Character study: THE DETERMINATION TO CONTINUE WITH THE GOD OF JACOB (Ruth as a case study)


-Olabanji Victor Ogunmola

Character study: THE DETERMINATION TO CONTINUE WITH THE GOD OF JACOB (Ruth as a case study)

So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? Ruth 1: 19

At last, Naomi and Ruth finally came to Bethlehem after enduring such a fatigue journey. Naomi was now convinced of the truth which she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited her people in giving them bread

When they arrived, all of their relatives and kindred came to visit them, and in particular, they came to see the state of Naomi whom they’ve not really seen after such a long spell away from home and to also bid her welcome back to Bethlehem again. The women were so surprised with the condition in which they met Naomi; they could scarcely believe what they saw. “Why is she like this”? Some mused.

And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? Ruth 1: 20-21

“Naomi signifies pleasant or amiable; but all my spirit were laid waste, call me Mara, bitter or bitterest, for I am now a woman of a sorrowful spirit”

She went out full and she came back empty. She must have probably had sold her goods, and of all the effects she took with her brought home no more than the clothes on her back.

Naomi, though a poor contemptible widow, had rich relations, whom yet she boasted not of, nor was burdensome to. Those that have rich relations, while they themselves are poor, ought to know that it is the wise providence of God that makes the difference.

When Ruth got to Canaan as a poor wretched widow, who is saddened with the responsibility of catering for an old, poor mother-in-law; she did not resolve to abominable means of getting money. Some women would have resorted to prostitution in order to get enough money. But, Ruth’s humility and industry in gleaning corn, with her providence directed her to Boaz field, not knowing that Boaz was Mahlon’s kinsman

The Lord really granted her favour, which was a symbol that the Lord is in support of her actions. Boaz eventually showed her favour in many instances. Ruth 2: 4-16

Ruth determined to continue with the God of Jacob when she got to Bethlehem. She could as well have said, “Let me now go back to the land of Moab, for there is no living here. Here, there is want, but in my father’s house, there is bread enough” she knew she could not exchange the privilege of knowing the God of Jacob with any other thing in life. She had learnt her lesson from Elimelech’s lifestyle to endure a short moment of discomfort and lean on the Holy one of Israel.

Ruth was not mindful of the kind of country she came out from. The God of Israel shall now be her God. And though he slay her, yet she will trust in him and never forsake him. Her attitude in Bethlehem showed that she was properly brought up. She did not say, ”well, I am ashamed to go out there and beg to glean corn” she did not tell her mother-in-law she was never brought up to live upon crumbs. Though, she was not brought up to it, she was brought down to it, and is not easy at it.

Humility is one of the brightest ornaments of Ruth. Before she was honoured was her humility. She did not demand kindness as a debt, but, humbly ask it, and she took it as a favour

Ruth did not tell Naomi, “let me now go a visiting to the ladies of the town, or go a walking in the fields to take the air and be merry; I cannot sit all day moping with you”

She was one of those virtuous women in the scriptures that love not to eat the bread of idleness, but love to take pains. This is an example to young people. Believers ought to love betimes to labour, and what their hands finds to do, let them do it with their might. She had to work for her living, and not simply begging.

She was dutifully observant to her mother-in-law. She never went out without letting her know her whereabouts. She did not say, “mother, if you will go with me, I will go glean” but, “do you sit at home, and take your ease, and I will go abroad, and take pains” she knows not which way to go, nor whom to enquire for, but she solidly trust the ancient of days. The Lord did not let her down, the Lord directed her steps to Boaz’s field.

Boaz had a servant that was set over the reapers, Ruth 2: 6. Boaz came regularly to visit his reapers and he always commended them on their work

Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “The LORD be with you!” And they answered him, “The LORD bless you!” Ruth 2: 4

Boaz never fought nor chide with any of his servants. He never came to find their faults and exercise his authority over them, but he always prayed for them. His words are:

“The Lord be with you, prosper you, and give you health and strength, and preserve you from any disaster.”

The reply of the servants is:

“The Lord bless thee, and make our labours serviceable to thy prosperity.”

This was the kind of atmosphere Ruth met Boaz and his co-workers, in fact, Boaz commanded his servants concerning Ruth that they should not touch her Ruth 2: 9, nor reproach her, Ruth 2: 15.

