He had nothing to gain. Nothing at all. And it never mentions she was a head-turner in beauty. Yet he was ever woman’s dream man because this man defined manhood.
Of all things it was not the best of times by any means. In the time of the judges, every did what was right in their own eyes. It was awful. And to wake them up when things got really, really bad, the Lord would send some form of judgment. We don’t know if the famine was a form of God’s judgment or just a circumstance of life, but regardless, evil ran rampant.
But in the midst of these dark and evil times arose Boaz. He was a prominent man “of noble character” (Ruth 2:2). So what does that look like? A man of noble character?
1) He greeted the harvesters and workers with respect (Ruth 4:4).
They weren’t just workers to serve him but they were people. He took the time to greet them and to do so respectfully and with dignity.
2) He inquired about the people he saw in the fields and asked about them because he cared. (Ruth 2:5-6)
The law told farmers and gardeners to harvest their fields only once. Then allow the poor, the widow, the orphan, etc… to come and gather any leftover produce. This is what Ruth was doing, gleaning the leftovers in the field.
3) He protected her, a total stranger (Ruth 2:8)
It was a dangerous work for a single woman to be alone in the fields working. Even when there was other women nearby, she could be picked up and sexually harassed by the young men or others. Knowing his field was safe, he told her to stay working in it. He gave the young men strict orders not to touch her.
4) He provided for her needs, a total stranger (Ruth 2:9)
He made sure that she could do what she needed to do by making sure she had water to drink. That gift alone made it so she could gather more as she wasn’t having to stop to search for water.
5) He was kind to her (Ruth 2:10)
When asked what made their marriage so successful and joyful, my college professor gave a simple answer: Mutual kindness.
6) He treated her well even though she was a foreigner (Ruth 2:10)
Foreigners were often not treated the same as their national brothers. But he treated her well regardless of her race, especially a race that a difficult history with Israel.
7) He looked at her character of her heart (Ruth 2:11)
It wasn’t her beautiful or un-beautiful looks that determined his kindness, it was her heart.
I had a wonderful blue-eyed bomb roommate in college who was amazing inside and out and still is today. But I noticed many a young man treat her with great respect and deference and treat me, someone in the average department, with indifference. I felt I had the advantage as their hearts were revealed.
Boaz was kind to her caring not whether she was a trophy-looking woman or not working in his fields.
8) He was humble (Ruth 2:12)
He didn’t boast that it was under his wings that she found refuge, even though he was the one who really was looking out for her. But he in humility acknowledged that it was “from the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge” (Ruth 2:12).
9) He comforted and encouraged her in which he benefited nothing from (Ruth 2:13)
He received no benefit whatsoever from helping her. Yet he took care of her well-being and her heart.
10) He made provision for her (Ruth 2:14)
He allowed her to eat with the harvesters and even have leftovers. He made sure she was well-fed.
11) He made extra provision for her (Ruth 2:15-17)
He didn’t just give her a meal and ability to work, but he made sure she had an abundance. It was work with dignity.
12) He did the backbreaking of labor with his employees (Ruth 3:2)
Being a prominent man and a noble man and land owner and having many employees did not exempt him from blistering labor. He joined with them in their work and their responsibilities, sharing in their sweat with them.
13) He didn’t hit on Ruth, but took responsibility when he realized it was his (Ruth 3:10-13)
The amazing thing is that all of his kindness were not to win her heart. It wasn’t his motivation. But when he realized it was his moral responsibility to care for her per a Levirate marriage, he was willing to give her to a closer redeemer per the law. And when that redeemer passed, he took the responsibility upon himself and married her. If he was just being selfish, he would not have sought out the other potential person first.
14) He did not delay or drag his feet in doing what was right (Ruth 3:13, Ruth 3:18)
He didn’t delay his obligation to her, nor did he drag his feet. He jumped to do what was right and righteous. He took initiative for righteousness and that is super sexy for many a woman.
15) He took care of not just her but her mother-in-law by providing for her (Ruth 3:16)
He didn’t make jokes about her mother-in-law, but he made sure she was cared for as well. They didn’t go in lack because of his unceasing kindness not just to Ruth but also to Naomi.
Wow, wow, wow. What a righteous, good and noble man!!
Boaz is honestly the dream of every woman. A man of proven and tested character. He wasn’t the way he was because she was a pretty young woman, but because he was a righteous and noble and good man.
But again the stunning thing is that both he and Ruth were of such extraordinary noble character in a season of Israel’s history where selfishness, lust and greed abounded. His righteousness and goodness were like a cool wind on a hot summer day.
We learn much from him. Terrible times are not an excuse for ill behavior, slanderous speech and digressing in godliness. But as the saying goes, the stars truly shine brightest in the darkest of nights.