The Story of Ruth: A Woman of Fearless Faith – Women of Faith Blog Series
Greetings, dear loves! God has recently pressed upon my heart the desire to encourage my fellow sisters in Christ in their faith walk and in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ through a blog series. In this blog series, I will discuss what it means to be a true woman of faith in a world that contradicts everything that a biblical woman stands for. I want to discuss what it means to be a virtuous woman: a faithful woman, a Proverbs 31 Woman, and a Titus 2 Woman based on God’s principles and standards. I also want to touch on what it means to have the kind of faith that endures and stands the test of time: A faith that knows no bounds. A faith that frequently does the unexpected. A faith that worships with her life. A faith that obeys when it is easier to remain complacent and comfortable. A faith rooted and grounded in the love and the work of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:17-20).
A faith that trusts God with all of the details of her life. A faith that overcomes all obstacles. A faith that perseveres through all trials, tribulations, and adversities with patience, diligence, and hope. A faith (and a love) that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. A faith filled with strength, humility, kindness, and boldness. A faith that encourages, inspires, transforms, and speaks with wisdom (Proverbs 31:26)…some kind of faith, huh! And yet, there are examples of these women ALL throughout the Bible. (Men, please don’t check out on me! This is for you as well! You can follow the blog series along with us to encourage the women in your life – and if you are single: To prepare for and find the kind of woman that was created to support you!) Let’s dig deep into the life of several of these women. The first woman up: Ruth! I hope you are just as excited about this as I am!
The book of Ruth is a beautiful story about the goodness and grace of God and how He accomplishes His plan in the midst of our adversity and trials. But beyond that, it’s a story of true commitment, faith, and obedience to the Lord despite circumstances and appearances. Please keep in mind that I will highlight certain aspects of the story – but I encourage you to read and study the Book of Ruth on your own! I am very long-winded when I write or speak about something that I love (and if you haven’t caught on to this yet via my blog, you will!) I could go on forever about any particular subject…and I love theology, so if it’s in the Bible, this is multiplied times 100! But my goal in this season is to encourage you to search out the truth in God’s Word on your own, so I will limit my writing as much as I can in this series. I want to encourage you to dig deep into the Word of God – to read, digest, study, meditate – and find more precious jewels that will enlighten you and minister to you! If you’re ready, let’s go!
Ruth was a great example of a woman with fearless faith. She was a Moabite who married into the family of Elimelech and Naomi. Elimelech was the patriarch of the family, and together the family dwelled and made their home in Moab after a famine in Bethlehem in Judah – their previous residence. While in Moab, the family experienced much adversity and suffering; unexpected turn of events. Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died. She was left with her two sons Mahlon and Chilion. Then, another great loss: Her sons died, and she was now left without her two sons and her husband. It was certainly much to endure. Naomi felt as if the Lord’s hand had gone out against her (Ruth 1:13), so she had urged both Ruth and her other daughter-in-law Orpah to return back to their homeland with hopes of marrying again and experiencing a great life. The future of her daughter-in-laws based on her human outlook was widowhood and childlessness – and she didn’t want them to suffer any more than they already had. According to her, there was nothing for them there, and staying with her looked bleak for their future as wives and mothers. After some time, she was successful in convincing Orpah to leave; but Ruth would not. Ruth was committed to Naomi and her God – the God of Israel – despite Naomi’s bitterness and the apparent affliction that God had allowed to occur in her life. Some kind of fearlessness. Some kind of commitment. And great courage.
Can you imagine being a young woman who had spent ten years in a foreign land with a family she married into, then lose her father-in-law, her husband, and her brother-in-law? She had no children to carry on a legacy, and no hope for a future husband in the land she currently resided in. Can you imagine what that must have felt like? Can you imagine being unable to fully experience the benefits of what you felt was God’s plan for your life – to be a wife and a mother? But more importantly: Can you imagine being selfless enough to give it all up (in your mind) and vow to stay with your mother-in-law – the same mother-in-law who was grief-stricken, and professed that the Lord had dealt very bitterly with her (Ruth 1:20) – and follow her God until death? Ruth trusted in her future with God (Proverbs 31:25). She looked beyond her circumstances and found hope, security, comfort, and refuge under the wings of the Almighty God. A true virtuous woman. She casted her cares on Him and left her future in His hands – then stepped out on faith. She took a risk. Fearless faith. Selfless sacrifice. Perfect love. I deeply admire this about Ruth. And I aspire to have this kind of boundless faith. This is the kind of sacrifice and faithfulness that a virtuous woman possesses.
She knew that God had her future in His hands, but she didn’t know that she would find grace and favor so soon. But putting her complete trust in her Lord brought about His promises in a way that she did not expect. As she committed to God and Naomi, she knew that she had to be consistent. In the new land of Bethlehem, they were right in the beginning of a barley harvest (God’s favor was shown right there). She knew that her commitment to God and Naomi meant that she would need to work and provide for herself and Naomi. She did not wait for a husband or a handout. She willingly worked and gleaned a harvest in the field – never expecting notoriety, acknowledgment, or anything else. She continued to be faithful. And in her faithfulness, she eventually caught the attention of Boaz while working in the field to provide for herself and for Naomi. Choosing to sacrifice her desires and disregard what may have been the most comfortable decision…giving it all up for the duty of loving and serving her mother-in-law and her God? This is powerful. It is a testament of God being at work behind the scenes even when it may seem that He has turned against us.
