April 21, 2021
Thank you for being a part of this prayer team. Every single prayer that rises to our God is heard. As we seek His face on behalf of the prodigals and for revival today, let us do so from hearts filled with appreciation and worship to our glorious Savior.
The book of Ruth is a delightful illustration of God’s marvelous redemptive plan of the ages. It is set in the midst of darkness and chaos. It shows the unworthiness of the sinner. It reveals the beauty of Savior, and the ultimate desire of God to bless those who receive the Son. Let’s consider this person who so aptly depicts the beauty of our Lord and Savior. His name is Boaz.
He was a man of real goodness. “Now Naomi had a relative on her husband's side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek, whose name was Boaz” (Ruth 2:1). This is the way the NIV puts it. The KJV says he was a "mighty man of wealth." The ESV says he was "a worthy man." The HCSB says he was "a prominent man of noble character." The NLT says he was "a wealthy and influential man." Even when the harvesters in his field addressed him, it was with honor and respect (Ruth 2:4).
All these factors indicate that Boaz was a good man: good from the inside out. Actions flow from the inner character of a person. While Boaz was highly regarded, he was not feared. He was a man of great material means, yet he was not stingy. He was called worthy, but he was not self-absorbed. While he was a prominent, influential figure in Bethlehem, he was not controlling.
He was a man of true kindness. Bethlehem was a small town, and word spreads like wildfire in small towns. “Did you hear? Naomi is back and she has her daughter-in-law from Moab! Yes, Elimelek, Mahlon, and Kilion are all dead! What will this foreigner do in our land?” While these questions are all hypothetical, I can only imagine they were gaining momentum along with many more. “She’s not from here! She doesn’t belong here! Who would ever marry her?” I’m only surmising.
When Boaz found out she was gleaning in his field, he showed kindness, grace, and generosity. He didn’t treat her with contempt or shame. He didn’t tell her that she didn’t belong. He told his workers to leave her extra food. He invited her to sit, eat, and drink with the others, an unexpected kindness in that culture at that time.
Ruth was so overwhelmed that she bowed down with her face to the ground and asked, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?” (Ruth 2:10). She knew full well who she was and where she came from. She understood that the country of Moab was an enemy of Israel. She was fully aware that she was a stranger and an outsider in Bethlehem. And yet, Boaz didn’t let those factors deter him from reaching out in kindness and love.
He was a man of faithfulness. In Israel at this time, when a husband died and had no sons to carry on his name, a near relative would marry the widow in order to maintain the name of the dead. (This practice of levirate marriage was based on Deuteronomy 25) Boaz was a near relative, a kinsman redeemer, a guardian-redeemer. He was willing to take this task, obey the requirements of the law despite the negative publicity of the community, and despite the cost of raising and supporting a new family who would bear another man’s name. He was a man of faith who was a faithful man.
Finally, he was a man of fullness. Where once there was no hope and no future, Boaz became the protector, the provider, and the means of new life to both Naomi and Ruth. Through his marriage to Ruth, he provided a lineage that would include King David and ultimately the Lord Jesus Christ. It is such a heart-thrilling story!
The mediation of Boaz points us clearly to the Lord Jesus who could be labeled our “heavenly Boaz.” The qualities of the first Boaz point us to the second Boaz.
Of all the characters in Scripture, there were none as good as Jesus. He was true goodness inwardly and outwardly.
There were none so kind as Jesus. The way He always sought to help the needy throughout His life was exemplary.
More than anything else, Jesus was marked by faithfulness and fullness. He was always devoted to His God, and to those He came to serve. He was faithful regardless of the cost. He went to the cross. He suffered and died. He paid the price of our sin. He did all that was necessary to make us His! He is the fullness of our lives. He is eternal life!
The practical application of this story is far-reaching. Each of the four qualities — goodness, kindness, faithfulness, and fullness, can be and should be areas of excellence to which we all strive. As these qualities flow from an inward transformation by the Holy Spirit, Christ will become more visible in us and will impact generations to come.
Through His grace,
Bryan and Rachel