FRUITS OF GENEROSITY.
A long time ago, in a land far away, a famine occurred. Many people began to starve.
A woman named Naomi, her husband Elimelech, and her two sons decided to leave their home and go to a neighboring country where food wasn't so hard to find. There, in a country called Moab, the two sons met and married a couple of the local women-Ruth and Orpah. During their stay in Moab, Naomi's husband died. About ten years later, her sons also died, leaving Naomi in a strange land with no husband and no sons. Naomi decided to go back to the home she had left, to Judah.
She told Ruth and Orpah of her plans and said, "Go back to your mothers' homes instead of coming with me. And may the Lord reward you for your kindness to your husbands and to me" (Ruth 1:8). She kissed them good-bye, and the three women cried together. Orpah turned back to return to her mother's home, but Ruth did not. She insisted on staying with Naomi, even if it meant going to a strange land.
Ruth and Naomi were poor, and they arrived in Judah with nothing. But it was harvest time, and God had commanded his people to allow those who needed food to go out to the fields after the harvest and gather whatever grain had been left on the ground. (See Leviticus 19:9-10; 23:22.) Ruth went to the field of a man named Boaz and picked up enough grain for her and Naomi.
Boaz noticed Ruth and, after asking around, learned her story. He told Ruth to help herself to the water from his well. He invited her to eat lunches with him and his field hands. He told his workers, "Leave extra grain on the ground for her to gather. Don't give her a hard time."
Ruth and Naomi were overwhelmed by the generosity of Boaz and, to make a long story short, Ruth and Boaz were later married. And they lived happily ever after.
A little generosity can go a long, long way. When we are generous, God can bless us in ways we would never imagine. Boaz's generosity to Ruth gained him her love and respect, which resulted in a successful marriage. But the story didn't end there. Ruth and Boaz had a son, and their son became the grandfather of King David, the second king of Israel. David had another famous descendant-Jesus, the Savior of the world.
It's amazing what a little generosity can do, don't cha think?
REFLECT: Do you think Boaz would have been happier if he had been greedy? Why or why not? How did God reward Boaz's generosity? Have you ever enjoyed the blessings of being generous?
ACT: Why not start a generosity campaign by giving away unneeded or unused items? (Be sure to ask your parents' permission first.)
PRAY: "God, thanks for Boaz's example. Thanks for the way you blessed Boaz and for the way you bless me."