Oh, don’t you just love how Boaz is a man of his word? Right after Ruth heads back to Naomi with a shawl full of barley – and I’m sure a heart filled with hope – Boaz wastes no time and travels into town, just like he said he would.
Boaz is ready to make good on his word. He will do everything in his power to bring redemption to both Ruth and Naomi’s lives.
From our Scripture reading today we see Boaz is not only able to meet with this nearer un-named kinsman-redeemer, but he is also able to gather the ten elders of the town to hold this important – and may I add impromptu – meeting.
To our dismay, at first this man seems eager to redeem Elimilech’s property; that is, until he hears what comes with the redemption.
The cost is too much.
The potential sacrifice to his own estate too high.
He is only willing to redeem that which will benefit him and carry on his name… not the name of someone else.
Should he step into this redemption kinsman-redeemer role and take on Elimilech’s land and “property,” this man would risk putting his own heritage at stake IF he were to have a son with Ruth.
“If there were to be a child from the relationship with Ruth, the redeemer would lose the field and there would be no benefit to his own children and estate to compensate for the costs involved in taking care of Naomi and Ruth.” – Iain Duguid
So he counts the cost and decides to pass on the opportunity.
And of course, all of us cheer with excitement for what this means for Ruth and Naomi!
Though Ruth may have been rejected by the first kinsman-redeemer, Boaz steps in and makes good on his word! He accepts her, loves her, and joyfully takes on the responsibility of caring for both Ruth and Naomi… not worrying about whose name he is continuing.
How ironic that the first kinsman-redeemer was more concerned about protecting his name and his inheritance, yet we don’t even know his name. Boaz, on the other hand, didn’t care about those matters. He chose to love, accept, and help those who didn’t have the power to help themselves, and his name has been kept through generations because of his obedience and the good he did. Boaz’s name and deeds live on through Scripture.
“He who does the will of God abides forever.” – 1 John 2:17
Friends, like the nearer kinsman-redeemer, we all have the choice to live for ourselves or to live in obedience to God. We can choose to live lives that are ordinary in our own strength and what we can accomplish, or we can choose to live out God’s truth and live lives that are extraordinary because of how we allow God to work through us.
We can choose to play it safe, or we can choose to live lives in complete obedience to God. Our choices dictate the type of legacy we leave behind.
Boaz’s name is preserved in Scripture and the other man is never heard of again. What he thought he was saving, he lost. What Boaz didn’t care to save, he kept.
Oh friend, may we choose to be women who are like Boaz – women who are willing to obey God; women who are willing to redeem, love, and protect those rejected by the world. May we be women who love and care for the least in our midst. May we be women who are like Boaz. May we be women who are like Jesus.
Let’s Talk: Who has been a “Boaz” to you and what impact did this person’s kindness have on your life?
Love God Greatly!
Week 4 Challenge: This week, pray and ask God to help you be a Boaz in your community, workplace, church or school. Who has God placed in your life that you can help, encourage or be a friend to when others won’t?
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ANNOUNCING OUR FALL STUDY:
J O N A H
Begins: September 3rd
Study Length: 4 weeks
The story of Jonah is more than just a story of a disobedient, runaway prophet and a hungry fish.
It’s a story of a compassionate God who longs for everyone to come to salvation, even a nation who has done great evil in His sight. His heart of compassion is not limited by the severity of their sins…or ours. He desires for them to turn from their evil ways and repent, rather than continue down their destructive roads which lead to judgement.
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