Book of Ruth, Chapter 4

The fourth chapter really isn’t about Ruth. It is about Boaz. It is about his immediate action to seek out this ‘closer relative.’ He doesn’t wait a day or two, he goes out immediately. He waits at the gate, knowing this relative will walk by there at some point. When Boaz finds this relative he tells him to come and sit. Then he immediately goes out to find ten elders of the city right away and had them come to sit. He didn’t discuss it first with his relative. He didn’t lay anything out…see if it was okay…and then get around to asking the elders. He did it all, immediately, one right after the other.

He didn’t rehearse what he was going to say. He went with what was in his heart. He didn’t second guess himself. He laid everything out before everyone, and before God. He didn’t question whether it would work or not, or if he was doing the right thing. He simply did what he had to do to get where he wanted to get. He knew that God might not want him to reach the same destination…but he didn’t hesitate or fear taking the steps to get going on that journey. And God did give Boaz what he wanted in the end, because Boaz sought it out in a manner that God would approve of.

I have no doubt that if Boaz wanted to, he could have easily taken and had sex with Ruth. Her willingness in the matter wouldn’t have had to have been a concern. The previous evening he could have taken her to bed on the threshing floor, but instead he went out and sought the best for Ruth by seeking out the closer relative. He redeemed Ruth. It probably wasn’t easy or cheap. It took time. He waited until they were married. He obeyed God’s laws of relationships and duty and love. And for that obedience, for his mastery and guidance over Ruth, and for Ruth’s obedience…they were given the gift of a son. A son who would beget other children who would lead to King David.

This chapter is about Boaz’s obedience. His place as a man. It speaks of confidence, and loyalty. His loyalty wasn’t just to God, but to his family as well. There was a closer relative. Boaz offered to give up everything he wanted, because it was the right thing to do, to offer it to this closer relative. He was willing to stand aside: self sacrifice. He was willing to be that guiding hand, that shielding wing, that Shepard to Ruth.

This book truly shows how man and woman need to relate to one another. It is a very short book. It is a very simple story. But there is a lot in this story. The focus is Ruth, but Boaz should be commended as well. His morals, his ethics, his religious beliefs, his trust and faith in God…is just as impressive and worthy of note.

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