Working through the Ruth Bible Study this week I realized that I want to be like Ruth. It’s not the romance (which I think we place in the story much more than what really happened). I want to be like Ruth because of how she lived and loved sacrificially.
It seems that very little she did was for herself, including obeying Naomi’s commands to sneak into the threshing floor. When Boaz awoke and realized Ruth lay next to him (and she asked him to cover her) he called her a woman of “chayil.” You’ll read this scripture in the Bible reading plan below. Chayil means strong and virtuous, and it held military implications.
Ruth was a warrior. I want to be a warrior.
What Ruth and the Proverbs 31 Woman Have in Common
There is another woman in the Bible given this label, but I don’t like her very much. She is the Proverbs 31 woman. Just typing her name makes me feel tired and less than successful. One of my most popular blog posts was about how I don’t like her. I think she intimidates a lot of us.
She’s the original Wonder Woman who I could never measure up to. In order to be like her, I’d have to learn how to sew, own a business, never turn off my light, and clothe my children in scarlet, which Stephen might not mind because he attended NC State.
Of course, I’m just being silly, I gave up trying to “clothe” my grown children a long time ago. However, I have to tell you that it always bothers me when I don’t like somebody or feel burdened by a story or verse in the Bible. God has taught me those feelings are always an invitation to dig deeper into my heart and the Word.
God Knows Our Hearts
After years of not measuring up to this godly proverbs woman, God’s kindness led me to the dictionary and an old definition of “virtuous.” The rarely used definition was: to do or accept with an agreeable attitude that which must be done or accepted anyway. The day I read that I immediately felt free. I believe He led me to this definition. My eyes no longer saw all she DID . . . I saw a joyful woman.
God’s Word does not burden or condemn. His truth sets us free. This was from my original post about her:
But I believe it wasn’t all the things she did that made her so wonderful; it was her attitude. Her joy. How do we find joy in our daily routine?
Pray for it. And do 10 reps of thankfulness (at least) every day.
It’s all in the attitude, girlfriends. We are Proverbs 31 women. It’s not about how much we do but how we do it.
“Lord, please give us joy in our daily lives from the smallest of tasks to the most difficult. Give us strength and help us be thankful. Turn our labor to love. Give us grace for the day to do just what we need to do, no comparison to those around us or biblical wonder-women. May we be women of chayil.”“I’ve Never Liked the Proverbs 31 Woman, April 2014
Ruth’s Attitude of Love
When we connect these two biblical giants, I believe their motivation was love. The verses don’t say that. But I do believe Ruth loved her mother-in-law so desperately, she would sacrifice everything. And perhaps she saw such goodness in Boaz, that though he was very old, and other redeemers could have been chosen, she once again chose sacrificial love.
Love does that. It motivates. It changes hearts.
I want Ruth’s attitude of love. join me this week as we dig deeper into these scriptures from the Old Testament to the New to what Jesus commands us to do. He doesn’t say anything about sewing or getting up while it’s still dark like Proverbs 31 wife does. Come be encouraged and hopefully freed. You can print this plan to use during you quiet time, or if you are using the Ruth Bible Study, we are on page 22.
Monday: Ruth 3: 10
“The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor.”
Prompt: Some commentators think Boaz was 80 years old. That’s old. Some say Ruth was 40. I picture her more in her late 20’s to mid 30’s. “Kindness” was translated from chesed. Remember, chesed means merciful loving-acts of kindness that come with a promise. We often focus on Boaz as the hero in this story, but perhaps our focus should be on Ruth. Everything she’s done has been sacrificial. In what areas of your life do you want to be more like Ruth?
Tuesday: Ruth 3: 11
“And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character.”
Prompt: I love his reassurance. He is such a good guy. He tells her not to be afraid and that everyone knows she is a woman of chayil. This is a cool word. It was used to describe Boaz, now he’s labeled Ruth with this quality. It means strength, virtue, and wealth in some cases. If you have my Bible study, you know I dug deeper into the English word for virtue and found this definition, “to do or accept with an agreeable attitude that which must be done or accepted anyway.” Again, are there any areas in your life you need to apply this attribute to? Where does your attitude need an adjustment?
Wednesday: Ruth 3: 12
“Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I.”
Prompt: Things just got a little complicated. There’s another redeemer, and Boaz follows the rules. Best made plans don’t always work as planned. What has happened in your life lately that hasn’t turned out as you planned? Can you trust God with it?
Thursday: Proverbs 31:10
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
Prompt: You either love her or hate her, the Proverbs 31 woman. She’s a hard act to live up to, but God never intended us to be just like her. However, her “noble” character is something worth wanting, I think. This word is chayil too. I want to be a woman of chayil, strength and a good attitude willing to do what needs to be done. I confess, sometimes I just get whiny and depressed. That’s when I need a good dose of chayil! Holy Spirit can help us with this. Pray for Holy Spirit chayil today.
Friday: Mark 12: 28-31
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Prompt: This is it. These two commandments sum up everything. Rather than striving to be JoAnna Gaines or Martha Stewart, we’re called to love. That’s really what Ruth was doing. She was loving her mother-in-law well. Pray this prayer: “Lord, help me love you more each day and help me love the people you’ve placed in my life. Amen.” Pray this prayer multiple times daily for a year. It will change your life. It has mine.
Midweek Manna Online Study
Join me Wednesday night for a Bible study you can attend in your pajamas! I’ll be LIVE on Facebook at 7:30 PM ET. Just follow me and hang out on my timeline. Lord willing and no technical difficulties, I’ll be on time! If Facebook isn’t your thing, or you can’t meet with me on Wednesday, subscribe to my YouTube channel. You will get notifications when the newest teaching is uploaded.
Thanks for meeting me here today. I pray the scriptures and prompts draw you closer to your Redeemer, your Ga’al.
In His Strength,