Ruth first caught Boaz’s eye as she gleaned in his fields. He made inquiry and learned that she was the young Moabite who accompanied her mother-in-law, Naomi, home. Boaz insisted Ruth remain with his young women to glean. He also ordered his young men not to touch her or to interfere with her work. Knowing of her relationship and devotion to Naomi, Boaz instructed the young men to intentionally leave additional stalks behind for Ruth’s benefit. Naomi sent Ruth back to speak to Boaz at the time of winnowing. The request was for Boaz to fulfill the obligation of a near relative to preserve the lineage of Elimelech and Naomi. Boaz was honored by the request. He replied, “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.” (Ruth 3:11 NKJV)

King Lemuel also appreciated virtue. It was his mother who taught him its value. He asks, “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:10-12 NKJV) He goes on to describe her skills and industry, her kindness and charity. “Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.” (Proverbs 31:25-26 NKJV) Virtue excels above charm and beauty. The woman who fears God deserves praise. “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.” (Proverbs 31:30-31 NKJV)

We are all called to be virtuous. “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,…” (2 Peter 1:2-3 NKJV) “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7 NKJV)

Build godly character by adding virtue to your faith. Then continue to focus on those things that are noble, pure, good, and reputable. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 NKJV) “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11 NKJV)

Ken fleeman 2/13/2022

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