Tuesday, June 26, 2018

What kind of man is Boaz?



While the Book of Ruth is named after Ruth, a careful study reveals it is just as much about Boaz, and by highlighting everything he says and does, we can get a good idea of his character.

--He’s a mighty man of wealth (2:1)
--He visits his workers (2:4)
--He’s curious about people and asks about them (2:5,11)
--He’s very generous to the poor, especially to those who have converted and made great sacrifices to help others, like Ruth has
            A)He lets Ruth glean with his maidens, offering companionship and protection (v8)
            B)He protects her from men who might molest her (2:9)
            C)He offers her refreshment with drink and food (2:9,14)
            D)He has his servants leave more grain for her (2:16)
            E)He invites Ruth to glean his fields for the whole harvest (2:21)
--He works along with his servants (3:2)
--He takes preventative measures to guard his harvest from thieves and doesn’t mind sleeping elsewhere besides his bed (3:7)
--He does not take advantage of women, even if they sleep nearby (3:8-14)
--He sees it as a kindness that someone wants him to marry her, to be her kinsman redeemer (3:10)
--He takes care of business immediately (3:18)
--He is aware of who is the closer kinsman-redeemer and he goes by the rules, yet he is willing to take responsibility himself (3:12-13)
--Even if he is not clear who will marry Ruth, he still gives her a very generous gift of grain to increase her and her mother-in-law’s food security (3:15)

(I have to say here that Boaz’s generosity and kindness reminds me a lot of my husband and his kindness to me even before we were dating. I feel like I know Boaz because I know my husband.)

The way Boaz does so many kind things for someone he hardly knows is puzzling to Ruth, the recipient of his attention, and she asks the obvious question, “Why have I found grace in thine eyes?” (v10) I love his reason—he knows how good she has been to her mother-in-law and how brave she has been to come live among people of a different culture and religion and to join that religion. He sympathizes with the difficulty of her situation and wants to make it easier for her. Pure charity.

The scene of Boaz redeeming shows that he is willing to take a responsibility upon himself that will inevitably hurt his own interest, but he is eager to do it anyway. He is, after all, a mighty man of wealth. I think that in this story he is meant to teach us of Christ’s enthusiasm and eagerness to redeem us, even when it will be incredibly costly to Him. He has a wealth of goodness and grace to bestow on us, and He takes it as a joy if we allow Him to redeem us.