“Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this? And the servant that was set over the reapers answered and said, It is the Moabitish damsel that came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab:” Ruth 2:5-6
It was no coincidence that Ruth began her gleaning in the fields of Boaz. Naomi had directed her because there was a plan forming in her mind. She knew the law that when a man died without children, a close relative could marry the widow and raise up children in the man’s name. This was so the inheritance would continue in the family.
Boaz was a man of authority in the town of Bethlehem, and well respected by his neighbours. He personally supervised the threshing of the grain in his barn. His workers were treated fairly. He showed care and concern for others. No doubt this was instilled into him from a child by his mother, Rahab, who had come as a stranger into the Israelite camp after the destruction of Jericho.
He lived a life of generosity, following the Jewish law of showing compassion to the less fortunate. His name meant “In Him is Strength.” He is a type of Christ, the One in whom we find strength each day.
The kinsman redeemer had three primary responsibilities: protect the widow of a deceased kinsman, purchase her freedom if necessary, and marry her in order to carry on the family name.
Boaz was much older than Ruth but when he saw her gathering the fallen sheaves of grain in his field, his heart was drawn to her. He found out who she was and realized what she was doing, he spoke kindly to her, called her daughter, and told her to stay in his fields, and that she would be safe. When she questioned why he was treating her so, he commended her for leaving her country and for looking after Naomi. He invited her to share the meal with the other labourers.
Boaz in this story was a type of Christ. He was the channel God used to provide for two destitute widows. He is a picture of Christ’s love for you and me, supplying our every need.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your love and care for each one of us. You know the needs that we have, and your invitation is extended to us all to come to you and receive all the blessing you have for us.
Devotion by Anne Johnston