Old Testament Portraits of Christ: Boaz, the Kinsman – Redeemer

May 3, 2019
Bruce Hulshizer

A godly man is strong to bless others, as he brings the Lord into situations, inspiring confidence through his excellent character. In scene one of God’s record of Ruth, Naomi is empty and bitter with the Lord. Enter Boaz and a radical change occurs. By the end of scene two, the one who was bitter with the Lord is instead blessing the Lord for His kindness, a kindness that had flowed through a godly man.

We meet Boaz as a “man of wealth” (Ruth 2:1), and this wealth is not merely in physical possessions but also in character. As he communicated with others, he brought the LORD into the picture (2:4). What an excellent way of speaking! He noticed a young woman in need, and grasping her need he showed her kindness (2:8-16). What a challenge it is to be considerate, starting with noticing another’s situation. Boaz was indeed strong, but he was not strong for himself. He was not “macho.” Rather he was strong to bless. God’s wealth flowed through him to bring blessing that lifted up hearts to bless God in response (2:20). What an example!

The young woman was a woman of worth (3:11; Prov. 31), and Boaz noted her character observing how she was a blessing to an older woman (2:11; 3:11). How important that a godly man observes excellence of character in a woman rather than mere outward glamour. She has come to seek refuge under the Lord’s “wing” (2:12) but the wing provided for her by the Lord is Boaz’s wing (3:9) What a privilege as godly men to be a means of God’s protection and provision for others!

Boaz knew of an obstacle that Naomi and Ruth were unaware of – a closer relative (3:12). He did not ignore this concern or try to sneak around it. Rather he addressed it directly. Naomi had such confidence in his character that she told Ruth that she can rest because the man will not rest (3:18). What an excellent character that inspires such confidence! He will not rest until he has “concluded the matter this day.” She knew he would see it through completely to the end, and would do so with diligence and timeliness. Beautiful example!

The confidence in a godly man is not ill-founded, for he addresses matters righteously, diligently, and completely (4:1-12). He is not willing to take a short cut. The matter will be handled in the right manner, even if there is potential that it will not work out the way he would hope. He is a man of integrity. The righteous way is the only option. So, he came before the elders and clearly explained the matter, facing the risks and sealing the deal publicly. He was not afraid to stand up when faced by a challenge. He faced legal concerns, respected authority, and acknowledged the rights of others. He had backbone.

The result is complete restoration. Nothing was left unresolved. No concern that would prevent his bride from having rest.

How like the Lord Jesus! How glad we are for His entering our situation, spreading over us His wing, righteously redeeming us, addressing every concern diligently, inspiring such confidence that we rest completely in the One who is strong to bless! What a Redeemer!

We are called to imitate this example as godly men. When I enter a situation, is the LORD honored as a result? Does my entering the situation bring blessing to others? Is there a positive effect in their thoughts of God? Am I considerate and kind? Do I find that the Lord chooses to provide for others through me? Are others able to rest in my ways, my solid character? Do I act with integrity and diligence? Do I finish the job?

Does my strength and resources only benefit me, or am I strong in order to bless others? Does my presence have a degrading or enriching effect on situations and on others’ thoughts? Would it be good for a virtuous woman to enter into a relationship with me? Am I a man who has worth in God’s assessment? Would an older godly woman look at me with confidence that I will righteously address matters, doing whatever it takes to see it through in a timely manner? Do I step up to challenges as a means of helping others?

Oh Lord Jesus Christ, how we need Your help so that we are more like You in our lives! Fix our eyes on You so that by Your Spirit within us we are transformed to display more and more of your excellence of character! (2 Cor. 3:18) May the Holy Spirit raise up godly men today – men who honor God, bless others, and inspire confidence.