“You may rest easy. You have nothing to fear, my child. I will do everything you ask. Everyone in this city agrees you are a woman of virtuous character [Ruth 3:11 – The Voice]”
Ruth the Moabite was a widow who after the death of her husband, left her hometown, her parents and came with her mother-in-law (also a widow) to Bethlehem which was a foreign land to her. Yet she found much favor from Boaz who allowed her to work in his field (with instructions to her coworkers to fully support her in her work and treat her kindly), not just that, she found so much favor that Boaz married her with the approval of all the elders in the land. Why did she receive all this favor? The above verse says that everyone in the city agreed that Ruth had a virtuous character.
God is interested in us having a strong character. Character is more important than our gifting and talents. Throughout the bible we see that God is constantly interested in our heart more than our appearance. “Take no notice of his looks or his height. He is not the one, for the Eternal One does not pay attention to what humans value. Humans only care about the external appearance, but the Eternal considers the inner character [1 Samuel 16:7 – The Voice]”
Note, God wants us to work on our character and not on our appearance. No one is born with a perfect character, we all learn and develop our character. When we are strong in character we are able to obey God and achieve things God wants us to do. We need God’s help to change and develop our character. So, what should our character be like? Let us look at Psalm 15:
1 Eternal One, who is invited to stay in Your dwelling?
Who is granted passage to Your holy mountain?
2 Here is the answer: The one who lives with integrity, does what is right,
and speaks honestly with truth from the heart.
3 The one who doesn’t speak evil against others
or wrong his neighbor,
or slander his friends.
4 The one who loathes the loathsome,
honors those who fear the Eternal,
And keeps all promises no matter the cost.
5 The one who does not lend money with gain in mind
and cannot be bought to harm an innocent name.
If you live this way, you will not be shaken and will live together with the Lord.
[Psalm 15 – The Voice]
This psalm talks about traits that are important to God. These traits help us enjoy continued favor and dwell in his presence. Our character must have these traits: Integrity, Honesty, Truthfulness, speaking kindly, not doing wrong, avoid slandering, hating evil, Honoring God and his people, keeping our promise, not seeking gain in help, not accepting bribes (nor offering them)
There’s lots to talk about each trait but we’ll take a brief look at them in my next post.