I love character studies found in scripture and perhaps there are none better than the story of Ruth. Many words could be used to describe her, but perhaps ‘humility’ was one of her leading qualities. The Bible says, “…God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. (1 Peter 5:5)
When Ruth told Naomi all the things that Boaz had done for her, Naomi quickly realized that this was God’s divine providence at work. “Go and uncover his feet and lie down there…” (Ruth 3:4) she said to Ruth. Though this may seem like some strange instructions; they carry great wisdom.
After Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he lay down at the far end of the pile of grain and went to sleep. Then Ruth came quietly, uncovered his feet, and lay down. Around midnight Boaz suddenly woke up and turned over. He was surprised to find a woman lying at his feet! “Who are you?” he asked. “I am your servant Ruth,” she replied. “Spread the corner of your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer.” “The Lord bless you, my daughter!” Boaz exclaimed. “You are showing even more family loyalty now than you did before, for you have not gone after a younger man, whether rich or poor. Now don’t worry about a thing, my daughter. I will do what is necessary, for everyone in town knows you are a virtuous woman. (Ruth 3:7-11)
Some try to distort this story and insinuate that Ruth was trying to use immorality as a wat to get a husband. Yet scripture clearly reveals that both Ruth’s intentions and Boaz’s reactions were honorable. “I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your covering over me, for you are my family redeemer.” Boaz clearly understood that Ruth was humbly asking him to show grace to the family of Elimelech. Boaz was flattered by her request, not only because she was young and beautiful, but because such a virtuous woman was willing to demonstrate such great humility.
I close today with this passage from the book of Lamentations-
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.’ (Lamentations 3:21-26)
Ruth demonstrated great humility, both before Boaz and the Lord. As we will see in the rest of our studies, the Lord rewarded her humility with an outpouring of His grace.