Build up One Another in Love                                   


When we read the Book of Ruth, we often put our focus on Ruth and Naomi, who supported each other through love. In fact, we should not overlook Boaz, who built up others in love. During the time of the Judges, when society and morality were both corrupt, Boaz was able to live a life of loving testimony. He was an empathetic person who delighted in helping others and carried out the righteousness of the Law.


1.      Kindness to his servants: :Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, .The Lord be with you!・ .The Lord bless you!・ they called back.; (Ruth 2:4) From this brief description in Ruth, we see that Boaz and his servants had a very harmonious master/subject relationship. They greeted and offered benedictions to one another. This was a beautiful interpersonal relationship rarely seen in the Book of Judges. Boaz was likely not a harsh master, for his servants not only worked for him, but interceded for his blessing. Our love for others sometimes requires concern and encouragement expressed through words and speech. More importantly, it requires love through consistent action such as displayed by Boaz towards his workers. :Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.; (1 John 3:18)


2.      Benevolence to Ruth: Boaz could strictly follow the law of God. He cared for the poor, orphaned and widowed, and had compassion on aliens and the helpless (Deuteronomy 24:17-19). When Boaz found out about Ruth・s love for her mother-in-law and faith in God, he expressly favoured and administered to Ruth, commanding his servants not to mistreat, embarrass or rebuke her, and providing food, water and protection for her (Ruth 2:8-9, 14-16) He also said comforting and encouraging words to her: :May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.; (Ruth 2:12) When Ruth followed her mother-in-law・s instructions and went down to the threshing floor at night, Boaz did not exert his dominance and take advantage of her. Rather, he promised to act according to the Law, and fulfill his duty as a near kinsman (Ruth 3:10-13). Compassion and benevolence to people are attributes of God. Boaz had compassion on and was benevolent to Ruth, who relied on God. He too is listed in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.



3.      Righteousness to near of kin. According to the requirements of the Law, Boaz fulfilled righteousness towards a widow that was near of kin by redeeming the land for his deceased kinsman. He was also not concerned with the impact on his own estate, and willingly married the wife of Mahlon, the Moabitess Ruth, in order to maintain the name of the dead man with his property, so that the name would not disappear from the town records (Ruth 4:10). Boaz paid the ransom for a dead man, in order that the family of the dead could be built up again. He has also become a personification of Christ in God・s plan of salvation.


Boaz was full of loving kindness, and carried out the righteousness of the Law. Jesus Christ is greater than Boaz, for He was kind towards those who were ungrateful and evil, and interceded for those who oppressed Him. Furthermore, He paid the ransom with His own life for the enemy who died in sin and iniquities. :But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.; (Galatians 4:4-5) Since we have become the children of the Heavenly Father, we should treat each other with loving kindness, and build up one another in love.


By: Daniel To