. Godly women should be careful about who they date and even more importantly, who they choose to marry and choose only men who love and fear God above all ….
In the first chapter of Ruth, Naomi continually talked about how God’s hand had stricken her, and how He had dealt bitterly with her. She even changed her name to Mara, meaning “bitterness” (Ruth 1:20). This was a woman who’s soul and personality had changed so much that even her old friends didn’t recognize her. She was of the type that blamed God for all the bad and every negative thing that happened in her life. You probably know a few like this …..
Most people would find it hard to deal kindly with a woman like this, including me; but Ruth always spoke to her with such gentleness, kindness, and respect, and she honored her above all as the Proverbs 31 woman does ….
This seemed to have a great impact on Naomi because soon after Naomi is praising the Lord and thanking Him for His kindness, and it’s like she’s a completely different woman. That’s the power that Jesus in us, working through us has to draw others to Him.
No doubt, Ruth’s kindness and love had something to do with that, yet it is Christ who is within us that does the changing. And we know that the words that come from a woman’s mouth have the power of life or death in a person’s life (Proverbs 18:21).
Do the words you speak offer life, joy, and encouragement’s to those around you …. or do they speak negativity and discouragements?
To be like Ruth, and the virtuous women described in Proverbs, we must strive to be women whose words are healing, gentle, and bringing forth life. Our tongues must be a reflection of Christ’s love to everyone around us ….
“A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4).
Ruth was a woman of strength. The basic meaning of the word “noble” is “strength” and “power” and can be applied to a variety of people, however this word embodies all of the characteristics of the woman described in (Proverbs 31:10-31).
And Ruth exemplifies all of these traits as well. She cared for family, she worked in the fields dust to dawn, and and being the sole provider for her family made herself very strong. As in Proverbs she “girded her loins with strength and strengtheneth her arms”(31:17).
I hear someone asking, “how could she do this — wouldn’t she have gotten tired?” Well, yes she must have gotten tired. Does pushing ourselves make the gospel more attractive to a lost and dying world? I say yes to that. Being tired is worth it if God is glorified through us, no matter what the task ….
But more important than being physically strong, she was spiritually and emotionally strong. Can you imagine the courage, the strength, the faith it must have taken to leave her home, her friends, her family, everything familiar to her, even the prospect of marrying again and having children, to go to a foreign land and take care of a negative mother-in-law and to follow a God you did not know except as an enemy? Ruth did all of this without complaint or waiver ….
She trusted God and as a result became a woman who was faithful and strong. Surely she had moments of doubt and insecurity, yet she sought refuge in the Lord’s arms to give her strength because she knew He was the only way she could make it. She trusted in Him to provide for her, to give her the strength she need, the hope, and the joy. She could laugh at the hard days to come because she feared the Lord God and knew He would not fail her ….
“Strength and honour are her clothing; and she will rejoice in time to come.” (Proverbs 31:25).
She didn’t allow her past as a former enemy of God stop her, or her past status as a poor Moabitess widow define her and imprison her and keep her from doing the work that the Lord called her to do. The Lord was her greatest Redeemer and she lived her life in surrender and worship to Him, because He had forgotten her past and instead given her a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11), and one that would impact the world forever (Matthew 1), right up to you and me and those to follow us ….
To sum it all up, Ruth believed in God’s grace and forgiveness and chose to follow Him. She feared Him and loved the Lord with all of her heart ….
She is an incredible example and encouragement to all Christian women. And not only is she an example of Christ’s redeeming love and power to transform any heart, she’s an example that, through the Lord’s power, any woman can be a virtuous woman. God can take any woman, from any background, no matter her past sins or mistakes and use her for His glory. If we trust in the Lord and devote ourselves to walk in all of His ways, then He is faithful to change us to become more like the godly women that He destined us to be ….
“A woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.” (Proverbs 31:30-31).