We need more Boazs

13 May 2013

Boaz is ranked on BabyCenter as the 1,609th most popular baby name in 2012 (which is frankly higher than I expected). However, I would suggest there are even fewer than 1 in 1,609 men who have the character as Boaz.

The Boaz of chapter two in Ruth is probably a little more common (or so it seems). In the barley fields of chapter two we see Boaz being very kind, chivalrous and considerate. Outwardly we can imitate such behaviour, particularly if it means attracting a nice looking lady.

But the setting of the threshing floor in chapter three is different – they’re on their own. The behaviour of most men in the privacy of their computers (and more fundamentally their hearts) can be quite different from their projected character. Praise God for the contrasting example of Boaz.

So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet!

Boaz is confronted in the middle of the night by an attractive and sweet smelling young lady lying at his feet. They’re on their own and the cultural rules of the day dictate that she shouldn’t be there. He could have done whatever he wanted to and no one would have ever believed her. But he doesn’t.

Instead Boaz conducts himself throughout the entire scene with impeccable behaviour. He exercises immense levels of self-control by not taking advantage of her. He show great grace by not shaming her through exposing her cultural mister-meaner. And he is absolutely committed to making sure his conduct is completely transparent and above board.

What a contrast with most blokes today. We need more Boazs who can truly be described as ‘worthy’ men (2:1).

You can follow and listen to TCC’s sermon series on the book of Ruth here.

This blog post was written by Dave Hewer.