'''This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did'' (Acts 9:36)
Though a Gentile from Moab, Ruth became an ancestor of David and Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:5-16). Ruth was born in Moab, the narrow strip of fertile land to the east of the Dead Sea. Ruth, whose name means something worth seeing, grew up worshiping other gods but later chose to follow the one true God. She married Mahlon, the Hebrew son of Naomi ans Elimelech. Another son, Chilions, wedded a Moabitess name Orpah. After the deaths of all three men, Naomi decided to travel home to Judah. She encouraged her daughters-in-law to return to their families, but at that point Ruth chose by faith to follow Naomi. Ruth faith demanded action in her life. By faith she left her family in Moab and followed Naomi to Judah. She trusted God to provide for them and later married Boaz, her Kinsman-redeemer. Ruth turned to God to know what to do, where to go, and whom to marry. Ruth went to Boaz's field to pick up grain. Boaz, a relative of Naomi, condoned her gleaning in the field and provided her meals. Naomi proposed a plan that would lead to Ruth's marriage to Boaz. Ruth appealed to Boaz as her kinsman-redeemer. According to Jewish law, the nearest male relative was obliged to marry the widow of his relative (Ruth 3:9-12;4:7), Ruth lived her faith. As a result, God blessed her and her descendants. The rewards of her faith were without end. Her faith was a blessing to Naomi, who was cared for with love; to Boaz, her devoted husband and provider; and to her children and grandchildren, through whom the Messiah was born. Her faith is also a blessing to us today as recipients of God's gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.Although Ruth's family followed false gods, Ruth personally accepted the true God by faith because of the example of her mother -in-law, Naomi. Ruth's faith was in God, not in herself or her circumstances. She was young, innocent, and weak. Her circumstances were tragic, hopeless, and insufficient, but God was the all-knowing, all-caring, all-sufficient Provider. Ruth's faith demanded obedience. She followed God to Judas and to the field of Boaz. Her life of faith is an example to all believers. Faith must be lived in our actions, not just spoken with our lips.
''Sara: a Submissive Woman''
''Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!'' (Luke 1:42)
Sarah was born in Ur of the Chaldeans, the daughter of Terah, who worship idols (Josh. 24:2). At first she was called Sarai, which means to contend, but her name was changed to Sarah (princess) when she was 90 years old. God gave her a new name as a sign of His covenant to bring about a new nation through her womb ( Gen. 17:15-16). She was married to her half-brother, Abraham, and traveled north with his family to Haran in Canaan. Marriage between brothers and sister was necessary at that time, though later family unions were forbidden as incestuous (Lev. 18) Sarah's submission to Abraham when she followed her husband to Canaan and Egypt. She also submitted to his plan to conceal their marriage from Pharaoh. Believing Sarah's beauty to be desired by Pharaoh, Abraham feared for his life and asked Sarah to say that she was his sister. She was taken to Pharaoh's house, and Abraham was treated well. Pharaoh learned about their marriage and sent Sarah away. Submission to authority often requires a wife to follow her husband to unknown destinations. God blessed Sarah's obedience to Him and her submission to Abraham, and He graciously protected her even though she disobeyed His laws. A wife must remember that her submission is not only to her husband but also to God and His plan for their marriage. Submissive Sarah became impatient as she waited on the Lord to give her a child. She decided to take matter into her own hands. She chose to interfere in God's plan, to manipulate His will. (Gen. 16) God gave Abraham a son by Hagar ( Ishmael) and, as promised, a son by Sarah (Isaac). Sarah began to hate Hagar and Ishmael as obvious reminders of her disobedience and lack of faith. Hagar and Ishmael were sent away, but Ishmael later became a father of nations. Sarah's sin and selfishness bore grave consequences, but God restored her relationship with Him. Her faith was renewed, and she resumed her roles as a submissive wife and a follower of God. Sarah's death was greatly mourned by her godly husband (Gen. 23:1-2) and that she was remembered as one of the faithful (Heb.11:11) indicate that Sarah lived a holy life in her later years. Having died at the age of 127 in the land of Canaan, she was buried in a cave in the field of Machpelah. Sarah experienced the blessings of submission and the consequences of disobedience. When she rebelled against God's authority, her life was shattered. When she repented of her rebellion and submitted to God's authority, Sarah was blessed beyond her wildest imagination.
( Luke 1:11-22,26-38)
Elizabeth received God's praise, and through her godly life she offered praise to others and to God. She was a true encourager-an affirming woman, wife, and mother. Luke described Elizabeth as woman who was ''righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless'' (Luke 1:6). Elizabeth was descended from a priest, Aaron, and married a priest, Zacharias. She lived in the country of Judea near Jerusalem, where her husband served as priest in the temple. Her name means my God is good fortune or my God has sworn an oath. She was a godly wife, honoring her husband's role of religious leadership. As a result, she was blessed by God. God praised Elizabeth's righteous life and blessed her barrenness with a child. An angel appeared to Zacharias to announce the birth of a son. The birth announcements of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ are very similar. Angels announced the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus. Both birth were unusual, involving the work of the Holy Spirit. Both newborns were to be sons, in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. They parented a son who was the forerunner of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Elizabeth had influence as a wife and a mother. She also had influence as a friend and a mentor. She was a relative of Mary of Nazareth, who became the mother of Jesus. Both women were pregnant for the firs time, and they developed a strong bond of friendship. They shared a devotion to God and a love for each other. The older woman, Elizabeth, became a spiritual mentor to the younger woman, Mary. Through her daily example and constant encouragement Elizabeth influenced young Mary. Elizabeth offered great affirmation and praise to Mary when she proclaimed, ''Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!''
( Luke 1:42). Then she added, ''Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord'' ( Luke 1 :45). Elizabeth's faith was an example to Mary. God blesses us, like Mary, with mentors who teaches and affirm us. Like Elizabeth. God selected Elizabeth for a special role in His plan to bring redemption to humankind. As a result, she had God-given opportunities to affirm and encourage Mary; the mother of our Savior, Jesus Christ.