Boaz – The Generous Giver
Ruth 2: 14-16 - At mealtime Boaz called to her, “Come over here, and help yourself to some food. You can dip your bread in the sour wine.” So she sat with his harvesters, and Boaz gave her some roasted grain to eat. She ate all she wanted and still had some left over. When Ruth went back to work again, Boaz ordered his young men, “Let her gather grain right among the sheaves without stopping her. And pull out some heads of barley from the bundles and drop them on purpose for her. Let her pick them up, and don’t give her a hard time!” (NLT)
Devotional Series: Boaz - Tips from a Godly Man
We all tend to accept that giving is a good attribute. Generosity and giving are often seen as synonyms, provided one gives willingly. However, there is a deeper, second level to generosity that goes beyond giving freely and willingly, that is to give more than what is expected or required. We see this type of giving in today’s passage by Boaz.
Previously, we saw that Boaz was kind to Ruth. But in today’s passage, we see that his kindness extended beyond what Ruth needed. Ruth would have been perfectly happy to have been allowed to pick from the harvest and to have left with a basket full of produce from that day’s work. But Boaz gave her more than what she and Naomi expected.
Ruth 2: 19-20 - “Where did you gather all this grain today?” Naomi asked. “Where did you work? May the LORD bless the one who helped you!” So Ruth told her mother-in-law about the man in whose field she had worked. She said, “The man I worked with today is named Boaz.” “May the LORD bless him!” Naomi told her daughter-in-law. “He is showing his kindness to us as well as to your dead husband. That man is one of our closest relatives, one of our family redeemers.”(NLT)
At dinner time, Boaz invited her to eat with his workers. She ate all that she wanted and even had leftovers which she shared at home with Naomi.
Ruth 2:14 - At mealtime Boaz called to her, “Come over here, and help yourself to some food. You can dip your bread in the sour wine.” So she sat with his harvesters, and Boaz gave her some roasted grain to eat. She ate all she wanted and still had some left over. (NLT)
Ruth 2:18 - She carried it back into town and showed it to her mother-in-law. Ruth also gave her the roasted grain that was left over from her meal. (NLT)
He made sure she wasn’t troubled by his workers and that she easily found barley to take home with her.
Ruth 2:15-16 - When Ruth went back to work again, Boaz ordered his young men, “Let her gather grain right among the sheaves without stopping her. And pull out some heads of barley from the bundles and drop them on purpose for her. Let her pick them up, and don’t give her a hard time!” (NLT)
He even allowed her to come back to his field as often as she needed until the end of the harvest. Not only was Boaz’s generosity felt and extended to Naomi but it lasted for months, into a second harvest period.
Ruth 2:23 - So Ruth worked alongside the women in Boaz’s fields and gathered grain with them until the end of the barley harvest. Then she continued working with them through the wheat harvest in early summer. (NLT)
All too often, our generosity is capped to certain people, felt by only a few people that we have met, and is time specific. But here we see in Boaz, a different type of generosity, one that was felt beyond Ruth whom he had met and stretched past his initial encounter with her. We also see that in making things easier for her Boaz’s generosity was a surprise to both Ruth and Naomi.
Our challenge as Christian leaders is to ask ourselves, how often does our generosity become more than giving willingly? How often does our generosity go beyond what is expected or required by the receiver? How often does our giving include making things easier for those in need? How often can our generosity be felt beyond those we personally meet? Is all our generosity time specific, and capped? Does our generosity ever surprise those we are giving to?