(June 15, 2020)
“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.”
We left last time with Ruth’s stunning boldness as she proposed to Boaz. Romance was in the air, yet there was no hanky panky on the ground. For not only was Boaz a “man of standing” (2:1) but also Ruth is a woman of “noble character” (3:11). These two phrases sound a tad different in English, but in Hebrew the same word is used for both “standing” and “noble.”
This phrase “a woman of noble character” is found in another famous passage: Proverbs 31, which speaks of the “Character of a Noble Wife.” You could read Proverbs 31:10-31 and imagine this couple’s character. “A wife of noble character who can find?” (31:10). Imagine Boaz raising his hand, “I can!”
* * *
The community’s eyes were on Boaz and Ruth. Boaz was a community leader; everyone knew him. Ruth was the Moabite who was new; everyone was talking about her. And whether in public or in private – whether others were watching or not – they show the same integrity. A constancy of character – a continuity in which their private self mirrored their public self. There was no façade here; they were simply living out their authentic self.
When we see a life like that, we cannot help but look at our own hearts. Do we put on airs? Do we do things for show so that others will notice? Do we want credit or to be noticed?
Continuity of character. When our public self and our private self are mirror images. Only the soul that is secure in God is able to simply be their true self. And that is when others will see a glimpse of our God.
* * *
Father, may there be unity, continuity and authenticity throughout our entire being. For your glory. Amen.