Lesson Six | Devotion #5: Boaz
John Hubbard | Worship Leader
The book of Ruth tells the story of when there was a famine in Judah. A man takes his wife and two sons and moves to Moab. Both of the sons married Moabite women. Soon afterward the father and two sons died, leaving the wife and her two daughters-in-law to fend for themselves, which in that day and age might as well have been a death sentence. The lady, Naomi, encourages both of the girls to return to their homes and remarry in order to survive. Ruth, unlike her sister-in-law, stays with Naomi and returns to the land of Judah. In that time widows could follow behind the men working in the fields for harvest and collect the scraps of wheat left behind. This was customarily allowed by the land owners and was even written in their laws. Ruth was out collecting scraps and found favor in the eyes of Naomi’s relative named Boaz. Boaz allowed her to follow his workers and even instructed some of them to leave extra wheat behind for her, enough for Naomi as well.
In those days if a woman were widowed, a relative of her late husband would marry her. Boaz knew it would be righteous to redeem her, but he also knew that there was another relative that was ahead of him in line to do so. He very well could have helped her without asking the other relative, but he chose to do the right thing. He wanted to make sure Ruth’s needs would be met. Boaz knew that he needed to let this other man have his opportunity to care for Ruth. Ruth chapter 3, verse 13 says, “Remain tonight, and in the morning, if he will redeem you, good; let him do it. But if he is not willing to redeem you, then, as the LORD lives, I will redeem you. Lie down until the morning.”
Boaz had several opportunities to be Ruth’s redeemer right away. But he also knew that someone else was more responsible first. Boaz saw the situation and realized that in order to help Ruth the right way, he needed to let someone else have a chance to be the redeemer in her life. We might think of Boaz as trying to pass off Ruth’s problems onto someone else; I would argue that he did the opposite. He got the right people to recognize the problem and then assured her that he would do what another would not in order to take care of her. Sometimes rather than pull someone out of their mess, you have to get down in it with them and find the way out right alongside them. World Changers are not necessarily the people walking in front of us. Often, they are walking alongside us.