In a period of Israel’s history when virtue was hard to come by it is so refreshing to read about Boaz and Ruth. Boaz sees someone new in his fields, gleaning the leftovers. He makes inquiry and discovers that this young woman is someone special. She has practiced loyalty to her new family. She has chosen Israel’s God, rather than the gods she had grown up with. And she has the virtue of being a hard working person, “toiling from early morning till now, except for a short rest”.
And so virtue recognizes virtue. Boaz responds to this woman with care and help, making sure she is protected, giving her direction to stick with his fields and his workers and making sure she has water. Boaz was sort of like Martin Luther King Jr., not noticing the color of her skin, but the quality of her character. Boaz and Ruth were shining lights of goodness in a world where bad things could happen to a woman alone.
Our world needs virtue today. We live in a culture in which bullets fly, loose items are stolen, people are quick to rip on each other, and money is embezzled. To find someone who is truly good is often a surprise. So be good today. Be virtuous. Practice loyalty and love. Protect one another and “guard each man’s dignity.” Be shining lights in a world of shadow and darkness.