Updated: Oct 26, 2022
May 24, 2022
A woman recently bereft of her husband stands at the brink of decision: should she stay or should she go? With her father-in-law, brother-in-law, and husband now gone, what kind of future could she expect? Should she go with her mother-in-law to an unknown land, long ago abandoned because of famine? Or should she stay and face widowhood in the home of her parents?
Ruth, a virtuous woman, steps out in courage and faith and clings to her mother-in-law, Naomi. Nothing but death would part Ruth from Naomi, and Ruth courageously faces the struggles of building a new life in a strange land with Naomi.
Under the undoubtedly burning Middle-Eastern sun, Ruth toils day after day without complaint to provide food for herself and Naomi. Without modern farming implements or creature comforts, Ruth gleans corn and barley and brings the fruit of her labors to Naomi.
Boaz, a well-established yet compassionate land-owner and farmer, takes notice of Ruth and commands his workers to leave “handfuls of purpose” to supplement Ruth’s gleanings. Ruth, overwhelmed by Boaz’s kindness, falls to the ground and asks why Boaz should show such kindness to her. Boaz states that the whole city knows “that thou art a virtuous woman” and that Ruth has unselfishly cared for and provided for her mother-in-law.
God ultimately brings Ruth and Boaz together in one of the most beautiful love stories in all of history, and their union produces Obed, the grandfather of David. Through Ruth’s faith and obedience, God grafts her into the Jewish vine and lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ.
A few weeks ago our church had a ladies’ luncheon, and our theme was Ruth, A Virtuous Woman. Our pastor’s wife did a wonderful job teaching us what made Ruth such a remarkable lady and how we can apply those character qualities to our lives today.
Other than the Proverbs 31 woman, Ruth is the only woman in scripture who is called virtuous.
What made Ruth such a remarkable woman?
Her virtue (moral excellence)
To help us remember the story of Ruth, several talented ladies in our church created beautiful favors. The favors were an unleavened bread kit complete with a little jar of oil. Perhaps Ruth made some simple bread just like this unleavened bread with the resources she had gathered.
Before the luncheon, my pastor’s wife had asked if I would choose two songs that went along with the theme of our luncheon. I chose the old hymn, Follow On, since this hymn embodies the spirit and willingness of Ruth to follow God’s leading in her life. Then the Lord impressed upon my heart a new and simple song based on Ruth 1:16 which I titled "Intreat Me Not to Leave Thee."
Ru 1:16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
Below is a simple video with this new song, and you can also print a FREE copy of this song.
My pastor’s wife shared that in her wedding, the minister used the story of Ruth (particularly Ruth 1:16) during her marriage ceremony. This new song would make a beautiful addition to a wedding!