It is often in the smaller, less noticeable things we do that our true character is revealed. Do we impatiently stare at the check-out lady working the long line ahead of us, or honk at the person who waits a few seconds too long at the light? Do we refuse to help in a church ministry because we don’t like the person in charge? Do we treat support staff differently than we do those in the spotlight?
Boaz lived everyday life…but the Bible reveals how his character was revealed in situations where no one else might have noticed. He proved to be unselfish, and to be concerned for others… even at his own expense.
Boaz, a farmer in Bethlehem, was a wealthy man, yet he took time to talk to others, such as his harvesters. He also took special notice of a young foreign girl, named Ruth, who was gleaning in the fields. He also learned she was the daughter-in-law of Naomi, the widow of a deceased relative of his, Elimelech.
Boaz made sure Ruth was protected and was treated honorably while she gleaned in his fields. He provided her with abundant food and water, and even told his men to purposely leave stalks of grain for her to gather.
“May you be richly rewarded by the Lord,… under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” These words were spoken to Ruth by Boaz as welcome to Israel.
What if we, as Christians, saw our homes as shelters for needy people?
We can only have the same giving heart as Boaz when we understand that all we have is simply ours to borrow; it has all been gifted to us by God. When people come into our sphere of care, they are actually coming under God’s big umbrella.
Is your home a place of God’s refuge?
Naomi saw possibilities in Boaz. She arranged for Ruth to place herself in such a position that Boaz might act as their “kinsman-redeemer”, deciding to marry her… and purchase the land that had belonged to Naomi’s husband so it could remain in his family name. Boaz was certainly interested, but he honorably and selflessly presented the offer first to a closer relative. When the closer relative declined, Boaz gladly acquired the land… and Ruth as his wife.
A kinsman-redeemer was to be a near relative, who was able – and willing – to redeem… to buy back that which had once belonged to another. Boaz was not obligated to do this, but it was expected of him. To refuse would have hurt the family and tribe, as well as his own reputation.
Jesus became our Redeemer… buying us back from Satan, to whom we had sold ourselves. He was able to save… and willing to save. He was obligated to do this; but, in grace, He chose to do so.
And Jesus still redeems those who will trust in Him.
Boaz and Ruth later had a son, Obed, who became an ancestor of David, and also of Jesus the Christ!
You can read the story of Boaz in Ruth 2-4.