Gentleness – meek, humble, compassionate – is strength under control. For some of us, gentleness comes easily. We may be people who are gentle by nature. For others, we can be a little rough around the edges when it comes to how we deal with those in our lives. Or maybe we feel our circumstances determine whether or not we’ll choose to approach someone with gentle words and actions.
In the second chapter of Ruth, there are many expressions of gentleness displayed by Boaz toward Ruth. It was customary in that day that widows and the destitute could come to a field, follow along behind the workers, and gather what got left behind to take for themselves. For Ruth to just show up in Boaz’s field and begin gleaning whatever might have been left behind by his workers took a lot of courage. Ruth, a foreigner – a Moabitess (Moabites were considered cursed and separated from God) – could have been rejected, treated poorly, tossed out. But we see in this chapter that Boaz goes beyond what’s customary and looks to protect Ruth and even make sure the workers leave a few extra stalks behind for her to gather.
Boaz accepts Ruth, despite her Moabite roots, and seeks to help and provide for her and her Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi. In the same way, God extends the gospel to those outside of the Jewish race, to the Gentiles. Think about ways that you’ve experienced the gentleness and kindness of God and how that impacted your heart – especially at times when you may have felt it was undeserving, and yet He gives freely. How do you see Jesus represented in the verses from today in Ruth 2?