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In Case You Missed It -- Ruth 3, Proverbs 1:8-33

God does not have a speaking part in the story of Ruth. I use this as an excuse for my past under-appreciation for the character and wisdom of Boaz. God does not speak about Boaz’s positive traits the way He does in the scriptures about Abraham, Moses, David, and Job. Our reading today, along with Boaz’s role in the big story of the Bible, are enough to see God’s favor toward this man. In today’s reading, Boaz wakes up to find Ruth at his feet, requesting that he redeem her as kinsman redeemer. This is quite a request! If Boaz agrees, he has another mouth to feed and marital responsibility to an already married woman. We mistakenly read this passage if we believe it is a given that Boaz would redeem Ruth. As we will see tomorrow, another kinsman redeemer wants nothing to do with Ruth’s situation. Boaz adds kindness to Ruth by being thankful that she did not desire younger men. Lastly, Boaz wisely sends Ruth home with barley in her shawl to assure Naomi of his intention to fulfill the obligations of a kinsman redeemer. Some have also suggested that Boaz sent Ruth home with a shawl full of barley so that no one who saw her at such a late hour might get the impression she was up to lewd misconduct. Boaz represents an Israelite man at his best, for he is obedient to God, has concern for his responsibilities, is wise, and regards the poor. I hope that when many of us think of heroes in scripture, Boaz would certainly receive due appreciation.

Jeremiah Vaught