Life's Not Fair!
The Story of Ruth
by Jennifer Leigh Edwards
Text Version | Afrikaans | Italian
One rainy night, Tim and his sister Jane were playing on the computer in the living room. Tim took his turn and wrecked his spaceship. When he tried to take another turn, Jane screamed out, “No, Tim! It's my turn now!”
“But it's not fair! You made me wreck so I should go again!” Tim said.
“You always do this!” Jane exclaimed.
“You always blame everything on me and take more turns! You're never fair.”
“So what! You're my sister! Life is never fair!” Tim answered back angrily.
The argument continued for a while, and then they both suddenly stopped, when the doorbell rang. “Who could that be?” they both wondered.
Soon Lisa entered, followed by Brandon and Mike. They had all come to play a game with their friends.
Tim went to his room with Mike and Brandon and played video games, while Jane and Lisa went to her room and played with their dolls.
Soon Mary arrived at the door. She joined in with the girls.
The boys quickly got tired of playing the game and decided to plot a prank. They got their water guns and shields. Next they went into the girls' room and scared them.
All the girls ran outside, with the boys chasing close behind. Once outside, the boys had no mercy and sprayed water to their hearts' content. That is, until the guns ran out of water. By that time, though, Mary and Lisa had made some water balloons, and there was an all out war going on!
Eventually, they all depleted their supplies of ammunition, and the water war was over.
Soaked and tired, all the kids returned to the house, and began drying off, and exclaimed about how much fun it was.
“Yeah, but it would be better if we had more than just water to fight with!” Tim said.
“But we don't want to hurt anybody,” Mike replied.
“What fun is it to have a war and not win?” Tim asked.
“Everybody wins when we have fun,” Brandon chimed in.
“Yeah, but it's not fair!” said Tim.
“What's not fair?” asked Lisa.
“Nothing's fair now,” Tim replied.
“Why not?” Lisa asked.
“Because I can't win!” Tim yelled.
“But we all won,” answered Brandon.
“Everybody can't win! It has to be either the girls or the boys, not both; and we are always better, stronger, and faster than they are, so let's prove it!” yelled Tim, getting angrier by the moment.
“But we should be kind and play for fun,” said Mike.
“Yeah!” Lisa said.
“Uh-huh,” Brandon agreed.
“Of course, that's what counts” Jane added.
They all agreed that being kind and fair is what counts in playing together. That is … all but Tim. He still didn't get it.
After a few weeks of Tim never playing fair and always complaining, nobody wanted to be with him. When the rest of them went out to play, they stopped inviting Tim along.
They all agreed that if he learned to be nice and play fair, he could join. But if he didn't, they wouldn't let him.
Then one day Mike asked them, “Is that really being kind? Don't you think Jesus would let him play, too?”
They all agreed to give Mike's idea a try.
When Tim saw how kind they were being to him, even after all the trouble he gave them, he began to change his attitude toward his friends. It wasn't long before he was being fair to his sister, too.
Pretty soon, there was less anger and more laughter from all of them.
Story of Ruth
During a long journey, Naomi's husband died. After that, she and her two sons continued to live in the land of Moab, through which they had been traveling. Naomi's sons each got married — one to a woman named Ruth, and the other to a woman named Orpah. They all lived together in Moab for ten years. Eventually, both men died, leaving Naomi, Ruth, and Orpah as widows.
Naomi then decided to go back to her own country, which she heard was being blessed with lots of food. Naomi took Ruth and Orpah with her. On the way, she told both Ruth and Orpah to go back to their own homes.
Ruth and Orpah both said, “We will go with you.”
And Naomi again asked them: “Please go to your own homes, and may God bless you. Do I have more sons that you can marry?” Then she cried out, “Please go and find another house and another husband. I am old, and cannot remarry, but you are young, so go!”
With all of Naomi's pleading, Orpah finally listened. She kissed her mother-in-law and left weeping, but Ruth still refused to leave.
Naomi then said to Ruth, “Your sister-in-law has gone back to her home. Will you not do the same?”
Ruth replied, “Please do not ask me to leave! Wherever you go, I will follow, and where you stay, I will stay, and your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” And she added, “Where you die, I will die, and that is where I will be buried. May God let us be together until we both die.”
When Naomi realized that Ruth would not change her mind, she accepted, and they both traveled to Bethlehem together. When they arrived in Bethlehem, Naomi and Ruth stayed in the city only a while before they headed back towards Moab. On the way back, they stayed just outside the city near the home of a man named Boaz.
Each day, Ruth went out to the fields and gleaned the extra wheat, barley, and other grains from Boaz' fields. Boaz was a kind man. When he saw Ruth gleaning one evening, he told his reapers, “When you reap the good grain, let some of it fall to the ground for the poor to glean.” He also asked of them, “Who is this woman? Does she have a husband?”
The reapers answered, “She is a Moabite woman who came back with Naomi.”
One day soon after that, he met her in the fields and said to her, “Don't go to another field to glean, because there will always be grain in my fields.” To further show his kindness to Ruth, he said, “And when you are thirsty, get your water from the jugs that the men have filled from my well.”
Ruth fell to her knees in gratefulness and asked, “Why have you treated me so well? After all, I am a stranger to you.”
He answered, “I have heard what kindness you have shown towards your mother-in-law since your husband died, and how you stayed with her instead of going back to your home. Therefore may the Lord bless you and give you a great reward.”
She thanked him for his kindness to her. Then Boaz surprised her by inviting her to his home for a meal. She stayed for the meal. Then afterwards, she left and gleaned more in the fields, as Boaz had commanded her to do.
She continued to glean until evening, and then processed it, and took it home. When Naomi saw the great amount of grain, she exclaimed, “Where have you been gleaning today?”
Ruth answered, “In the fields of Boaz.”
Naomi praised God saying, “Blessed is the Lord who has not left us!” Then she explained to Ruth that Boaz was a close relative of hers.
Ruth excitedly continued telling the story of the day. “He told me to stay near his men and to glean from his fields. He told me not to go get water, for it would be provided by his servants! Boaz invited me to lunch! He gave me everything I needed. He said 'Because I have seen how you left your country to care for your mother-in-law, I have decided to share the Lord's blessing with you, too.'”
REMEMBER: Always be kind.
1. Do you think what Tim was doing was right?
2. Should Tim be included?
3. What do you think Jesus would do?
4. Would you do this?
5. What would you do the same? (Different?)
6. Is life always fair? What should you do about it?
7. Would you want to be with Tim? (The others?)
8. Why or Why not?
A VERSE TO LEARN
“Be ye kind one to another” (Ephesians 4:32).
In what ways did Ruth show her kindness? Can you show kindness to people you know in similar ways? To whom did Boaz show kindness? In what ways did Boaz show kindness?
Dear God, we thank You for our friends and
family. Please help us to remember to always
be kind and loving toward them.
In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE?
Ruth, chapters 1 and 2
Ruth Will Not Let Go
Traveling to Bethlehem
A Picture of Ruth
God Helped Ruth and Naomi
Ruth & Naomi
Bible Heroes: Ruth
Ruth Gleans in the Field
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