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  • Writer's pictureJean Kabasomi

Boaz – The Empowering Leader!

Ruth 2: 6-8 - Then Boaz asked his foreman, “Who is that young woman over there? Who does she belong to?” And the foreman replied, “She is the young woman from Moab who came back with Naomi. She asked me this morning if she could gather grain behind the harvesters. She has been hard at work ever since, except for a few minutes rest in the shelter.” Boaz went over and said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don’t go to any other fields. Stay right behind the young women working in my field. (NLT)


Devotional Series: Boaz - Tips from a Godly Man


How was Boaz able to be a personable CEO? How did he know what was happening in his field? How did he stay on top of everything? By empowering his foreman.


When Boaz arrived at his field and noticed that he didn’t recognize Ruth, he went straight to the person he trusted and knew had an answer, his foreman. Not only was his foreman able to tell him who Ruth was but he also knew why she was there.


Boaz relied on his foreman to provide him with the information he needed AND trusted his judgment. It was the foreman who permitted Ruth to gather grain in the field alongside the other harvesters.


Ruth 2: 6-7 - And the foreman replied, “She is the young woman from Moab who came back with Naomi. She asked me this morning if she could gather grain behind the harvesters. She has been hard at work ever since, except for a few minutes rest in the shelter.” (NLT)


After hearing this, Boaz did not undo what the foreman had said or done nor did he correct him for taking this decision. Instead, he approaches Ruth and emphasizes his commitment and agreement with the foreman’s decision.


Ruth 2: 8 - Boaz went over and said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don’t go to any other fields. Stay right behind the young women working in my field. (NLT)

This wholehearted commitment and empowerment by Boaz towards his foreman seems again, as we saw with his personability, to be habitual. We do not get the impression that this was a strange occurrence but rather the norm. Not only would this have strengthened the confidence of the foreman but it would have likely empowered those under him to do their own work freely creating an ‘empowering culture’. It would have also reinforced the authority of the foreman in the eyes of the harvesters working in the field.


Although, not within the Biblical text, I suspect that there would have been times when the foreman went beyond his remit or made mistakes. But despite this, the impression we get from this Biblical story is that Boaz and his foreman had a relationship that allowed the foreman to take decisions that Boaz openly endorsed.


As leaders in our local church, workplace, community or family are we willing to empower those that work with or for us? Are we willing to support the ideas and work of those under our authority? Do our direct reports have the freedom to make decisions without the fear of backlash?

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