Though Ruth was a Moabite, she honored God and his commands. Ruth's marriage to Mahlon ended with his death, but it seems that she understood her marriage to be a commitment to serve God, not Mahlon, all the days of her life. Ruth accompanied her elderly mother-in-law to Bethlehem and worked to provide for her. It was Ruth who requested the task of gleaning the field (Ruth 2:2), and in return, Noami requested to search out a suitable mate for Ruth (Ruth 3:1). Ruth's faithfulness to God and Noami led her into righteousness.
It was the custom of the men to care and provide for the women, even the widows were redeemed by the husband's next of kin (Ruth 4:2-12). But when Ruth arrived in Bethlehem, she did not search for a man to provide. Instead, she boldly searched for work. Ruth did not consider danger, reputation, or sorrow (Ruth 2:22). Ruth humbly worked as a strong, protected servant of God to provide for her household. Ruth, in some ways, redeemed Noami before ever meeting Boaz (Ruth 4:15).
Ruth's faithful commitment to Noami led Noami to a loving decision. In Ruth 3:1, Noami decides to find Ruth a mate that will provide well for her. Such a request cannot be taken lightly because Noami did not want Ruth to follow her to Bethlehem. Noami insisted that Ruth return to her family in Moab, but Ruth refused (Ruth 1:8-19). After some time in Bethlehem, Noami responds to Ruth's loving provision with a request of lovingly providing for her as well. Ruth was focused on Noami (another) which led Noami to focus on Ruth (another). Through selfless laboring, Ruth earned the title "Woman of Noble Character" (Ruth 3:11).
A woman of noble character submitted to the instructions of her mother-in-law and potential suitor. Ruth's willingness to serve and submit led to Boaz's willingness to protect her body and purity (Ruth 2:14-16 and Ruth 3:7-14). As a noble, worthy, honorable character, Ruth displayed herself as a responsible, loving, strong, grateful, hardworking, submissive, faithful, teachable, willing, bold, humble, capable, and pure servant. These characteristics were rewarded with a position in the genealogy of Christ. Not only did she give birth to the grandfather of King David, but Ruth is one of the four women named in Christ's genealogy (Matthew 1:5). There are a large number of men named in the genealogy; however, God only saw fit to name four women even though five are mentioned. Yes, there is a nameless woman referenced in Jesus genealogy (Matthew 1:6). How honored God must have been by the works of Ruth to mention her by name. "A woman of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies" (Proverbs 31:10).
In today's world, we can become so distracted by the pursuit of happiness. Every where we look there is a woman who has it all. Out of desperation, need, and emptiness, we search for the redeeming entity that will open the door to abundance living through public recognition, marriage, friendships, accomplishments, etc. But, what if the answer is in nobility? The ability to walk, talk, and act as a beautiful fully capable servant. Both Ruth and Jesus served the ones they loved wholeheartedly. Ruth received a named position in Jesus genealogy, and Jesus earned a seat at the right hand of God.
Where will God position you?
Are you walking in the redemption of Christ?
How can you redeem your loved ones?
What characteristics of a noble woman do you need to strengthen?
My name is Margaret McDowell, and I am with For EverLasting Revelation. A nonprofit organization that aims to journey with women through motherhood with God and purpose. I am not a Biblical scholar, but I am an experienced sinner who seeks God for love, guidance, and mercy.