<<husband of Ruth>>
This wealthy OT farmer lived near Bethlehem and had a genuine concern for the well-being of others. Learning that the widow Ruth, who had been very kind to a distant relative of his, was diligently collecting leftovers from his harvesting fields, Boaz took extra steps to help her and provide for her needs. Widows often lived in poverty, because in the Israelite culture the females did not receive any inheritance, as this was passed on to the sons or male relatives. However, a relative who volunteered as a kinsman/redeemer could take on the responsibility of caring for the extended family. If the next of kin chose not to do this, the next nearest relative could decide to take on that role. When the legal requirements of this responsibility had been resolved, Boaz married Ruth. Their son, Obed, became the grandfather of King David, who was an ancestor in the earthly line of Jesus (Mt 1:5-16).
His story is told in Ruth 2:1-4:22. He lived around 1300 BC.
Lessons from his life: * He was aware of others, and sensitive to their needs. Being considerate to others must have been a characteristic of his life and not just an isolated case – making special privileges available to Ruth and blessing her. Like Boaz, we don’t know what the outcome of our acts of kindness will be or the important of the decisions we make. Develop praiseworthy habits and sow good qualities into the lives of others; you don’t know the harvest that may result.
* He acted responsibility and with integrity in his dealings with Ruth. He didn’t take advantage of the situation and force himself on Ruth while she slept in close proximity (Ruth 3:7-14). Boaz went about things in an honourable way giving the nearest relative the option to be the kinsman/redeemer first. Compare the difference in conduct and outcome with Amnon who raped his sister Tamar (2 Sam 13:1-33). Don’t let the opportunities of a moment to satisfy the body’s appetites override what you know is not right in God’s sight.
* Even though he was rich and influential, he had good relationships as he mixed and communicated with his staff. It is essential for harmony and productivity that there is good interaction and exchange of ideas and suggestions between the manager and workers. Am I continually working on my public relationship skills?