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Gaining Acceptance in Community

(Ruth 2:5-12; 3:9-11)

Lesson 4 -- second quarter 2010
March 28, 2010

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2010

Introductory questions to chew

Do I presume acceptance and grace to be rights of mine?

"It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done" would reveal what about me?

Where is my trust?

When my trust is wrongly focused, how do I go about changing it?

What is known in the community of my virtue?

Whom shall I bless today...and how?

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."

This concludes my comments based on the passage for the International Bible Study. To read my comments on the alternate lesson developed by Christian Light Publications, click here: God Superintends History.

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