“A Virtuous Decision”
February 19, 2017
#FearfullyMade Week 3
Pastor Kris Freeman
Scripture: Ruth 3:6-18 (NKJV)
6 So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law instructed her. 7 And after Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was cheerful, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came softly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. 8 Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet. 9 And he said, “Who are you?” So she answered, “I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative.”
10 Then he said, “Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman. 12 Now it is true that I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. 13 Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a close relative for you—good; let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, as the Lord lives! Lie down until morning.”
14 So she lay at his feet until morning, and she arose before one could recognize another. Then he said, “Do not let it be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.” 15 Also he said, “Bring the shawl that is on you and hold it.” And when she held it, he measured six ephahs of barley, and laid it on her. Then she went into the city. 16 When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “Is that you, my daughter?” Then she told her all that the man had done for her. 17 And she said, “These six ephahs of barley he gave me; for he said to me, ‘Do not go empty-handed to your mother-in-law.’” 18 Then she said, “Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day.”
Who was Ruth?
- Ruth was a Moabite living during a famine. Her husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law died and she decided to go to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law Naomi. Her mother-in-law was Hebrew.
- Ruth met Boaz working in the grain fields and with Noami’s help, eventually married him.
- She was called “a woman of noble character” but Boaz, her future husband, also acted with integrity in his preparation to follow custom and take her as his wife. He was willing to offer Ruth to a closer relative who by tradition and custom had the greater rights.
- She had a son named Obed, who was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David, the future king and therefore she is the ancestor of Joseph and mentioned in Matthew 1 in the genealogy of Jesus.
- Ruth was born around 1100 B.C.
Ruth is an example of how ONE SINGLE DECISION can influence the lives of many people.
While Esther is known for her BRAVERY, Ruth will come to be known for her character and HUMILITY. Both are critically important to the world!
Her name is the seventh most popular female name in America of all-time. Over one and a half million people are named Ruth (Bible Gateway source).
Who were famous women whose influence changed the world:
- Mary Magdalene – Redeemed and forgiven, a follower of Jesus
- Joan of Arc – Patron saint of France, the French revolution
- Elizabeth I – The Queen who oversaw the Protestant conversion of Britain
- Jane Austen – Author of Pride and Prejudice when women weren’t accepted as legitimate authors
- Harriet Beecher Stowe – Author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, fought slavery
- Susan B. Anthony – Women’s right to vote, fair treatment of workers
- Marie Curie – First female Nobel Prize, developer of X-ray machine
- Helen Keller – deaf and blind, overcame disability to influence many
- Eleanor Roosevelt – Wife of president, head of U.N. human rights
- Katharine Hepburn – Four Oscars and 12 nominations
- Mother Teresa – Albanian nun, Nobel Prize, cared for thousands
- Rosa Parks – Refused to give up her seat on the bus in Alabama
- Audrey Hepburn – Dignified and elegant actress, UNICEF humanitarian
- Malala Yousafzai – Pakistani girl who resisted and survived Taliban
In the fight for equality, we must remember that biological equality is a MIRAGE.
But equality of our character, integrity and opportunity is ESSENTIAL.
What the story of Ruth teaches us:
- 1. Graciousness is an ATTRACTION worth more than the eyes can behold.
- 2. Racial hatred and bigotry can be overcome with right RELATIONSHIPS.
- 3. There is no social division too strong for those with a PURE HEART.
There is much profit in HUMAN CHARACTER, but we can all do our part to make sure our character is rooted in a right relationship with God.
What I will do with this message?
- 1. I will see the women in my life as influential and important.
- 2. I will stand up for the rights of women not only in my country but around the world.
- 3. I will act with dignity, honor and respect in how I represent myself as a witness of Jesus Christ and my relationship with God.
I am a virtuous person, and my decisions will reflect it.