It is amazing how Providence directs us to God’s greater purposes in life. For instance, imagine how God moved Elimelech and his sons to the land of Moab. Through that Ruth, a Gentile got married to a Jew, then she went through the tragedy of losing her husband, thereafter, she relocated to Bethlehem to marry Boaz and eventually, became the progenitor of Jesus Christ. I call this the mystery of discovering God’s purpose. This mystery of Providence applies to every one of us and all the Bible characters like Moses, Abraham, Saul, David, Jacob, Peter, Paul, etc
Usually, such critical decisions to relocate from one place to another are accompanied by periods of fasting, prayers before we get to know the will of God. As we know, all such critical decisions that affect the steps we take in life does not rest only with us but with God who has called us.
Knowing the will of God in all wisdom and understanding is one key prayer we all need to constantly make in life. This was the prayer of Paul for the Colossians:
“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9-10 NKJV).
Ruth’s experiences and movements brought her closer to discovering God’s will. After arriving in Bethlehem, Boaz described Ruth as a virtuous woman. Listen: “Then he said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman” (Ruth 3:10-11 NKJV).
Boaz’s statement gives us a character profile of Ruth. He described her as kind, a woman with self-control and above all “a virtuous woman.” The phrase “virtuous woman” is found in Proverbs 31 where Solomon describes the character of a woman based on the advice of his mother. Ruth is compared to that woman of virtue.
A virtuous woman means one who shows moral excellence or one who leads a virtuous life. Ruth was a woman of moral excellence. Her signature statement in Ruth 1:16-17 and the way she related with Naomi and Boaz shows her to be a woman of high moral standard.
A lot has been written about the sterling qualities of a virtuous woman. Ruth has those qualities.
She was committed to relationships and her family (Ruth 1:15-18).
She was diligent in her work (Ruth 2:2).
She was industrious, dutiful and hardworking (Ruth 2:7,17,23)
She was polite, respectful and appreciative (Ruth 2:10,13).
She desired God protection (Ruth 2:12).
She was thrift and accountable (Ruth 2:14,18).
She was caring and hospitable (Ruth 2:23)
She was cute and fashionable (Ruth 3:3)
She was obedient and delightful (Ruth 3:5)
She had self-control (Ruth 3:6-13)
She was patient, kind and calculative (Ruth 3:18)
Some argue that Ruth shares similarities in character with the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31. That is worth reflecting on.
All said, Ruth, no doubt was a good wife in her two marriages and fits into the mould of one of the virtuous women in the Scriptures.