RUTH 2:10-12: “Then she fell upon her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes that you have noticed me, even though I am a foreigner?” Boaz replied and said to her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since your husband’s death has been fully reported to me—how you left your father and mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people you did not know before. May ADONAI repay you for what you have done, and may you be fully rewarded by ADONAI, God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” TLV
OBSERVATION: What does it mean to be faithful? Faithfulness is a diminishing quality in our world. Yet it is one of the greatest calls of a follower of Jesus Christ. Paul writes,
- “Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” I Corinthians 4:1-2 NKJV
And faithfulness is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.
- “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
The story of Ruth is a wonderful example of the call to faithfulness and God’s promise to watch over our faithfulness with His grace and provision. Faithfulness brings both a blessing from the Lord and it provides one of the greatest testimonies of our faith in Christ to others.
In the life of Ruth we see that faithfulness is the quality of doing what is right simply because it is right. Ruth did not have an agenda when she followed Naomi to a strange country, a widow without a husband, and without a certain future. She followed Naomi simply because she loved her, and because it was the right thing to do.
Ruth took up the role of supporting her older mother in law when she entered the fields to glean behind the harvesters. She did not go looking for a handout, but just the opportunity of doing what the law required, and willing to put in a full days work in the process. In her faithfulness we see the wonderful hand of the Lord guiding her right into the very fields of Boaz, a righteous man, and a kinsmen of Naomi. The Lord did this sovereignly, without Ruth’s knowledge, as He rewarded her faithfulness.
Not only was Ruth’s faithfulness rewarded by the kindness and provision of Boaz, it was also a testimony that had impacted the life of Boaz.
- “Boaz replied and said to her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since your husband’s death has been fully reported to me—how you left your father and mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people you did not know before. May ADONAI repay you for what you have done, and may you be fully rewarded by ADONAI, God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”
Ruth was not trying to impress anyone. She was not standing on the corner with a trumpet heralding her actions. Yet, her simple life of love, compassion, and faithfulness was a silent but powerful testimony to all. It showed her commitment to Naomi, and her love for the Lord. It spoke louder than anything she could have said. It produced a testimony of faith that could not be refuted. It opened the door to God’s blessings and provision in her life.
How do I view my call to faithfulness? Am I willing to simply do what is right simply because it is right? Is my obedience and love conditional or unconditional? Am I giving freely what I have freely received? These are questions that begin to stir in my heart when I read the story of Ruth. Ruth had no agenda but to be faithful. It was this simple heart of faith, and her sacrificial acts of love, that marked her character and provided such a powerful testimony.
God called Jeremiah to preach to a nation that would never repent. The Father sent Jesus to come to a world that would ultimately reject Him and crucify Him on a cross. Paul was called to embrace his thorn in the flesh and to learn to glory in his weakness so that he could find his true strength in Jesus Christ. The great faith chapter, Hebrews 11, records the lives of those who were faithful even though they were martyred for their faithfulness. And God promised and gave to all of these a harvest of blessing for their faithfulness.
- “Do not be deceived—God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that he also shall reap. For the one who sows in the flesh will reap corruption from the flesh. But the one who sows in the Ruach will reap from the Ruach eternal life. So let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have an opportunity, let us do good toward all—especially those who belong to the household of faith.” Galatians 6:7-10 TLV
Lord, help me to grow in my faithfulness to You. Help me to do what is right simply because it is right. May I, like Ruth, entrust my life completely unto You knowing that You always provide a harvest of grace and provision in Your due time. Lord, help me to be faithful!
In Jesus Name!