Becoming & Finding Your Boaz
Take a few moments and read Ruth 2, Ruth 3, and Ruth 4. We are going to dive deeper into these chapters while exploring the Life of Boaz and Ruth and who they are as people.
Up to this point we have talked about how this is a time of famine and oppression and how Ruth left everything to follow Naomi. Ruth is an example of the church. Each one of us in the body of Christ leaves everything we knew to follow Jesus. Now we are in Ruth 2, what can we learn? What can Ruth 2 tell us about what kind of man we should either be or be trying to find?
Who was Boaz?
A Prominent & Noble Man of Character
Boaz was a great picture of a Men of God. The Bible gives him an honorable recognition. “Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side named Boaz. He was a prominent man of noble character from Elimelech’s family.” Ruth 2:1
Are you a “Prominent Man of Noble Character”? You don’t have to be rich and famous to be prominent. I had a lot of employees at Walmart that stock products on the shelves for me that were prominent people of noble character. Character is important to have. President Bill Clinton was caught having an affair in the Whitehouse. The most powerful man on earth did not have noble character. So think about that, do you have a noble character? Do you live your life in a way that people take notice and see that you’re not like other people? Do you want people to be able to tell you, “You’re not like other guys”? That statement has been told to me many times. I was called exceptional by one girl. This shouldn’t be a surprise though, as Christian Man, every woman in the world should be able to look at us and say, “Now this guy, he is not like the others”. Be different, by living a noble life. Be the exception, don’t be just like the other guys. To all the ladies in the house, hey when looking for your Boaz, look for one that has self-value and does the right thing when no one is looking. Look for one that works hard. Look for a Noble Man. These are the kind of men that will give you value, they will honor you and love you. They will make you the exception and even better they will know that you are the exception.
Boaz was a leader. He must have owned a lot of land and employed a lot of workers. He was up there in status on the economic scale. Just because you’re a leader doesn’t mean anything. Hitler was a leader, he was not a very good leader. Leadership doesn’t mean godliness.
What kind of leader was Boaz?
Later, when Boaz arrived from Bethlehem, he said to the harvesters, “The Lord be with you.” “The Lord bless you,” they replied. Ruth 2:4
We see that Boaz was the kind of leader that people enjoyed having around them. His workers loved him and he was blessing his workers. It’s not common in the workplace to find this type of leader that cares about the wellbeing of his workers. It’s not common to find men that care about other people. We see that Boaz was a blessing and not cursing his workers. He was a blessing to those around him. Sure it’s 99.9% possible that Boaz had a few bad moments, he might have lost his mind a few times, since we are all in a fallen and broken world, but his overall character points to his overall heart, which points to the one God he serves.
Man are you a blessing to those around you or are you a curse to those around you. When you’re around people, do they enjoy your company or do they hate that you’re in the same room as you? It is not very hard to know if a person is a bad influence to be around. Ladies, listen up, when searching for a man, search for one that speaks truth towards those around him. Search for one that is a blessing to those around him. He will be a blessing to you and speak the truth to you.
A good leader knows how to control their environment and they know how to control their lips. They focus on both external and the internal. External – 1 Corinthians 15:33 – Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” Internal – Proverbs 10:21 – The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of sense.
Protector & Defender
Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Don’t go and gather grain in another field, and don’t leave this one, but stay here close to my female servants. See which field they are harvesting, and follow them. Haven’t I ordered the young men not to touch you? When you are thirsty, go and drink from the jars the young men have filled.” Ruth 2:8-9
Boaz tells Ruth to stay in his field, gathering behind his female servants. He also tells Ruth, he ordered the young men not to touch her. This guy went out of his way as a leader to protect a girl he didn’t know. Think about that. Ruth could be a thief, a spy, she could be a number of things that are a danger to Boaz and his community, but Boaz had this natural reaction is to protect her. Most likely, he wanted her to gather behind the other girls for this very reason. He wanted her not to be behind the guys in the field. He told her to stay behind the girl servants. He told her that to protect her from the guys in the field. Find a man that will protect you. Be a man that will protect others.
