Ruth Part 8 – Noble Character   2 comments

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10″The LORD bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. 11And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.

We ended the last study with Ruth proposing to Boaz and now she is waiting for his answer, wondering what kind of response she will get.  Will Boaz think she is crazy or childish. Will he be angry or embarrassed and scold her? Did Ruth second guess this whole plan now that her spoken words are left hanging in midair waiting to see what type of landing they will have.  Will her words crash and burn or will they land safely and softly in the refuge of a compassionate listener?

Boaz, shines through again with his true character and discernment.  He addresses Ruth with kindness and praise.  The man has a way with words and knows what to say to build up rather than tear down. “The Lord bless you, my daughter,” I am sure this one line caused Ruth to breathe easier and I bet you could probably see the relief in her posture.    This line also gives us a hint that Boaz is quite a bit older than Ruth and is confirmed in Boaz’s next statement:

“This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor.

This statement also seems like Ruth passed the final test; like her character was in question when she first came to town.  Would she really stay and help Naomi?  Would she really adopt the lifestyle, religion and customs of the Jewish people?  Would she go after the younger men as her biological clock ticked away?  Ruth passed the test with flying colors!  Check out what Boaz says next:

11And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.

Wow, how is that for confirmation! Ruth was a woman of character and trusted God. She trusted the God of Naomi and Boaz: the One True God.   She was a woman of noble character and there was no way of hiding it!  Iain M. Duguid in his book Esther and Ruth brings up an interesting fact:

“It is noteworthy that Proverbs 31, which in the ordering of the Hebrew Bible comes right before Ruth,  describes a woman of character whose ‘works praise her in the gates’ (Proverbs 31:31).  Using similar language, Boaz says, ‘And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.’ (Ruth 3:11). What we see in Ruth is precisely a ‘Proverbs 31’ woman in the flesh: her deeds have indeed been praised in the city gates!”

What Ruth teaches us is that she gained this reputation in quiet and humble service. She didn’t toot her own horn or cry for attention.  She went about her business with honor and devotion and that is what made her the shining star. Boaz was impressed and so were the people in her community. This reminds me of a couple of scripture verses in the New Testament:

1 Thessalonians 4:11 Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. 12 Then people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.

1 Peter 3:3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

Ruth is truly a role model and her noble character appears to be paying off.  Now, I wish I could say that Boaz and Ruth go riding off into the sunrise.  But, I can’t, because there is yet another complication in this story and we will have to wait till next time to see what happens next!

My goal is to live a quiet life, minding my own business clothed with a gentle and quiet spirit.  This will be quite the challenge but worth the reward of having a reputation of being a woman of noble character. 

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Posted September 20, 2007 by Lana G! in Bible Study, Faith, Geneology, God, hope

2 responses to “Ruth Part 8 – Noble Character

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  1. Noble Character – that sounds so appealing. Love these Ruth posts…

  2. This inspired me greatly. Thank you.

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