Masters must take care of their servants, they must never do them hurt, they must be kind to them. Boaz was very kind to Ruth, and showed her a great deal of favour when he heard that

• Ruth was a stranger

• She was an allied to his family, for she came back with Naomi, the wife of Elimelech, Boaz kinsman

• She was a proselyte, for she came out of the country of Moab to settle in the land of Israel

• She was very modest, she had not gleaned till she had asked leave

• She was very industrious and hard working, she had continued to work from morning till now

Boaz told his servants to be very tender of Ruth and respect her. Boaz bade her welcome to the entertainments he had provided for his own servants. Boaz commended her for her dutiful respect to her mother-in-law, which though, he did not know her by sight, yet he had heard of

And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. Ruth 2: 11

He prayed for her,

The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. Ruth 2: 12

Boaz’s attitude to Ruth showed that he must have been a man of a generous spirit. Ruth received his favours with a great deal of humility and gratitude. She paid all possible respect to Boaz, and gave him honour.

She fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground. When Boaz gave her dinner with his reapers, she ate so much as would suffice her. She did not under pretence either of her want or of her labour, eat more than what was convenient for her.

Ruth finishes her day’s work Ruth 2: 17. She went straight home to her mother-in-law; she entertained her with what she had left of the good dinner Boaz had given her. She gave to her what she had reserved, after she was sufficed Ruth 2: 18

When Naomi asked her where she had been, she gave a proper account of how she had received kindness from Boaz Ruth 2: 19. Naomi, out of excitement prayed for Boaz before she actually knew who he was. Even after she knew who he was, she still shot at him the arrows of prayer Ruth 2: 20. We learnt that the poor must pray for those that are kind and liberal to them

Naomi quickly acquainted Ruth how related Boaz was to them

“the man was near of kin to us”, she said.

She encouraged Ruth to continue her attendance in the fields of Boaz. Naomi’s care for her daughter-in-law’s comfort is indeed commendable, and is recommended for imitation. Even though Ruth had no thought of re-marrying herself, but Naomi had to instigate that plan and the Lord backed her up. Boaz later got married to Ruth after several counselling; he did not just carry her and impregnate her, but seeks Elder’s consent. Believers must seek their leaders and Pastor’s consent and guidance before venturing into marriage. God bless Boaz’s union with Ruth with Obed, David’s grandfather.

So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? Ruth 1: 19

At last, Naomi and Ruth finally came to Bethlehem after enduring such a fatigue journey. Naomi was now convinced of the truth which she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited her people in giving them bread

When they arrived, all of their relatives and kindred came to visit them, and in particular, they came to see the state of Naomi whom they’ve not really seen after such a long spell away from home and to also bid her welcome back to Bethlehem again. The women were so surprised with the condition in which they met Naomi; they could scarcely believe what they saw. “Why is she like this”? Some mused.

And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? Ruth 1: 20-21

“Naomi signifies pleasant or amiable; but all my spirit were laid waste, call me Mara, bitter or bitterest, for I am now a woman of a sorrowful spirit”

She went out full and she came back empty. She must have probably had sold her goods, and of all the effects she took with her brought home no more than the clothes on her back.

Naomi, though a poor contemptible widow, had rich relations, whom yet she boasted not of, nor was burdensome to. Those that have rich relations, while they themselves are poor, ought to know that it is the wise providence of God that makes the difference.

When Ruth got to Canaan as a poor wretched widow, who is saddened with the responsibility of catering for an old, poor mother-in-law; she did not resolve to abominable means of getting money. Some women would have resorted to prostitution in order to get enough money. But, Ruth’s humility and industry in gleaning corn, with her providence directed her to Boaz field, not knowing that Boaz was Mahlon’s kinsman

The Lord really granted her favour, which was a symbol that the Lord is in support of her actions. Boaz eventually showed her favour in many instances. Ruth 2: 4-16

Ruth determined to continue with the God of Jacob when she got to Bethlehem. She could as well have said, “Let me now go back to the land of Moab, for there is no living here. Here, there is want, but in my father’s house, there is bread enough” she knew she could not exchange the privilege of knowing the God of Jacob with any other thing in life. She had learnt her lesson from Elimelech’s lifestyle to endure a short moment of discomfort and lean on the Holy one of Israel.

