Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence. Ruth 3:11
I’ve studied the biblical character of Ruth before, but I had not stopped to focus on verse 11 as I did this time around. Currently some friends and I are studying the devotional book Becoming A Woman of Excellence by Cynthia Heald, and it begins by naming Ruth as an example of a woman of excellence.
In the verse above, it is interesting to note that Boaz, whom later became Ruth’s husband, made this comment about her. So let’s dissect it and dig deep…
“…all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.”
Observation: Reputation and Character
Let’s recall the story really quickly. Ruth is a young Moabite woman who initially married into the Jewish family of Elimelech and Naomi. After a few years in the land of Moab, Ruth and Naomi both became widows and Ruth was now faced with the choice to return to her own family and start a new life or walk into the unknown with Naomi, a widow with no one to take care of her. Throughout the years that Ruth lived with Naomi, she was able to learn and hear about this God of the Jews. So much did this impact her life that Ruth decided to go on with Naomi. Ruth loved her mother-in-law and loved her God as well. Even though the future was unknown, Ruth was determined to press on and not look back. Once they arrived in Judah, Ruth, a foreigner, worked very hard as a gleaner, picking up scraps of grain left behind from the harvesters. Although they didn’t have much, God always provided for Ruth and Naomi what they needed. Ruth carried on in her daily tasks to take care of her mother-in-law, and to her surprise, people were watching…and one of them was the noble man Boaz. Boaz took notice of Ruth and became her Redeemer. They married and had a son whom they named Obed. Obed became the father of Jesse and Jesse became the father of King David. (God truly restores and gives you more than you could have ever imagined)
Becoming a woman of excellence…
The world’s view of excellence tends to be based on success, popularity, beauty and intelligence to name a few. However, the biblical view of excellence looks quite different.
Ruth was described as a woman of excellence although she was a widow, poor and went about her lowly task of foraging for left over grain in a field…You see, what matters is character.
Excellence is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “the possession chiefly of good qualities in an unusual degree; surpassing virtue, merit worth, value.”
Proverbs 12:4 talks about her surpassing worth…
An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
Proverbs 31:10 talks about her surpassing value…
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
So how do we begin to cultivate this kind of character? It begins in your heart and in your mind.
Proverbs 23:7 says
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…
Romans 12:2 reads
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Philippians 4:8-9 adds
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
So there it is! God shows us through his Word, step by step how we can grow in the character of excellence. It begins in the heart and mind.
As we submerge ourselves in God’s Word, His words will begin to transform our thinking and our hearts to want to strive for that standard of excellence. We will go that extra mile, we will put that extra effort and we will do it for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 sums it all up excellently 😉
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.