Flourish In Kinship
Article

Gentleness

10.29.2020
5 min read

So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”

10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?”

11 Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 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.”

13 “May I continue to find favor in your eyes, my lord,” she said. “You have put me at ease by speaking kindly to your servant—though I do not have the standing of one of your servants.”

14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here. Have some bread and dip it in the wine vinegar.”

When she sat down with the harvesters, he offered her some roasted grain. She ate all she wanted and had some left over. 15 As she got up to glean, Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. 16 Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”

17 So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah. 18 She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered. Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.

19 Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? Blessed be the man who took notice of you!”

Then Ruth told her mother-in-law about the one at whose place she had been working. “The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz,” she said.

20 “The Lord bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.”

21 Then Ruth the Moabite said, “He even said to me, ‘Stay with my workers until they finish harvesting all my grain.’”

22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It will be good for you, my daughter, to go with the women who work for him, because in someone else’s field you might be harmed.”

23 So Ruth stayed close to the women of Boaz to glean until the barley and wheat harvests were finished. And she lived with her mother-in-law.

Ruth 2:8-23


Because your love is better than life,
    my lips will glorify you.

Psalm 63:3


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

Gentleness – meek, humble, compassionate – is strength under control. For some of us, gentleness comes easily. We may be people who are gentle by nature. For others, we can be a little rough around the edges when it comes to how we deal with those in our lives. Or maybe we feel our circumstances determine whether or not we’ll choose to approach someone with gentle words and actions.

In the second chapter of Ruth, there are many expressions of gentleness displayed by Boaz toward Ruth. It was customary in that day that widows and the destitute could come to a field, follow along behind the workers, and gather what got left behind to take for themselves. For Ruth to just show up in Boaz’s field and begin gleaning whatever might have been left behind by his workers took a lot of courage. Ruth, a foreigner – a Moabitess (Moabites were considered cursed and separated from God) – could have been rejected, treated poorly, tossed out. But we see in this chapter that Boaz goes beyond what’s customary and looks to protect Ruth and even make sure the workers leave a few extra stalks behind for her to gather.

Boaz accepts Ruth, despite her Moabite roots, and seeks to help and provide for her and her Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi. In the same way, God extends the gospel to those outside of the Jewish race, to the Gentiles. Think about ways that you’ve experienced the gentleness and kindness of God and how that impacted your heart – especially at times when you may have felt it was undeserving, and yet He gives freely. How do you see Jesus represented in the verses from today in Ruth 2?

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