Showing Kindness

Key Verse: “May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”
—Ruth 2:12, New International Version

Selected Scriptures:
Ruth 2:1, 8-12;

WHEN NAOMI AND RUTH arrived in Bethlehem they were two widows without any means of support. Naomi owned land, but it had not been farmed in more than ten years. In the western world, laws have been passed to establish welfare programs. Centuries ago Israel had the Law, and it, too, provided for the poor. Their Law said, “When ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God.” (Lev. 19:9,10) This is repeated in more detail in Deuteronomy 24:19-22, as well as in Leviticus 23:22. Israel was far in advance of other nations because of such laws of God.

Ruth went out to glean in the fields because it was the time of the barley harvest. She selected a field that belonged to Boaz, a kinsman of Naomi. When Boaz came to the field to see the workers, he noticed Ruth and asked about her. Learning her identity, he spoke to Ruth and gave her special privileges. When she asked why he was so good to her, a foreigner, he replied in the words of our Key Verse, that knowledge of the goodness she had shown to Naomi had preceded her and the people of Bethlehem knew of her loyalty and love. That evening when Naomi asked where she had gleaned, she told her about Boaz, and Naomi looked upon this matter as a good sign, because Boaz was a near kinsman.—Ruth 2:2-22

As Ruth continued to glean in the field of Boaz, Naomi started to lay plans for her welfare. She planned to sell her property and exercise the Leverite law. (Deut. 25:5-10) She gave very special instructions to Ruth as to what she should do to exercise this law, and Ruth followed her instructions faithfully. Boaz was pleased that Ruth had made this approach, but there was a kinsman nearer than he was to Naomi, who had the right of becoming a kinsman redeemer first. When Ruth reported all of this to Naomi, she said to Ruth, “The man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.”—Ruth 3:18

Naomi knew Boaz well. He immediately went to the gate of the city and found the nearer kinsman who was willing to buy the land Naomi was selling. When he found out that he also had to take Ruth as his wife and raise seed unto Mahlon, her dead husband, he relinquished his right to Boaz, who then vowed to be the kinsman redeemer before the elders. It came to pass that Boaz took Ruth as his wife and they had a son named Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse, who became the father of David. Eventually Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, was born of David’s line.—Luke 3:23-33

When Naomi took the babe, Obed, to her bosom, the women of Bethlehem said, “Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, … for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him.” (Ruth 4:14,15) Was Naomi happy? Most assuredly! The kindness she had shown to Ruth was returned to her. The kindness of Boaz to Ruth had returned to him and he too was blessed of the Lord, as was Ruth.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |