I have to admit, there are certain things that irk me: some more than others.
One of the most irksome things I find is a lack of appreciation. I just want people to say thank you. It doesn’t have to be over the top, I don’t need homemade cards made with expensive card stock and $3 stickers, I just want a thank you. I know that I can get a tad ridiculous about this, for I tend to get very irritated when I let a jaywalker cross the street and he doesn’t even acknowledge my kindness for not mowing him down. And if I open the door for someone? When they march through without so much as even a nod of the head as a thank you, my fleshly temptation is to stick out my foot and trip them, but I haven’t – yet.
Thus far in our narrative, we have seen Boaz extend kindness to Ruth. I want to look today at Ruth’s response. Notice specifically verse 10.
“Then she fell on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and said unto him, Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?”
There are three things that I want to point out, starting at the end of the verse and working our way forward.
1. She recognized that she didn’t deserve his kindness. She acknowledged that she was a stranger in Israel. In those day there were certain segments of the population that had a hard row to hoe: widows, women, orphans and non-Israelites. Essentially, she was 4/4. She had nothing to offer and was completely at the mercy of others. So for Boaz to extend the hand of kindness and allow her not only to glean off his fields but have additional privileges, this was truly underserved.
I believe that in our current lives, we somehow have missed the boat on how undeserving we truly are of God’s grace (and by extension, anyone’s grace). We seem to have an attitude of entitlement that demands that others serve me. But when I recognize that I am totally at the mercy of God, and that the only thing I really deserve is the Lake of Fire, then I view blessings for what they really are and I am thankful for them.
2. She saw his kindness for what it was – grace. This goes along with the first point. I have nothing to offer God. I bring no merit to the table. My righteousness are as filthy rags. I throw myself on His mercy and He grants it because He is a loving and merciful Savior. Knowing this grace and really knowing how underserved it is, allows us to then show grace to others even when they don’t deserve it. Maybe I won’t trip those people after all.
3. She showed visible gratitude. Friends, do we show visible gratitude to both Christ who has richly given us all blessings and to others? A misunderstanding of grace will result in a non-thankful heart. But when we truly understand God’s kindness to us we become very thankful for every little blessing.
Do we show our gratitude? May we humbly thank the Lord for His blessings, and also express our gratitude to others today.
Ryan King is Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Westville