Fruit of the Spirit, Kindness

Ruth and Naomi

Ruth 2:20

And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!”

In the story of Naomi and Ruth we see hardship, sorrow, kindness and redemption. Elimelech and his family were driven from their home in Bethlehem because of famine and settled in the country of Moab. The hardship that drove them from their home would turn to immense sadness for Naomi when she lost her husband and her two sons.

The first act of kindness came when Ruth refused to leave Naomi on her own and gave up her homeland to return to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law. The second act of kindness came when Ruth went out to glean in the field belonging to Boaz, during the barley harvest. It was customary in those days for the landowner to instruct his workers not to reap to the very edge but to leave a portion available for the poor. Boaz did more than that as verse 15 tells us that he ‘instructed his young men, saying, “Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. And also pull out some from the bundles for her and leave it for her to glean, and do not rebuke her.”

Ruth was humbled by, and grateful for, this generous kindness. She felt undeserving but Boaz felt is was well deserved. He had heard of her sacrifice and kindness toward his family and was deeply moved. So much so that he went to the closest relative of Naomi’s and the elders of the city with the matter of redeeming Ruth. We know how the story ends but they had no idea that they were to become the great-grandparents of King David! How amazing are the plans of God?

Hardship and sorrow may come but you have been redeemed through the loving kindness of God, so allow the Holy Spirit to work through you in helping others.

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