Ruth was not mindful of the kind of country she came out from. The God of Israel shall now be her God. And though he slay her, yet she will trust in him and never forsake him. Her attitude in Bethlehem showed that she was properly brought up. She did not say, ”well, I am ashamed to go out there and beg to glean corn” she did not tell her mother-in-law she was never brought up to live upon crumbs. Though, she was not brought up to it, she was brought down to it, and is not easy at it.

Humility is one of the brightest ornaments of Ruth. Before she was honoured was her humility. She did not demand kindness as a debt, but, humbly ask it, and she took it as a favour

Ruth did not tell Naomi, “let me now go a visiting to the ladies of the town, or go a walking in the fields to take the air and be merry; I cannot sit all day moping with you”

She was one of those virtuous women in the scriptures that love not to eat the bread of idleness, but love to take pains. This is an example to young people. Believers ought to love betimes to labour, and what their hands finds to do, let them do it with their might. She had to work for her living, and not simply begging.

She was dutifully observant to her mother-in-law. She never went out without letting her know her whereabouts. She did not say, “mother, if you will go with me, I will go glean” but, “do you sit at home, and take your ease, and I will go abroad, and take pains” she knows not which way to go, nor whom to enquire for, but she solidly trust the ancient of days. The Lord did not let her down, the Lord directed her steps to Boaz’s field.

Boaz had a servant that was set over the reapers, Ruth 2: 6. Boaz came regularly to visit his reapers and he always commended them on their work

Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, “The LORD be with you!” And they answered him, “The LORD bless you!” Ruth 2: 4

Boaz never fought nor chide with any of his servants. He never came to find their faults and exercise his authority over them, but he always prayed for them. His words are:

“The Lord be with you, prosper you, and give you health and strength, and preserve you from any disaster.”

The reply of the servants is:

“The Lord bless thee, and make our labours serviceable to thy prosperity.”

This was the kind of atmosphere Ruth met Boaz and his co-workers, in fact, Boaz commanded his servants concerning Ruth that they should not touch her Ruth 2: 9, nor reproach her, Ruth 2: 15.

Masters must take care of their servants, they must never do them hurt, they must be kind to them. Boaz was very kind to Ruth, and showed her a great deal of favour when he heard that

• Ruth was a stranger

• She was an allied to his family, for she came back with Naomi, the wife of Elimelech, Boaz kinsman

• She was a proselyte, for she came out of the country of Moab to settle in the land of Israel

• She was very modest, she had not gleaned till she had asked leave

• She was very industrious and hard working, she had continued to work from morning till now

Boaz told his servants to be very tender of Ruth and respect her. Boaz bade her welcome to the entertainments he had provided for his own servants. Boaz commended her for her dutiful respect to her mother-in-law, which though, he did not know her by sight, yet he had heard of

And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. Ruth 2: 11

He prayed for her,

The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. Ruth 2: 12

Boaz’s attitude to Ruth showed that he must have been a man of a generous spirit. Ruth received his favours with a great deal of humility and gratitude. She paid all possible respect to Boaz, and gave him honour.

She fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground. When Boaz gave her dinner with his reapers, she ate so much as would suffice her. She did not under pretence either of her want or of her labour, eat more than what was convenient for her.

Ruth finishes her day’s work Ruth 2: 17. She went straight home to her mother-in-law; she entertained her with what she had left of the good dinner Boaz had given her. She gave to her what she had reserved, after she was sufficed Ruth 2: 18

When Naomi asked her where she had been, she gave a proper account of how she had received kindness from Boaz Ruth 2: 19. Naomi, out of excitement prayed for Boaz before she actually knew who he was. Even after she knew who he was, she still shot at him the arrows of prayer Ruth 2: 20. We learnt that the poor must pray for those that are kind and liberal to them

Naomi quickly acquainted Ruth how related Boaz was to them

“the man was near of kin to us”, she said.

She encouraged Ruth to continue her attendance in the fields of Boaz. Naomi’s care for her daughter-in-law’s comfort is indeed commendable, and is recommended for imitation. Even though Ruth had no thought of re-marrying herself, but Naomi had to instigate that plan and the Lord backed her up. Boaz later got married to Ruth after several counselling; he did not just carry her and impregnate her, but seeks Elder’s consent. Believers must seek their leaders and Pastor’s consent and guidance before venturing into marriage. God bless Boaz’s union with Ruth with Obed, David’s grandfather.

Credit: Olabanji Victor Ogunmola


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