This idea of separating men with men and women with women is actually seen in some churches today. I know Watermark Church doesn’t typically put men and women in the same bible study class or community group. Is this wrong or is this right? In the beginning, God placed a Woman with Adam and that was seen as very good, but there is an argument to be made that the Woman was Adam’s wife.
I think this separating genders idea is both conviction and essential. Somewhere among Paul’s letters, he speaks about living with the opposite sex. He pretty much says it’s wrong. Not sure exactly what verse it was, I say it and I explore it about 6 months ago of this writing, but I seem to not be able to find this verse. It’s one of those verses that you literally have to look at the greek to know what Paul is saying “don’t live with the opposite sex”. So from the context of Adam and Eve vs this one verse hidden away somewhere, we can have this conviction and essential to our faith, that living with the opposite sex that we are not married to or related to by blood is wrong for us as single Christians to pursue after.
If you find that verse write it right here on this line for future reference or feel free to underline it in your bible. Yes I’m sending you on an Hunt for a bible verse: _____________________.
A Comforting & Encouraging Man
“My lord,” she said, “you have been so kind to me, for you have comforted and encouraged your slave, although I am not like one of your female servants.” Ruth 2:13
This incredible statement ruth makes to Boaz calling him a comforting and encouraging person is due to was we read in Ruth 2:11-12. In these verses, Boaz tells Ruth that he has heard all that Ruth has done for Naomi. “Everything you have done for your mother-in-law since your husband’s death has been fully reported to me: how you left your father and mother and the land of your birth, and how you came to a people you didn’t previously know. 12 May the Lord reward you for what you have done, and may you receive a full reward from the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”
The struggle is real and life can be hard at times. Everything seems to be going just as planned, but then something horrible happens and you have to make a choice and that choice could be life-changing. The choice Ruth made was very much life-changing. Imagine the amount of stress, discouragement, depression, and all these other emotions that Ruth and Naomi are going through during this time in their life. They don’t see the ending. Ruth has no idea she is about to be the Wife of this successful business owner. All she sees is the trouble she is currently in right now. All she cares about is feeding Naomi a meal every night. Boaz took notice and he used his position to encourage Ruth and to comfort her during this time of hardship.
Ladies, is the man your dating a comforter and encourager? Men, are you a comforter and encourager? A godly man knows how to lift up the brokenhearted and give them hope in the midst of their brokenness. I pray I can be this good man if I am not already.
A Caring Man
At mealtime Boaz told her, “Come over here and have some bread and dip it in the vinegar sauce.” So she sat beside the harvesters, and he offered her roasted grain. She ate and was satisfied and had some left over. Ruth 2:14
Boaz gives Ruth food to eat. Think about how crazy this sounds. Some random girl comes gathering in your field, instead of telling her to go away, you tell her to stay and eat. This is hard to understand from a western mindset, in a lot of cultures around the world today hospitality is very common. We see this type of hospitality for strangers in the bible in both the old and new testament. It should not matter what race, nationality, religion, education, or whatever kind of background someone has. We as Christians should thrive in this area of being kind, caring, and having hospitality toward those around us, even our own enemies. This kind of caring act towards other people, animals, and all of creation can directly show you the heart of a person.
Now Ruth isn’t an animal, she is a person, but here is what Solomon says about the heart of the righteous person in Proverbs 12:10, “A righteous man cares about his animal’s health…” The way that a person treats an animal can tell you a lot about the way they will treat those people around them. If a person is willing to kick a cat across a room and laugh about it, which there are people who do that, those people are willing to do some bad things to other people around them, if they would hurt an animal that has unconditional love towards them, they could be willing to hurt anyone.
He Honors Rights of Others
“Yes, it is true that I am a family redeemer, but there is a redeemer closer than I am. Stay here tonight, and in the morning, if he wants to redeem you, that’s good. Let him redeem you. But if he doesn’t want to redeem you, as the Lord lives, I will. Now lie down” until morning.” Ruth 3:12-13
Ruth 3 has to be on the top funnies stories in the bible. Boaz drinks and parties and then he falls to sleep and when he wakes up a woman is lying next to him. “At midnight, Boaz was startled, turned over, and there lying at his feet was a woman! So he asked, “Who are you?” “I am Ruth, your slave (servant/worker),” she replied. “Spread your cloak] over me, for you are a family redeemer.” Ruth 3:8-9.
