Humility Doesn’t Demand
She no longer could sit on her hands. Ruth HAD to do SOMETHING. They desperately needed food, so Ruth did what she could. She’d heard that Naomi’s God allowed widows and foreigners to glean in harvested fields, and Ruth was both–a foreigner and a widow. She fit the requirements, so she bravely stepped into a field and asked if she could glean behind the harvesters.
The Lord’s hand guided her to the right field. As destiny would have it, there she stood in front of one of Naomi’s relatives, Boaz. But if you look closer, her faithfulness and humility played a large role in what happened next.
Kindness Ushers Humility
We’re in our tenth week of studying the book of Ruth. We’ve gone through tragedy and heartache, and now hope rises as the harvest season begins, and work awaits our dear heroine.
Boaz immediately noticed this stranger in the field gleaning behind his harvesters and inquired about this foreign woman. He learned that she came all the way from Moab to take care of her mother-in-law, and this stirred Boaz’s kindness. Notice the dialogue between them:
8 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. 9 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.”Ruth 2: 8-10
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?”
When Kindness Calls You Daughter
Don’t miss the name Boaz gave Ruth. As Boaz instructed her how to proceed, he used the word, “daughter.” “Daughter” welcomed this foreigner as one of them, and this blessed Ruth. The day had proved beyond the favor she’d hoped for.
Do you hear her humility? Though he called her “daughter,” Ruth called herself a nokriy- a foreigner. She even demonstrated it by bowing down to Boaz. The brave, courageous, and go-get-it-done Ruth experienced that moment when kindness knocks the breath out of you and gravity puts you on your knees.
What We Can Learn About Humility from Ruth
We live in a day and age where humility can be seen as weakness. Humility can be felt as a weakness. But the day we lose our humility is the day we lose our need for Jesus. There’s a tricky balance between humility and confidence, but the secret can be found in who we worship and the why to our “do.” We can learn a lot from Ruth about being humble.
- Be yourself and do good for others.
Ruth did not try to be someone she wasn’t. She accepted her place in life (a despised foreigner) and went to work wherever she found “favor.” I love this. Pride could’ve stopped her. Fear should’ve gripped her, but it didn’t stop her from working to help someone
- Work hard- don’t try to take the easy way out.
Honestly, I don’t know if there was an easy way back then. I guess she could’ve gone to begging on the street corner, but she didn’t. Ruth worked hard. Working hard physically (if your body allows) is good for us. I think one reason why our society is so prideful and demanding is because we have so many conveniences. We’re entitled. That’s a form of pride.
- God blesses the humble. We see it over and over in scripture. Peter said it best: Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1Peter 5:6-7). Ruth received blessings, didn’t she? Here’s a link to 24 Bible verses on humility.
Bible Reading Plan for this Week
We learn so much from Ruth’s humility, but I don’t want us to miss the favor she experienced too. This week’s Bite of Bread focuses on both humility and favor. Remember, Ruth’s story is ours. Grab the printable here. Or if you have the Ruth Key-Word Bible Study A 31-Day Journey to Hope and Promise, we are on pages 91-98.
Monday: Ruth 2: 8-9:
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. 9 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.”
Prompt: Ruth has been given much favor from Boaz. As a foreigner from Moab, a woman following behind the harvesters rather than in the perimeters of the field, Boaz had every right to tell her to leave or go to the perimeters, but he didn’t. He also provided protection. But there is one more thing that is so very sweet; he called her “daughter.” If we view Boaz as a type of Christ, and we fit the role of the foreigner, what does this kindness tell us about Jesus and our relationship with Him?
Tuesday: Ruth 2: 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?”
Prompt: Ruth was humbled. Boaz’s kindness sent her to her knees. She knew she doesn’t belong or deserve his generosity. What is so beautiful about humility?
Wednesday: Titus 3: 1-2
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone.
Prompt: I love this. Our world could certainly use this advice. If you made this your “mantra” this week, how would it change your interaction with others? Do Ruth and Boaz reflect these standards?
Thursday: Titus 3: 3-7
At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Prompt: What changed the way the people lived? There are so many beautiful words in this passage. . . . kindness, love, mercy, saved, grace, hope, life. That’s what God offers us. The word saved comes from the Greek word Sozo. It means to “deliver, make whole, preserve from danger loss or destruction” (Key-Word NIV, 1676). “Saved” usually refers to deliverance from danger, but I absolutely love the meaning of Jesus’s salvation making us whole. Are you in process of being made whole? Describe the growth in your life.
Friday: Matthew 7: 7-8 (Luke 11:9-13)
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7: 7-8
Prompt: I love how Ruth asked. She asked to follow the harvesters and she received so much more. The scripture identical to this one found in Luke has a little different ending. Matthew doesn’t explain what God will give us, but Luke wrote that God would give the Holy Spirit to all who ask. He’s a good Father. Have you asked for more of the Holy Spirit? Permission is granted, challenged even. Ask away.
Facebook LIVE in the Morning this Week!
Dear friends, how I love studying with you. It truly is a source of joy for me, so even when it’s a crazy week, I try to find a time I can study with you. This is a holiday week for us. We will be celebrating with hotdogs, hamburgers, and fireworks this Thursday night, and Mike and I are camping for a few days . . . so I hope you nighttime peeps don’t mind, but I’m going to teach LIVE this Wednesday morning at 8:30 ET! I used to do morning shows everyday, so I’m hoping some of you who always joined me will be able to hop on this week!
I’m so thankful for you, and I’m so thankful for the Word God has given us to know Him better. You are so loved, favored, and wanted. Never forget or doubt that. Never.
Humbly His Daughter,