Lesson 11 -- first quarter 2002
February 10, 2002
© Copyright 2001, Christian Light Publications
Channels of generosity
In her relationship with Naomi, Ruth demonstrated loyalty and generosity that exceeded by far her own self-interest. Ruth wanted the best for Naomi, so she pursued it. I am sure Ruth considered the personal cost involved in her commitment to her mother-in-law, but I suspect her love for Naomi kept her from dwelling much on that cost. Her love made her generous in many practical ways.
Boaz knew of Ruth's love and devotion. He had heard of it, and he saw it personally. So he showered her with his own generosity. She got his special invitation to glean exclusively in his fields. He protected her from those who might abuse her. He made sure she wouldn't have to go thirsty. And he ordered his reapers to deliberately drop grain that she could glean.
Ruth noticed this generosity, and wondered why. She didn't assume that she had it coming. So she asked Boaz. Take note of two lessons in his response.
I know about your own generosity. Like begets like. We reap what we sow. This divine law never has failed and never will. Galatians 6:7 assures us, "God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." In this negative context we find a powerful promise: God will never reward us evil for the good we do. For Him to do so would not only violate His character and law, it would also result in mockery of Him for doing so. As for Boaz, having known and seen Ruth's generosity, to not return generosity of his own would have been contrary to his Godly character. Thus Ruth found herself gleaning, not just grain that another had planted, but also generosity that she herself had sown.
God reward and recompense you. Boaz knew that God is a recompensing God Who "is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister" (Hebrews 6:10). But Boaz didn't let it go at that. Rather, he realized that God intended to use him to be a channel of God's blessing to Ruth. Never forget this important principle: God uses people to accomplish His purposes! Every time I wish the Lord's blessing on someone, I should ask myself, "How does God want to use me to accomplish blessing in this individual's life?" Remember Boaz who in essence said, "I am doing this for you as an outworking of God's reward and recompense to you."
It isn't fair!
Do you have any idea how awful it is to do something good and have someone else get the recognition for it? I imagine you do. It stinks, doesn't it. I mean, it just isn't fair. We can manage without commendations and compliments, as far as that goes, but to have someone else actually get the credit . . . now that is too much. Sometimes it's enough to make you wonder if this sewing and reaping business works all the time.
The next time we think someone has deprived us of our glory, the next time another person gets our glory, we would do well to remember Ruth.
Who had the baby? Ruth. Who's child was Obed? Ruth's. And what did the neighbor ladies say? "There is a son born to Naomi" (Ruth 4:17). Fair? I ask you, do you call that fair?!
You explain it.
Just remember this: Fair isn't necessarily best . . . or right.
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