I read the Old Testament book of Ruth a few days ago. An Israelite woman named Naomi, while living in the foreign country of Moab, loses her husband and two sons. She is left alone except for her daughters-in-law. She sets out to return to Judah and is followed by these two woman. However, only Ruth stays with her; the other is convinced to return to her family.
I was captured by the phrase which was used by Boaz, a relative of Naomi's, in regards to Ruth.
He said, "...all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence" in Ruth 3:11.
Boaz's statement made me examine the woman, Ruth, more carefully. What type of woman is worthy of these words?
She believed in the God of Israel. Boaz said that Ruth came to seek refuge under God's wings. 2:12
Ruth was a kind and respectful person. Naomi knew that both of her daughters-in-law were kind by their treatment of herself and the deceased husbands. "And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, 'Go, return each of you to her Mother's house. May the Lord deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the dead and with me.' " Ruth 1:8
Ruth demonstrated loyalty to her Mother-in-law by remaining with her. This makes me wonder what type of woman Naomi was to have earned that love and devotion from her daughter-in-law.
Ruth was determined once she made up her mind. Naomi's insistence that she return to her home did not sway her; she knew what she wanted to do.
Once they were in Judah, Ruth demonstrated that she was a hard worker. She gleaned (picked up what was left after the field workers had harvested) all day in the field to get food for her Mother-in-law and herself. "So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley." 2:17
Ruth was a humble person. She listened to the words of Naomi without hesitation. 3:3-5
Ruth was a grateful person. Listen to her response to Boaz, " I have found favor in your sight, my lord, for you have comforted me and indeed have spoken kindly to your maidservant though I am not like one of your maidservants." 2:13
Boaz recognized Ruth's wisdom in not looking for a young man but setting her hope on Boaz. As he was a relative of Naomi, he would be able to redeem Naomi and Ruth's household by raising up the name of their deceased through their offspring. 4:10
Ruth was an obedient and submissive woman. She listened to Naomi's advice and followed her wisdom. 3:3-5 There is no doubt that she was one of the holy women that adorned themselves with a gentle and quiet spirit, submitting to her husband, which the apostle, Peter, spoke about in 1Peter 3:1-6
Ruth shows an excellent path to follow.