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Ruth Bible Study – Chapter 2 Part 2

Boaz – A Picture of The Good Samaritan

The more I get to know Boaz the more I’m reminded of The Good Samaritan. Remember that parable? Me too–it’s found in Luke chapter 10. There we see that Jesus was answering a lawyer who asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Instead of answering that question directly, Jesus prompted him toward a deeper understanding, asking him what is written in the law.

The man replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” (v. 27)

I’m sure we’ve all heard this scripture, but like this man, few understand that loving your neighbor is an act of merciful kindness and grace.

Jesus shared a parable with him about The Good Samaritan who went out of his way to help someone in need while others just passed him by on the other side of the road.

One little word in that story stood out to me. It speaks volumes. It teaches us what real kindness entails. And as I dig a bit deeper, I see that Jesus made a point to use this word often.

Mercy. eleos in the Greek translation. (Strongs G1656) Defined as: mercy: kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them. A) of men towards men: to exercise the virtue of mercy, show one’s self merciful.

I’ve often said that it’s easy to love those who love us, but the challenge lies in our ability to love the unlovable. That calls for grace. I think it must be said often because there’s this mindset around us that wants to reinforce this idea that kindness is only for those who deserve it.

Ruth didn’t deserve what she got, and she knew it. Certainly, she could benefit from the law of gleaning, but to eat at his table? To be served by Boaz himself? To be left an abundance of barley to glean? That was an extra mile paved with kindness and grace. Especially considering her social standing as a Moabite.

Remember, the Bible tells us that God loved us while we were yet sinners. Love doesn’t sit around analyzing a situation to determine whether this person is right or that person is wrong. Love is a gift that reaches out whether we deserve it or not.

Don’t let your character be shaped by the attitude of others around you. If we hope to grow in virtue, then we must keep our eyes focused on Christ at all times. He is the one leading the dance. He’s the one we’re taking our cue from. Boaz could have easily followed the lead of others who saw Ruth as a Moabite first and a person second, but like The Good Samaritan, he reflected the kindness and grace of our Lord.

Our challenge this week is to love first, ask questions later. If someone is unkind, respond with kindness. If someone is getting on your nerves, be patient. If someone is rude, be kind. There are times when we must draw healthy boundaries, but we can do so with Christ-like compassion.

Make an effort to clothe yourself in kindness even and especially when you don’t feel like being kind.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. – Colossians 3:12-14, ESV

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht
The Time-Warp Wife

 


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