Being a guy, being a god-fearing man, if I woke up and a woman was lying beside me and I knew for a fact that I did not bring her with me to my bed, I would be freaked out. This is where Boaz is at right now, I can completely relate, “Who are you?”. His heart pressure was high at that moment and maybe his voice tone was high when he spoke. This definitely woke him up. If Boaz was in a deep sleep, he was not any longer. This dude was awake. I wouldn’t be surprised if he stayed awake the rest of the night.
So Boaz and Ruth had a conversation about Boaz being a redeemer and Boaz does confirm to Ruth that he is a redeemer, but he also confirms that there is someone who is closer to Ruth to be her redeemer. So Boaz out of the respect for the Laws of God, for the respect of Ruth’s rights, and for the respect of the other redeemer’s rights, Boaz tells Ruth that it’s right for them to first see if the other redeemer wants to act upon his rights and redeem Ruth.
It’s important to first understand this is actually incredible that Boaz honored Ruth’s rights that night. It could have been easy at that moment for Boaz to have sexual relations with Ruth and for him to take away the rights of the other redeemer and go ahead and redeem Ruth. Who would know that Ruth & Boaz had sexual relationships that night? It would be their little secret. Also, once Boaz bought the land and redeem Ruth, he could just say, “Oh there another redeemer, oops, didn’t know”. Ladies, a god-fearing man will honor your purity, and he will honor your god-given rights and the god-given rights of others.
The Sum of His Characters
“Stay here tonight, and in the morning, if he wants to redeem you, that’s good. Let him redeem you. But if he doesn’t want to redeem you, as the Lord lives, I will. Now lie down until morning.” So she lay down at his feet until morning but got up while it was still dark. Then Boaz said, “Don’t let it be known that a woman came to the threshing floor.” And he told Ruth, “Bring the shawl you’re wearing and hold it out.” When she held it out, he shoveled six measures of barley into her shawl, and she went into the town.” Ruth 3:13-15
What I really like about verses 13-15 is that we see Boaz work out all his good traits of his godly manhood all in this one event. It would have been easy for Boaz to tell ruth to leave and go back home after they got down talking, but he doesn’t do that, he tells her to stay and get some sleep. This is a picture of his protection over her. He wasn’t going to allow her to go home off in the middle of the night. I would imagine in those times it was dangerous for a woman to go left alone in the middle of the night. Everyone was sleeping and it would be easy for a bad man to take advantage of the opportunity. Giving Ruth barley to go back home with was an act of love and care. Boaz kept Ruth’s reputation secure by making sure no one knew that she was there with him that night. If word got out, Ruth would be seen as a prostitute and maybe even Boaz could have been seen as paying for services. This would be extremely bad for both of them. Getting up early in the morning before sunrise shows that Boaz isn’t unwise. He made a very wise choice to give up some sleep in order to make sure Ruth got home and no one knew that event happened. Boaz’s protection, care, comfort, love, and encouragement are all displayed in these few verses and his integrity was shining bright that night. We as men need to thrive to be men like Boaz.
Listen up, Man! Don’t wait for your dream wife to show up to start doing these things. Start doing them now. Do these things with those around you, from your best friend to complete strangers, even towards your enemies. Become the Boaz that your future Ruth is looking for.
Listen up, Ladies! Don’t date a guy that doesn’t have these key elements in him. If he isn’t blessing others now, he won’t be a blessing to others later. He will be a curse to you and your life in the future. Divorce might even spring up from picking a man that doesn’t care about people, animals, or creation. If he isn’t protecting anyone now, he won’t protect you later, he will be hiding behind you. Don’t fall for a man that isn’t pursuing God. If he doesn’t pursue God now, why would he pursue you later?