Wednesday 20 October, 2021

I could focus today on the return of kindness to Ruth, after she showed so much dedication and selflessness toward Naomi, as described in Chapter 1. This is a strong message coming through, but I am strangely more captured by a peripheral message.

When Boaz arrived from Bethlehem, he greeted the harvesters with “The Lord be with you” (NIV). They answered with “The Lord bless you”.

David Guzik writes “The LORD be with you: This shows us something of the heart and character of Boaz. Apparently, his workers loved him and had a good relationship with him. You can often tell the real character of a man in authority by seeing how he relates to his staff and by how they think of him.”

This principle applies to many situations of life and in many forms of leadership. Respect, care, humility, concern for wellbeing of others, kindness etc, are all traits of a Godly person in authority.

The harvesters returned the greeting with “The Lord bless you”, and so they obviously had great respect for Boaz, their employer, but likely because he respected them first.

Father, in all of my roles of authority and leadership, I pray that I might always reflect Your heart of love and care for those I lead. Forgive me for when I have not, and continue to transform me into the leader with character that You desire. Amen

Written by Steve Fell

2 replies
  1. Richard says:

    Thanks Steve for this insight.

    We quickly realise that Ruth and Naomi are poor – that was the reason for Ruth gleaning grain after the harvesters had gone through a field and was allowed for in the laws of the Israelites. It was part of their social welfare net, where harvesters were not allowed to go over a field twice so as the poor could ‘glean’ what was missed, not fully ripe, damaged or…

    What possessed a young woman to follow her mother-in-law to a strange land and strange people could easily be seen as an attempt at privilege or a ‘better’ life, but Naomi is poor, so poor that Ruth has to glean. Yet God is there. Their wealth or lack thereof doesn’t represent God’s blessing or not. Ruth’s attitude of love and service to Naomi is what catches both the eye of the foreman of Boaz and Boaz himself, who seems to have heard about Ruth and Naomi. On seeing Ruth’s diligence he makes explicit to his people that he wants her cared for and protected – “I have told the men not to lay a hand on you.”

    Providing opportunity to flourish, like Boaz did, is an important principle. Seeing someone’s station in life and allowing that to influence how we engage a person is problematic. May it be that I maintain a principle that sees people for who they are above the other markers that we so often view.

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