Welcome to week 4 of Women in the Bible: Beautiful and Brave series! Each week for 10 weeks, we are studying the most beautiful and brave women in the Bible. At the end of this post, you will find the prior articles in the series.
This week we are visiting Ruth, who dedicated herself. Ruth holds an interesting place in the lineup of women in the Bible, as she is one of only two women in the Bible with books bearing their names. (Esther is the other.) Perhaps this fact makes her one of the more well-known of the beautiful and brave women in our series.
Let’s pause to make sure we all know the backstory of Ruth. Ruth was the Moabite widow of Mahlon, son of Naomi. We don’t know the reason for Mahlon’s death, but his brother, Chilion, was also dead and so was his father. These three men left their widows behind, clinging to each other. In chapter 1, Ruth makes a statement to her mother-in-law that has resonated over many, many generations, verse 16:
“Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”
Persistent dedication requires purposeful determination.
This kind of dedication doesn’t come by chance. One must choose to be committed at this level.
I feel like I can hear the urgency in her voice when I read this declaration from Ruth. I wonder if she had a bit of a reputation for being a little on the stubborn side. Because the next verse says that when Naomi saw Ruth was determined to go with her, she didn’t say anything else. Maybe she made the mental note: “What’s the point?” Wouldn’t it have been fun to see her facial expressions? Do you think she maybe rolled her eyes? Regardless, Ruth had made up her mind and wasn’t changing it. What beautiful commitment she displays!
While this may have been the most beautiful thing Ruth is noted for, I think her bravery is captured when she follows her mother-in-law’s instructions on the dating traditions of the time. Through gleaning the fields for barley, Ruth is noticed by Boaz, a man who also happens to be a potential kinsman redeemer. Naomi instructs Ruth to go to Boaz after he has gone to sleep and lie down at his feet. This may seem a bit strange to us, but in keeping with the customs of the day, Ruth follows Naomi’s directions to the letter. Boaz is smitten with Ruth and flattered by the fact that she wants him to take her hand in marriage and redeem her through loving marriage.
This is a great place to enter “And they all lived happily ever after.”
The short book of Ruth sure is power-packed with principles for us today. But we’ll have to save those for another post. It’s about time to outline the profile of this brave and beautiful woman:
- Name: Ruth
- Occupation: Gleaner of the fields
- Family background: Mahlon’s wife and Naomi’s daughter in law, great grandmother to David
- Daily life: caregiver for the aged
- Emotional baggage: none we’re given
- Weaknesses: a bit on the stubborn side
- Beauty secrets: joyfully loyal and flexible
- Acts of bravery: Dedicated herself to caring for someone who had no one else, bravely following her mother-in-law’s instructions and beautifully loving her family.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be David’s great grandmother?
Each week I want to highlight one of the posts linked up in the previous week. This week, I chose Julie’s beautiful post about how our heavenly Father will never leave us or forsake us. Be sure to stop by Julie’s beautiful blog!
Bloggers, I’m thrilled to have your 100% Christian encouragement linkups this Whimsical Wednesday. If you have chosen to participate in the Women in the Bible series and link up your post, then I plan to choose and highlight one of your posts here on the blog next week.
Original Post: Women in the bible: 5 of the most beautiful and brave
Introductory Post: Women in the Bible: Beautiful and Brave series
Week 2: Deborah Who Declared God’s Truth
Week 3: Hannah Who Poured Out Her Soul
Week 4: Ruth Who Dedicated Herself