So, when was the last time you heard someone being complimented for being virtuous? In Ecclesiastes 7:29, we read, "God created people to be virtuous." So, what does this word mean? The Hebrew word for virtuous is chayil, which means "strength." Throughout the Old Testament, we find that in the majority of cases this word refers to soldiers, to fighting men, to armies. When used to describe a woman, it means that she possesses noble character (Proverbs 31:10-31).

Ruth was described as a virtuous woman (Ruth 3:11). What did she do to earn that reputation? In chapter 1, Naomi knew that her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, would face a bleak future if they returned with her to Bethlehem. She released them from their obligation to her. But Ruth made the life-changing decision to stay with Naomi. Her incredible loyalty was seen in the price she paid. First, it meant leaving her family and homeland. Second, it meant, as far as Ruth knew, a life of widowhood and childlessness. Third, it meant going to an unknown land and living among people of different customs. Fourth, she made a commitment never to return home, not even after Naomi would die (v.17). And the most amazing commitment she made to Naomi was, "Your God will be my God" (v.16).

In Ruth 2, we read that the young widow was gleaning in the field. Not only was it backbreaking work where women were often abused, it was also uncertain work. Yet Ruth was out in the sun, trying her best to provide for Naomi. Ruth embraced God in spite of her circumstances. And she did her best with a joyful disposition. From Ruth's life, we see that a virtuous person is one committed to God and to doing what's right. Let's follow her example and pursue a virtuous life in Jesus! , Poh Fang Chia, Our Daily Journey

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