1) The relationship between Boaz and his workers was enviable. Is it possible today? Why or why not?

2) God is faithful; He did not leave Boaz without a reward. How?

3) Boaz was a defense to the defenseless and a blessing to the hungry. How does this lesson teach these?

The story of Boaz is found in the book of Ruth. While you appear to think highly of Boaz's relationship with his servants, there is actually little material to draw upon. In Ruth 2:4 we see Boaz giving greetings to his workers. "Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said to the reapers, 'The LORD be with you!' And they answered him, 'The LORD bless you!'" The greeting and response shows a good relationship between Boaz and those who serve him. Boaz was also able to provide a safe work environment. When Naomi heard that Ruth was working in Boaz's fields she told her daughter-in-law, "It is good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, and that people do not meet you in any other field" (Ruth 2:22). This trust was well placed because earlier Boaz had told his workers, "Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her" (Ruth 2:15).

There is no reason that such a relationship can not be created today. It should be of second nature for every Christian for Paul taught, "Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him" (Ephesians 6:5-9). The key is to remember that in all our service, we are ultimately and truely serving our Lord Jesus Christ. The master, or boss, should view himself as a servant charged with responsibilities. "Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven" (Colossians 4:1). The best relationship is when worker and boss are both Christians. "Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved" (I Timothy 6:1-2).

God's reward to Boaz was a wife. As Solomon reminds each of us, "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD" (Proverbs 18:22). In addition, Ruth brought to him children. David tells us, "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward" (Psalm 127:3). Oh that more could understand and appreciate these gifts. "Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 9:9). Boaz did understand, for he told Ruth prior to their engagement, "Blessed are you of the LORD, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman" (Ruth 3:10-11).

Boaz had kept track of his relatives. "And Boaz answered and said to her, 'It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge'" (Ruth 2:11-12). When Ruth showed herself willing to work to support herself and her mother-in-law, Boaz made sure that her self-appointed task was made lighter. "Boaz commanded his young men, saying, 'Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not reproach her. Also let grain from the bundles fall purposely for her; leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her'" (Ruth 2:15-16). Later, Boaz willingly married Ruth and took on responsibility for Naomi (Rutn 4:14-15). The child born to Boaz and Ruth inherited the land of Naomi's husband and sons (Ruth 4:10).


March 15, 2005