Boaz – The Kind Gentleman
Ruth 2:8 -10 - 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. 9See which part of the field they are harvesting, and then follow them. I have warned the young men not to treat you roughly. And when you are thirsty, help yourself to the water they have drawn from the well.” Ruth fell at his feet and thanked him warmly. “What have I done to deserve such kindness?” she asked. “I am only a foreigner.” (NLT)
Devotional Series: Boaz - Tips from a Godly Man
We don’t often attribute kindness to those in charge of us. Worst still, if I dare say it kindness in Western society is usually a characteristic attributed to women rather than men. (I struggled to find an image of a man participating in an act of kindness that was not romantic or connected to his family!) It is often viewed as a sign of weakness and not strength. If we are ever kind it is usually to people we know and often for our own benefit. But in this story, we see Boaz (a rich man) extend great kindness to Ruth, so much so that Naomi was surprised when Ruth returned home.
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)
Reading the text, you might conclude that Boaz was only kind to Ruth because she was a family member and he had heard of what she had done for Naomi and was only reciprocating Ruth’s kindness. But as we saw in the previous reading, it was Boaz’s foreman who first allowed Ruth to join the harvesters. This may suggest that the foreman had experienced Boaz’s kindness himself and knew his employer would not be against extending kindness to those in need.
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…." (NLT)
Could it be that Boaz’s kindness had rubbed off on his employees? The challenge to us from this passage as Christian leaders is to ask ourselves, are we kind to those who work with us and for us? Has our kindness rubbed off on those around us and created a culture of kindness? Are we kind to strangers? Can our kindness be felt beyond those whom we meet directly, in the way that Naomi felt the kindness of Boaz through Ruth?
May the Lord by His Holy Spirit grant us all the grace to be kind to those around us!