Practical Proverbial, from Ruth, 25 March 2014

He also said, “Bring me the shawl you are wearing and hold it out.” When she did so, he poured into it six measures of barley and placed the bundle on her. Then he went back to town.  Ruth 3, verse 15.

  1. Do we try to be generous?

Do you remember “ER” the TV show?   My wife’s favorite character was the doctor portrayed by Anthony Edwards; you know ‘Goose’ from “Top Gun.”   On ER, he died of cancer.   The episode in which he died was filmed in Hawaii, where he took his wife and children to live out his final days in the place where he had been happiest.   Shortly before he died, his character was talking with his daughter, trying to put her at ease with the inevitable.   One of the lines from his final words stuck with me:  “be generous with your love.”

I know that’s just a tearjerker line from a TV show, that it’s only make believe.   But the question isn’t made up at all.   Are we generous with our love?   Please understand, I’m not here to guilt you out, or give you one of those corny Jesus-loves-you ‘but you know’ gotcha moments (though Jesus really does love you).   I am here to ask you if we’re being generous with our love, and if we really try.

Boaz was generous with Ruth, giving her much more food than her gesture of kindness merited.   Yes, he was falling in love with her, and yes God led him to do this.   Don’t lose sight of that because it matters.   Yet so does the generosity of his act.   He didn’t have to give as much as he did, but he gave it anyway.  It was kind for Boaz to give Ruth any grain, but he gave her six times what he could have, knowing it would be food she and Naomi could put to good use.

God the Father, Son, and Spirit doesn’t have to give to us generously every day, but He gives anyway.   If you don’t believe me, or if times really are hard for you, then please take a breath and say a silent prayer thanking God just for getting you through yesterday.  To complete a day, even if it was a tough one, is a victory for you and a generous gift from Jesus.

And He gives that generous gift to dumbasses like me.  And you.  And even to Anthony Edwards and his dying character from ER.   Spoiler alert:  the guy died on the show, and his daughter turned out ok, and the show completed its final run even without Anthony Edwards or George Clooney.  That’s a gift from God as well.

Father, thank You so much for all Your generosity, for all the gifts You give us, for giving life everlasting.


Read Ruth 3.

Are you generous?

Does your heart jump to giving or taking?

When was the last time you really talked with God about this?



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