How would you describe a person of noble character? Virtuous, excellent, or worthy are some of the words the Bible uses to describe Ruth, a woman of noble character. Ruth was a woman from Moab whose Jewish husband died as did her mother-in-law’s husband. Ruth felt a strong sense of compassion and responsibility for her mother-in-law (Naomi) and insisted on being with her to help her.
But Ruth said, “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. (Ruth 1:16)
Ruth was willing to set aside her own interests and take care of Naomi who had lost not only her husband, but both of her sons. People of noble character consider the well being of others rather than their own personal comfort. As Ruth was taking care of Naomi, she met an influential man named Boaz who provided for her because of her care and concern for Naomi,
But Boaz answered her, “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 that you did not know before. (Ruth 2:11)
Ruth realized that if she took care of her character, then her reputation would take care of itself. A key indicator of a people’s character is how they treat other people, especially those who can’t help them. The people who knew Ruth realized that she was a woman of excellence.
Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence. (Ruth 3:11)
The word translated “excellence” conveys the idea of strength, virtue, or noble character. Although Ruth was an outsider (she was from Moab) she was destined to become the great grandmother of king David and ultimately in the lineage of Jesus the Messiah. We often do not realize the impact of our character upon others, including ourselves,
Sow a thought, reap an act;
sow an act, reap a habit;
sow a habit, reap a character;
sow a character; reap a destiny.
Remember – your character is the foundation of your reputation.
Associate Pastor – Discipleship. The Church at LifePark
Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University
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