The story of Ruth, which starts out with a lot of death and sadness, ends up with a whole lot of joy. Boaz ends up asking Ruth to marry him. They become husband and wife and have a son named Obed. Years later, Obed becomes the grandfather of King David. And the great-great-great-great…. grandfather of Jesus. In fact, Matthew Chapter 1 talks about the family tree of Jesus. And in that family tree, in verse 5, are the names of both Boaz and Ruth. They are listed in the family tree of the Savior of the world!
How did our story turn out to have a happy ending? God wrote a beautiful story for Ruth and Boaz, but their lives were not always easy. How was life hard for Ruth? How did she respond to her hard life? Was she angry and mean about everything or was she kind and grateful? Ruth lived a life of kindness, even when she probably didn’t feel like it. Remember that her husband died, she was poor, and she was living in a foreign land (Bethlehem.) But she chose to be kind, despite her circumstances. Even before Boaz met her, he knew who she was because people had been talking about her kindness! Wow!
In our story today, Naomi showed kindness to Ruth. Ruth showed kindness to Naomi and Boaz. Boaz showed kindness to Ruth and his workers. This is a story of kindness! But even greater than the kindness showed by Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz is the kindness showed by God! God has chosen to show us kindness through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. None of us deserve God’s kindness because of our sin, but He shows it anyway.
In Titus 3:3-5, it says that, “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. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy…”
Think for a moment about your sin. How have you hurt the heart of God today? This week? This year? Now think about God. God sent His only son to die on the cross, in your place – for your sin. Because of the death of Jesus, we can be forgiven for our sin. We can live with Jesus forever in Heaven. And we can be kind to others because God has been kind to us.
In Romans 2:4, it says that, “God’s kindness leads you toward repentance.” Repentance means being forgiven of your sin. This is not a question to answer out loud, but have you ever asked for forgiveness for your sin? Have you invited Jesus into your heart? If not, I want to invite you to do that today.
For those of you who have invited Christ into your heart, are you living out kindness every day? Are you kind to your parents, your brothers or sisters, your friends? Are you kind only when things are going well for you? Or are you like Ruth and are kind no matter what? I want to invite you to have Jesus help you be kind to others all of the time.