|Photo by More Good Foundation*|
Today my personal Bible reading was the book of Ruth. I love that book! Ruth, the person, is one of my favorite Bible characters, and the book itself is one of my favorite books. The reason I love it so much is because it not only illustrates Christ's willingness to redeem us, His Bride, but also because Ruth had so many character qualities for which we should strive as Christian women.
For our devotional today, I want to share with you some of the many character qualities I find in Ruth.
Just a reminder: you can mouse over the Scripture references and a box with the text of the verse will pop up, so you can read the verses right here and not have to go and look them up!
Ruth was loyal. Ruth 1:14-16 Her mother-in-law, Naomi, tried to persuade Ruth to return to her own people and gods, but Ruth insisted on staying with Naomi. I like to think that Ruth had found a better life with Naomi's family than she had experienced as a girl growing up in Moab. Whatever the reason, Ruth was loyal to her mother-in-law, and we continue to see that loyalty throughout the book. We should be careful where our loyalties lie, but when the objects are worthy, we should remain loyal. I Corinthians 4:2; I Timothy 3:11
Ruth took the initiative. Ruth 2:2 She saw a need and took action to fill it. No one had to tell Ruth what to do next! As Christian women, we need to be attentive to the needs around us and take the initiative to fill those needs as we can. Proverbs 19:17; I Timothy 6:18; Hebrews 13:16
Ruth was humble. Ruth 2:10 She knew where she was from - a country that God had forbidden its citizens to enter into His grace. Deuteronomy 23:3 Even though she probably experienced prejudice because of her nationality, she didn't become bitter; she remained humble. Even so, we must humble ourselves before God for Him to lift us up. James 4:10 Even Jesus humbled Himself, and His mind is to be in us! Philippians 2:5-11 Also, Job 22:29; Proverbs 29:23; Isaiah 57:15; Matthew 23:12; I Peter 5:6
Ruth was industrious. Ruth 2:17 She didn't "eat the bread of idleness" (Proverbs 31:27). When it was time to work, she was working. With all our energy-saving devices today, we still need to be women who are industrious and willing to work! Proverbs 31:13; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Colossians 3:23,24
Ruth was unselfish. Ruth 2:18 She only took of her gleanings what she needed, and gave the rest to Naomi. Ruth wasn't out to get what she could out of the situation; she wasn't working for her own goals. We ladies need to live for others. I'm not saying to never care for yourself or enjoy anything for yourself, but following Jesus' example, we need to be thinking of others before ourselves. Matthew 20:26; Luke 14:10; Romans 12:10; Philippians 2:3
Ruth was submissive. Ruth 3:5 To be honest, if my mother-in-law told me to go into a place full of working men at midnight and lay myself at the feet of one of them and wait for his orders, I don't think I'd be very willing to do it! But Ruth was willing to follow Naomi's instructions, and God blessed her for it. We need to be willing most of all to do what God commands, without questioning, but we also need to be willing to do what other authorities in our lives ask of us (of course, only when it also lines up with obedience to God). We also need to be willing to submit to one another, to put others first. Ephesians 5:21; I Peter 5:5
Ruth was virtuous. Ruth 3:11 Everyone knew it too. The whole city knew she was a virtuous woman. We should be women who are known as good women. We should be good women, and we should be the same everywhere we go. Matthew 5:16, 15:8; Ephesians 2:10; I Timothy 2:10; I Timothy 5:10; Titus 2:7, 3:8; I Peter 2:12 And by the way, your children know the real you. Be the same at church as you are at home - be consistent!
The above were just a few qualities I jotted down as I read back through the book this afternoon. We would do well - and have quite the job laid out for us - to emulate the qualities Ruth showed. Let's determine to be women of excellence, as Ruth was, so that we might see God's blessings on our lives as well!
* The owner of the picture at the top of this post has tagged the picture and titled it with the word Mormon. I want to clarify that I do not, in any way, shape, or form, agree with or endorse the teachings of the Mormon church.