As I said last week, my word for this year is courage. In that vein I asked God to show me courageous people in the Bible.
God led me to Ruth. It's a pretty short book, only four chapters.
Chapter 1: Naomi decides it's time to go home, back to Bethlehem. From the way it reads, it seems both of her daughters-in-law started the journey with her, or at least planned to. But only Ruth refused to leave Naomi and return to her homeland. Do you think it was easy to decide to leave the only land she knew, Moab, and travel to a land where she knew no one and would probably be looked down upon?
Chapter 2: They were two widowed women with no means of supporting themselves. Ruth took a bold step and asked for permission to glean Boaz's fields. According to one commentary I read, the overseer of the fields rarely had the authority to grant such a request without the permission of the owner, but this one did. Somewhere in the backstory, the part we don't get to see, Boaz found out about Ruth's sacrifice for Naomi.
Chapter 3: So now she has caught Boaz's eye, but he's apparently many years her senior and would not approach her for consideration of marriage. It seems he has also caught her eye, at least to me. Again in the backstory, Ruth must discuss this with Naomi. Naomi gives her a plan. Go, keep an eye on Boaz, and when he lays down to rest on the threshing floor, lay at his feet. Again according to a commentary I read, this is basically a way of informing Boaz that she is agreeable to marriage.
Chapter 4: Boaz must be happy about her "proposal" because he did what was necessary to be able to make her his wife.
Where is the courage? I see so much throughout this small portion of Ruth's life. She had the courage to follow her MIL to Bethlehem. She had the courage to ask permission to provide for herself and Naomi. She had the courage to approach Boaz, who could have easily rejected her offer.
She took several steps of faith - faith not only in Naomi, but also in God.
What other people in the Bible do you know that were courageous?
Ps 91 (NKJV)
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the perilous pestilence.4 He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day,6 nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.