Daily Thought for: 27th March

BOAZ—THE MIGHTY MAN

Ruth 2. 1-16; 3. 1-18

Boaz is introduced by the phrase ‘a mighty man of wealth’, the same expression used of Gideon, Judg. 6. 12, and of Jephthah, Judg. 10. 1, but translated ‘a mighty man of valour’. His name means ‘in him is strength’ and there is no doubt that this great landowner of Bethlehem is seen in this story of Ruth as a man of character, courage and conviction—a godly Israelite indeed! 

The gleaner in his field. The care, courtesy and consideration with which Boaz habitually treated his workers, and even the lowly gleaners, come out but incidentally in the story. Ruth considered it ‘chance’, 2. 3, but the God of Israel was in control as she found herself gleaning amongst the maidens in the field of Boaz. That first meeting highlights the modesty of Ruth and the chivalry of Boaz. His interest, his instructions to his overseer and his provision for Ruth and Naomi make delightful reading and reflect the moral and spiritual values he possessed. 

The supplicant at his feet. Three months later, at the close of the harvest, when all have retired to rest, Ruth uncovers the feet of the sleeping Boaz and takes up, herself, a place there. Instructed by Naomi she is presenting herself as a supplicant, and nothing immodest or immoral is implied. On his waking Boaz recognizes the claim, and graciously responding, gives Ruth his word; ‘Fear not, I will do all that thou requirest’. Naomi, through Ruth, is claiming that Boaz acts the part of the kinsman and redeems the inheritance of Elimelech. Boaz has clearly the necessary wealth but, since there is involved the continuance of Elimelech’s name in marrying Ruth, the matter centres on his willingness. The six measures of barley that Ruth carries home in the morning are a sufficient token to the faith of Naomi that ‘the man will not rest until he hath finished the thing this day’. This mighty man of courage and conviction has pledged himself to redeem. Soon he will take the gleaner from the field and the supplicant at his feet and make her the bride by his side

The picture is full! Restoration (Naomi pictures a restored Israel), Rest (Ruth pictures a purchased bride, the church) and Redemption (Boaz pictures Christ the Redeemer)—all are precious truths shown in picture form. 

 

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