Recognizing Your Boaz: Getting a second chance
When my precocious five-year-old prophesied that she’d one day marry a prince, have a big wedding, and become a nice mommy with lots of children, I smiled. I was moved by the purity of her hope, but then the unexpected happened–I began to weep.
Every tear unearthed memories of my own age of innocence, when I too believed that my life would unfold with such accuracy and simplicity. Somewhere along the road I had left behind the little girl I once was. I scoffed at the dreamy teenager who yearned for happy endings, and morphed into a single-mother convinced that a series of wrong turns had disqualified me from receiving God’s best.
Even though I had repented and rededicated my life to Christ; I still feared that I forfeited my right to God’s promises. My daughter’s proclamations reminded me of Ruth’s story.
One evening after the toys were stacked, with tear-stained hands I leafed through the book of Ruth. The Lord started teaching me about Ruth. He reminded me that their story is proof that God is a God of second chances.
While the humbling field experience served as a reaping ground for Ruth, it was a proving ground for Boaz. Before Boaz ever said “I do” — he did. As Ruth worked to sustain herself and her mother-in-law, God used that time not only to establish Ruth’s reputation as an honorable believer within her community, but to allow Boaz an opportunity to exhibit the five essential components of his character. He proved himself to be a provider, a protector, an intercessor, a coverer, and a redeemer.
Though Boaz was a man of wealth and power, he was humble enough to respect a converted Gentile woman, and wise enough to admire her courage, devotion, kindness, and fidelity to Naomi (Ruth 2:11). He considered himself blessed to be wanted by a woman who he believed could have gone after a younger man (Ruth 3:10).
Boaz’s kindness and admiration was so overwhelming that at one point Ruth asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me– a foreigner.” (Ruth 2:10) Like many of us Ruth felt that her past, her poverty, and her status as a foreigner in Bethlehem made her less than the other women. Yet, Boaz “noticed” her. In Hebrew the word “notice” means to “acknowledge with honor, to understand.”
So it wasn’t that Boaz simply saw her, he understood and revered her. He understood that Ruth was more than the culmination of her past misfortunes and present dire circumstances. He honored the woman she was within and the woman that she could become if he became her coverer and redeemer.
Are you a Ruth?
God desires for us to see Ruth and Boaz’s union as an example of how He “notices”, loves, and redeems each of us, especially those who feel as though life has ravaged all promise and purpose.
Ruth was a woman who lacked the right pedigree, position, and purity that most people would have expected a man like Boaz to desire:
- she was not Jewish, she was a foreigner
- she was not a virgin, but a widower
- she was not wealthy; she was less than a servant girl
Yet, she obtained favor from an honorable man who loved her wholeheartedly and willfully provided, protected, covered, prayed for, and ultimately redeemed her.
Boaz loved Ruth because of her character and her heart. When Boaz agreed to redeem Ruth, one of the first things he said was, “All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character” (Ruth 3:11). He felt blessed to have such a woman and in turn blessed her with the “rest” that Naomi prayed Ruth would one day find in the home of another husband (Ruth 1:9), the rest that many of us long for and can find in God.
So now when my daughter optimistically prophesies into her future, instead of weeping, I too employ my tongue as the “pen of a ready writer” calling those things which be not as though they were (Rom 4:17), believing that I can be blessed with a second chance Boaz, God’s very best.
We are expected to learn from her story and to follow her example by genuinely submitting to Jehovah God whom she trusted her present and her future with. And to the woman who feels that your situation is so dire and your past so shameful, that no one is equipped to love someone like you–be encouraged!
What made Boaz perfect for Ruth had very little to do with his relationship to Naomi, his influence, or his wealth. It was the fact that he was the son of Rahab (Mat 1:5), a Harlot woman who by grace (undeserved favor) was wedded to one of the Israelite princes. Thus, Boaz spent his childhood in preparation, observing the love and respect his royal father showed to his mother.
Thanks to the glorious God we serve who knows the beginning from the end, Ruth’s second chance love was born to the right set of parents, with the right dispositions and experiences to teach their son how to love Ruth with divine precision before she was even born. What God did for Ruth, He is able to do for you!
Do you struggle with feeling like you are not enough? Do you wonder if your circumstances have taken you beyond God’s plan for your life? Throughout the Bible God speaks to His people of redemption. “Repent and come back to me” He tells them over and over. His arms are always open. If you need Go’d strength in your circumstances today, be encouraged! He has promised to leave His Holy Spirit with you to work in and through you to do His good pleasure. Why not pray and ask Him to fill you with a fresh breath of His Spirit today? You can pray a prayer something like this:
“Dear Father, I need You. I acknowledge that I have been directing my own life and that, as a result, I have sinned against You. I thank You that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I now thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit.”
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If so, bow in prayer and trust God to fill you with the Holy Spirit right now.
If you prayed this prayer, we would love to hear about it!