As the story of Ruth progresses, she continues to show strong character. At Naomi’s suggestion, she displays one of the most important characteristics of life and love: courage.
Every choice we make is a risk. Because every decision leads to a consequence. And we cannot control how the consequences turn out even when we steward our choices wisely. Not only that, but making a specific decision closes us off to the other decisions we might have made. It reveals a commitment, an element of hope that could let us down.
The harvest is in full bloom, and Boaz is celebrating. At Naomi’s suggestion, Ruth puts herself in a completely compromising situation with Boaz. She trusts Naomi enough to make herself completely vulnerable to Boaz by lying beside him on the threshing floor. Naomi makes a marriage proposal, since Boaz is a close relative, and therefore eligible to be a “kinsman redeemer” and redeem Naomi’s land.
Boaz commends Ruth for her actions later in Chapter 3 in two ways – he calls her a person of noble character (and includes how this is known through the community) and he commends her for not chasing the younger, good looking men. The attractive Ruth instead sought security for her and Naomi through a man of great character, Boaz.
Ruth’s choices are bold, value-based decisions. Her decisions require great courage, great commitment, and great character.
Noble characters make value-based choices in difficult circumstances. Our choices reveal who or what we trust. Ruth trusted Naomi and Boaz. In doing so, it turned out she was trusting God, who blessed her immensely. She honored God with her courage, and God honored her because of her courage.
Each day we have the opportunity to make our choices according to the values of Christ and His Kingdom. When we do so, we reveal a trust in God and His ways. A true choice. And a bold one.
This is the third in a series of four devotionals centered on the life of Ruth. One of the most incredible characters in all of Scripture, Ruth’s example of self-governance and stewardship shows us the way of love, the key to living well, and the impact our choices can make. For more on this topic check out thebiblesays.com commentary on Ruth, which was a source for this series.