This is where the love story begins. Boaz noticed her working in the field, and he asked one of his servants who she was. The servant proceeded to tell Boaz about her, her story, and how she arrived there – and Boaz took notice right away and showed favor to her by watching over her, protecting her, and allowing her to glean in his field. Biblical manhood at its finest. Ruth was extremely grateful. She fell on her face and bowed, saying: Why have I found grace in your eyes, that you should take knowledge of me, seeing that I am a stranger (Ruth 2:10)? Gratefulness is an amazing attribute and an example of true virtue. Boaz answered and said: All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people you did not know before. May the Lord repay you for what you have done, and a full reward be given you by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge (Ruth 2:11-12). So amazing. The story continues to unfold, and Ruth eventually becomes the wife of Boaz, and he her husband.
The sovereignty, providence, and grace of God is seen so abundantly in this story. In His perfect timing, we will receive all that He has promised when we remain faithful to Him. Ruth was certainly a woman of fearless faith. Ruth was destined for success because she loved God with all of her heart, mind, soul, and strength – and trusted God with her entire life. She loved Naomi, and understood the priceless significance that God had in guiding her and Naomi’s life. So she followed her. She made a sacrifice. And she feared nothing ahead – no person, no experience, no trial or tribulation, and no lie from the enemy. And she received everything that the Lord promised as a result of her trust in God, her obedience to Him, and her selfless sacrifice to Naomi. Ruth continued to have faith. And in return, she found the love of her life in Boaz: her kinsman-redeemer to carry on the family legacy.
You see, to have a fearless faith means to also have a radical, crazy love. Ruth had a crazy kind of love for God. It was crazy because it was unexpected. It was crazy because it was not the cultural norm. It was crazy because it defied all human logic and thinking. Crazy love for God is good. And because she so humbly relinquished her power and surrendered to the work that God endeavored to accomplish in her life, she gained much. She became a wife again to an amazing man of God, a mother to Obed, a great grandmother of the greatest king of Israel – King David – and a descendant of the lineage of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amazing.
Naomi’s story ended well also, partly due to the faithfulness of her daughter-in-law. Naomi was transparent in confessing that God’s hand had allowed such adversity in her past, and in a way, this is honorable. It is truly a gift to be transparent about the trials of life. We are encouraged to be human in this walk. And Naomi didn’t turn away from God; she was just honest. But in His timing, God turned it all around as a result of Ruth’s obedience and her willingness to remain faithful to her commitment. Naomi now had a grandson that would carry on their family legacy, and a daughter-in-law and son-in-law to delight in for the rest of her life. God had not only redeemed Ruth, but He redeemed Naomi also (Ruth 4:15). An example of God’s grace, mercy, and love.
I want to highlight a few more attributes of a virtuous, fearless woman of faith (taken from Matthew Henry’s Commentary) – along with a few scriptures for you to reflect on after this blog. (Just a few! I’ll save more for later.) I pray that it blesses you!
The fear of God reigning in the heart of a woman is the beauty of the soul; it lasts forever.
A virtuous woman of God has the firmness to bear up under crosses and disappointments, and she does it with poise and grace.
A virtuous woman of God is invested with a moral force and dignity which arm her against care and worry; strength and honor are her clothing (Proverbs 31:25).
A virtuous woman of God is a crown of beauty in the hand of her Lord. Her beauty comes from her unwavering faith and trust in the Lord.
For though she is the weaker vessel, and weak in herself, she is strong in Him; able to bear and do all things with love and a sound mind.
Ruth 3:10-11: And he said, May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. For you have shown me more kindness in the latter end than in the beginning, inasmuch as you followed not after young men, whether poor or rich. And now my daughter, fear not. I will do for you all that you require: for all of my people know that you are a virtuous woman.
Ruth 4:14-15: And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the Lord, which has not left you this day without a redeemer, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.
A personal note: Chapter 9 of my book Happily Ever After: “The Proverbs 31 Woman: Who Is She and What Does She Embody?” is one of the longest chapters in my book – and is both edifying and convicting. The book speaks in great detail about what it truly means to be a woman after God’s own heart. Biblical womanhood and our pursuit of Christ is a focal point in the book (just check out the subtitle!) I wrote this book for every woman who is on a search for true and perfect love; I wrote this book for every woman who feels as if there is another level of happiness – another level of love, joy, and peace that has yet to be fulfilled in her life. I wrote this book for every woman who desires to know Jesus Christ as her Savior – and if she does know Him as her Savior, then I write about the desire to grow in Him and to know Him more deeply, personally, and intimately.
The book highlights many of the same women we will talk about in the blog series: women who exemplified faith and virtue; biblical women who pursued Christ with every fiber of their being; godly women who trusted God fully with their heart, their soul, and their life; women who mastered the art of being strong and gentle – soft warriors; women who understood their God-given role as helper and supporter within the Body of Christ; women who complemented the male spiritual leaders in the church, the home, and the workplace. I encourage you to check out the book and/or purchase it for a woman that you love! Let’s join together to help restore biblical womanhood.
Blessings and love!
Soli Deo Gloria,