by Warren Burnett
The Bible is full of accounts of many great men who feared God, exhibited enormous courage and determination to fulfill God’s will, yet had flawed characters. One of the principle reasons these accounts are recorded is so we can learn from their mistakes and to understand the power of repentance and the magnitude of God’s forgiveness and mercy.
However, the Bible also gives account of men who exemplify outstanding Godly character with seemingly no flaws. One such account can be found in the book of Ruth, where we read of the sterling example of Boaz. Even though we can be sure that Boaz was not perfect, it is apparent that his flaws were not significant enough to record. His example is one of a Godly man striving to follow the perfect will of God.
Boaz was the type of man that all young men should aspire to emulate and the type of man that all young women should desire when the time comes to seek an ideal husband. So, what is it about Boaz that makes him such an outstanding example of godly manhood? Let’s take a look at the exceptional character traits of this man Boaz-traits that we all should desire to possess:
Boaz was a kind, considerate and generous man. Even though Boaz was a wealthy and successful man, he respected and acknowledged his own workers with a joyous greeting (Ruth 2:4). He extended kindness to Ruth by telling her not to glean anywhere else other than in his fields, along with his own young female workers (Ruth 2:8). He even went further by including her at mealtimes to ensure that she was well fed and he also made sure that the reapers deliberately left extra grain for her to pick up (Ruth 2:14-16). Kindness and generosity flowed easily from Boaz!
Boaz was a protective man. By showing kindness to Ruth, he also provided protection for her. He gave strict instructions to his young male workers not to bother her and to draw water for her when she was thirsty (Ruth 2:9). Boaz knew that Ruth was a stranger in a strange land so he provided safety and companionship for her by making her stay close to his young female workers. He understood that she would have been feeling anxious in this foreign environment, so he provided the stability to ease her anxiety. Boaz understood that godly manhood involved the responsibility of protecting the weak and the vulnerable!
Boaz was an observant man. An important trait that highlighted the fact that Boaz was an excellent protector was that he was an observant and discerning man. Boaz knew immediately that there was a stranger in his midst and set about to enquire of her (Ruth 2:5, 6). However, instead of brashly banishing Ruth from his field, he took the time to find out why she was there and to understand her circumstances. By doing so, he learned that Ruth was a courageous, humble, loyal and diligent servant to her mother-in-law his close relative, Naomi (Ruth 2:11). He continued to observe that the kindness and respect that she showed toward him was genuine and sincere (Ruth 3:10). Boaz displayed incredible wisdom by observing those around him and noticing their exemplary qualities. Boaz looked for the good in people!
Boaz was a man of integrity. Boaz understood and obeyed the laws of the land-laws that included redeeming the widow of a dead relative to perpetuate the family name (Deut 25:5, 6; Ruth 4:5). Even though Boaz was a close relative to Naomi’s husband Elimelech and therefore Ruth’s dead husband Mahlon, however there was a closer relative. So Boaz took the proper steps to inform the closer relative of his duty to redeem Ruth in front of ten witnesses (Ruth 4:1-6, 9). It also records that Boaz couldn’t even rest until the matter was properly resolved (Ruth3:18), such was his determination to do the right thing. And when the closer relative refused to redeem Ruth, Boaz immediately accepted the responsibility as the next closest relative to buy the land of Elimelech’s family and take Ruth as his wife (Ruth 4:9, 10). Boaz was indeed an honest man, a man of steadfast moral principles!
Boaz proved himself to be a man of great loyalty, a man in whom you could trust. His godly traits sit well with the other traits that we have examined. Boaz was not a fierce warrior; he did not perform great acts of bravery in battle like so many other examples recorded in the Scriptures, acts that we would normally associate with prototypical manhood.
But make no mistake, the courage, determination and faithfulness required to fulfill the role of a male, to the standard that God expects, Boaz proved that he was no less of a man than any of them. Boaz was a man that all men should strive to imitate and the type of man that all single women should seek in a potential husband.
Yes, Boaz was most certainly, a model of godly manhood!