Reputation of Ruth. As I read the verses shown above from Ruth 2, I thought of the saying, "No man is an island." In other words, what we are and what we do is plainly observed by those in the world around us.
5 Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, “Whose young woman is this?”
6 So the servant who was in charge of the reapers answered and said, “It is the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. 7 And she said, ‘Please let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves.’ So she came and has continued from morning until now, though she rested a little in the house.”
Ruth 2:5-7, NKJV
In our story today, Boaz noticed a young woman he had not seen before and inquired as to her identity. The servant explained that this was the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi. He then further explained that she requested to glean after the reapers and had been working diligently from the morning until this time with a little rest in the house. This servant was already establishing the good reputation of Ruth.
Granted, Bethlehem was a small town so everyone probably knew everything about everyone. Boaz probably had a pretty good idea who this young woman happened to be. However, without any more prompting, the servant noted her faithfulness in staying on task from the morning until then with only a little rest in the house. Even though Ruth had probably only been in Bethlehem a very short while, she was already gaining a good reputation among the people.
Do people notice us? Does it matter? We all know of the people who tend to work hard when the boss is around, but then can become quite passive or even idle when the boss is away. We get the impression from this passage that Ruth is not one of those people. What kind of work ethic do we, as Christians, have especially when the boss is not around. What kind of work ethic do we have at home when there is no boss?
As Christians, we understand that we have a God-given purpose for being here that goes far beyond our careers. How diligent are we before the Lord Jesus Christ? Does He notice?
I would like to challenge each one to work diligently for the Lord. Let us be serious about serving Christ, reading His Word, spending time in prayer, and living our lives in a manner that shows His love in our hearts and lives. Even during times of difficulties, poor health, or just on days we feel particularly unhappy, let us lift our eyes to Christ and pray that He will help us to live each day in the peace and joy He, alone, can grant to us.
I am reminded of the words of the hymn, "Work for the Night is Coming" by Anna Coghill:
Work, for the night is coming,
Work through the morning hours;
Work while the dew is sparkling,
Work ’mid springing flow’rs.
Work when the day grows brighter,
Work in the glowing sun;
Work, for the night is coming,
When man’s work is done.
Mark 13 encourages us to diligently work for the Lord for we do not know when our Master will return. Let us work now so that when He returns He will not find us sleeping!
32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”
Go then, this day, and work joyfully for the Lord Jesus Christ as you think about the good reputation of Ruth as shown in Ruth 2.