A Noble Character Is Of Great Value

One day Ruth's mother-in-law Naomi said to her, "My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for. Now Boaz, with whose women you have worked, is a relative of ours. Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash, put on perfume, and get dressed in your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don't let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking.
When he lies down . . . go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do."
"I will do whatever you say," Ruth answered." So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do. 
When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned -- and there was a woman lying at his feet! "Who are you?" he asked.
"I am your servant Ruth," she said, "Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family." 
. . . "This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor.  I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character."  Ruth 3:1-11.

The Book of Ruth demonstrates the faithful love and commitment that God desires to see among His children. Ruth's unswerving love and loyalty to destitute Naomi is the epitome of that love. Naomi, in turn, ensured that Ruth would be well taken care of: "My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for."

In her determination to ensure that Ruth had a secure future, Naomi literally set Ruth up for marriage with Boaz, a man of noble character who was also the guardian-redeemer of their tribe. The guardian-redeemer was tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the interests of needy members of the extended family were protected. They ensured that heirs of a brother who had died, or poor relatives who had been sold into slavery were provided for, as well as ensuring that land that a poor relative sold to others outside the family was redeemed.

Naomi knew the law and culture of Israel and set Ruth up for the perfect marriage match by appealing to Boaz's guardian-redeemer responsibilities. When Ruth asked Boaz to spread the corner of his garment over her, she was simply appealing to Boaz to fulfill his guardian-redeemer obligations. The response of Boaz spoke volumes about Ruth: "You have not run after the younger men . . . All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character."

Reflect over this: If Ruth had not been a woman of noble character, it would probably have been difficult for Naomi to risk her reputation by recommending her in marriage to Boaz, a man of noble character himself. A noble character is of great value. It is easy to recommend such persons.

Prayer: Father, may my life reflect what you truly desire in me. Amen.