Today’s world desperately needs good role models. We need positive heroes that we can look up to and follow their example. This is especially true in the home. Boaz was such a man. In a very simple yet powerful way, Boaz demonstrated what it means to be a man of God.
Thus far we have considered:
1- BOAZ – A MIGHTY MAN OF WEALTH
2- BOAZ – A GUIDING MAN OF FAITH
Today we consider:
3- BOAZ – A CARING MAN OF COMPASSION
Boaz plays a very important role in the story of Ruth. The Bible says that he was a ‘near kinsman.’
Ruth 2:18 And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed. 19 And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? And where wroughtest thou? Blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man’s name with whom I wrought today is Boaz. 20 And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen.
The Hebrew word used here is ‘ga-al’, often translated into English as Goel. What does it mean that Boaz was Ruth and Naomi’s Goel? The word ‘goel’ means to redeem. A Goel is a Kinsman Redeemer. The Bible says: “If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold.” (Leviticus 25:5) Apparently Elimelech had sold the family piece of property during the time of the famine. Being a near kinsman, or a Goel, Boaz had the option of purchasing the piece of property and restoring it to its rightful owners.
Ruth 3:1 Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee? 2 And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor. 3 Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking. 4 And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do. 5 And she said unto her, All that thou sayest unto me I will do. 6 And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her. 7 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down. 8 And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet. 9 And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman.
By laying at the feet of Boaz, Ruth was showing great humility and reverence. In essence she was saying: “Have compassion upon me and redeem our inheritance. Take care of me. Take me as your wife.”
Many years ago someone taught me an important truth about biblical manhood. The husband and father is like an umbrella under which his family is to abide under his protection and provision. Children remain there until the time for them to leave home. When a father gives his daughter away in marriage, he is placing his little girl under the protective care of her husband. I expect my son-in-laws to take good care of my daughters and I praise God that they do. When a son leaves home, he is stepping out from under his father’s protective care in order to become an umbrella for a new family. The Bible says: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Gen 2:24)
When Ruth asked Boaz to spread his garment over her, she was asking him to take her into his protective care. Boaz was flattered by her request and pleased to do as she had asked.
Ruth 3:10 And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. 11 And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.
The world is in great need of men to be like Boaz. We need men who will work hard and use their wealth to help others. We need men who will take their relationship with God seriously and seek to influence others. And we need men who will have a heart of compassion and take good care of those whom God has placed under their care and protection.
I encourage each of our husbands and dads to rededicate themselves to the Lord and seek to be a Boaz. I encourage each of our wives and mothers to rededicate themselves to the Lord and seek to be a Ruth. Homes like this can have a tremendous impact upon our homes and our culture.