Lowliness of Mind
“And all of you; serve each other in humility, for ‘God opposes the proud but favours the humble.’”
1 Peter 5:5 (NLT)
I’d like to call to mind a couple of stories that you were probably told as children and perhaps you also told them to your own children. There’s the one about Snow White, the beautiful but humble young lady who went about her work with a smile and a song. You’ll also remember the story of Cinderella, the sweet servant in rags who dutifully attended to her proud stepsisters’ every whim. In each case the main character’s humility is commended and eventually rewarded—Snow White is rescued by a handsome prince from the wicked witch’s spell, by a kiss; and Cinderella is sought and found by a prince who carries her glass slipper.
The Bible repeatedly gives examples of the power and influence of a humble heart and makes it clear that God not only values meekness but he expects us to display this attitude in all that we do. I believe that our Father is attracted to humility—meekness and lowliness make God smile!
Ruth, the Moabitess, is characterised by her humility. Her servant’s heart pervades her every action. She took the role of a servant—caring for her mother-in-law, Naomi. Putting all her personal needs aside, she worked hard in the fields in order to feed them both, toiling for long hours every day gleaning leftover grain. The wealthy man who owned the land was visiting from Bethlehem and he invited her to continue to collect grain in his fields, and assured her that she would be safe. The book of Ruth 2:10-12 tells the story: “Ruth fell at his feet and thanked him warmly. ‘Why are you being so kind to me?’ she asked. ‘I am only a foreigner.’ ‘Yes, I know,’ Boaz replied. ‘But I also know about the love and kindness you have shown your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers. May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully.’”
In this love story, the words ‘and they lived happily ever after’ are very appropriate. Let’s notice the conclusion of her story in chapter 4:13, 21-22, “So Boaz married Ruth and took her home to live with him. This is their family line, Salmon was the father of Boaz. Boaz was the father of Obed. Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David.”
What a blessing. Ruth’s son, Obed, became the grandfather of David and part of the genealogy of Jesus! (Matthew 1:1-17).
Father, thank you for the very special example of Ruth who because of her humble service to Naomi became the great grandmother of King David and a very special example to all of your people even today.
Study by Cliff Neill
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Local Congregational Contact: