Everybody Knows That You are a Godly Woman

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And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. – Ruth 3:11 (Boaz speaking to Ruth the Moabitess) (Emphasis added.) (I think the artist gave Ruth too deep a neck-line, though. She probably should look more Arabic, too.)

Ruth the Moabitess came out of the land of Moab with her mother-in-law Naomi (an Israelitess from Bethlehem-judah) after the deaths of Ruth’s and Naomi’s husbands. Ruth was of a people abhorred by the Israelites, as we read in Nehemiah 13:1,

On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever.

This woman, Ruth, born of a hated, traditionally ungodly race, was so eminent in godliness, that Boaz said to her, “Everyone in the city knows what a virtuous woman you are.”

It seems that sometime during the time she was married to Naomi’s son, Ruth the Moabitess came to have a true faith in the Lord God of Israel. We read in Ruth 1:16,17 her words to her mother-in-law, Naomi,

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” (Emphasis added.)

Boaz also testifies of Ruth, mentioning her godly works and her faith in God (Ruth 2:11,12):

And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. (Emphasis added.)

From these verses from the Book of Ruth, I glean the thought that Ruth’s virtue and godliness were evident to all who knew her. There was something OBSERVABLE in her words, her behavior, her manner of dress (modest – I Timothy 2:9), and her attitudes which led people to conclude, correctly, that she was a virtuous woman.

It sometimes happens that we become defensive when someone tries to talk to us about apparent ungodliness in our lives. Rather than measuring ourselves by God’s holy standards, it can be a temptation to reply to the one who is concerned, “You can’t know my heart. How do you know that I am [impure], [selfish], [vain], [proud], [divisive], [fill in this blank with some other observable sin]? Didn’t the Lord say, Judge not according to appearance?”

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. – John 7:24.This verse does not condemn judgment of others, but unrighteous judgment of others. We must not be rash in judgment, nor make snap decisions based on very little evidence. The Lord, in His Word, says that we can know, to some degree, what is in our hearts and what is in the hearts of others, by that which is observable. Some verses which substantiate this statement follow:

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light. – Luke 11:33-36 (Emphasis added.)

Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right. – Proverbs 20:11 (What we do does reveal something about our purity and righteousness, or lack thereof.)

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? . . . Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. – James 2:14,18 (Emphasis added.)

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. – Luke 6:45 (Our words do reveal, to some degree, what is in our hearts.)

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. – Matthew 7:16-20 (Emphasis added.) (This is a reality. We, mere mortal men and women though we be, may know much about the sincerity of our own or another’s Christian profession, by the fruit, the visible evidence, of the life.)

May it be said of us, as of Ruth, All the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.

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