The next picture we have of Boaz is actually central and basic to the whole story we are now considering.
It begins to appear in chapter two where Boaz is seen as:
ONE WHO HAS COMPASSION ON THESTRANGER (Ruth 2:5-17).
The scene here is extremely beautiful. Boaz, coming out to his fields, sees the stranger who is gleaning
behind his reapers, and he enquires as to who she is (v.5). He is told, she is "the Moabitish damsel that
came back with Naomi out of the country of Moab"(v.6); -in other words, one who would normally be a
very despised foreigner!
Perhaps we need to pause here and recall some of the early history of the Moabites, for it is a particularly
dark one; -so much so that Moabites were permanently banned from entering into the congregation of the
Lord, -"even to the tenth generation" (See Deut.23: 3; Neh.13: 1 etc.).
Boaz would certainly have known this history, and yet we hear him addressing the timid outcast as "My
daughter" (v. 8), and then proceeding further to make every provision for her welfare! He even offered
her a place among his own chosen reapers (v.14); -something deeply significant in itself! Ruth herself
was quite taken aback by this wholly unexpected favour, and could only fall on her face and say, "Why
have I found grace in thine eyes that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger" (v.10).
This surely touches deep chords within us all, and takes our thoughts back immediately to our Greater
Boaz, the Lord Jesus, of Whom it is written that He "can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them
that are out of the way" (Heb.5: 2). Here, very clearly is Christ our Lord, Who reaches out even to us! We
feel we should say here that this particular aspect of our story is one that goes right to the heart of ALL
Biblical revelation. All through the Bible we are being shown a Living God Whose inmost nature is one
of compassion on "strangers"; -strangers in every sense! The God Who made us is a God Who is
spontaneously and inexplicably gracious to the totally disqualified and undeserving; -a God Whose heart
and hands (literally) are stretched out to rescue and restore. This, we say, is the God of the whole Bible,
and we are, moreover, explicitly told that the matter of strangers like ourselves being brought into His
favour, and being lifted into fellowship with Him, is His ordained method of the manifestation eternally
of His own/ incomparable character (See Eph.2: 4-7).
How we should thank God that He and His Christ (our Greater Boaz) do have compassion on "strangers"!
On the day of Pentecost, Peter declared, "For the promise is to you, and to all that are afar off, even as
many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:39). And it was because of that great fact that Paul could
later write to the Gentile converts at Ephesus and say, "at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens
from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and
without God in the world: BUT NOW, in Christ Jesus ye who some times were far off are made nigh by
the blood of Christ. ...Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the
saints, and of the household of God" (See Eph.2: 12, 13, 19).
All this was clearly prefigured in Boaz, and in his gracious dealings with Ruth. And how appropriate to
our story is the word in Deut. 10:18, "He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and
LOVETH THE STRANGER, in giving him (her) food and raiment".
Thank God, the Gospel invitation is for "all who labour and are heavy laden" (Matt.11: 28). How we
should rejoice that throughout Christ's public ministry, Gentile strangers, as well as privileged Jews, were
welcomed into His embrace, and ALL could be renewed and be made part of God's eternal purpose! Even
Peter could not, at first, understand this greatness of God's heart, and the wideness of this embrace (Acts
10:14,28). He might have known something of the depth of Christ's love, but he did not yet know its
BREADTH! (See Eph.3: 18,19). To such matters he himself was but a "stranger"! But later, Peter, too,
was enlarged, and began to love as God loves, and to welcome "strangers" as God welcomes them (See
Acts 10:34,43; 15:7-11). Thank God, then, for our own Great Boaz Who still welcomes "strangers"!
YE ARE MY WITNESSES -18
The lords of the Philistines became suspicious of David. They feared that David might leave them, join
Saul and war against them as their enemy. So they insisted that David should be sent back. David knew
that it was not God's will for him to join the Philistines, yet he decided to join them.
Eventually he had to
go back. David knew how to enquire from God, but he did not. That is why all their wives and children
were taken away and they lost everything. Their loss was so great that they wept till they had no mor~
strength to weep. If you know God's will and do not do it, you will suffer great loss. David repented and
enquired of the Lord and the Lord in His mercy forgave him. Scripture says, "...his compassions fail not"
(Lam.3:22). If we humble ourselves, confess our sins and call upon God and pray, He will have
compassion upon us and forgive us. Now even though David had no hope of recovering anything,
because he repented, confessed his failure and prayed, God helped him. He went to God and enquired
what God's plan was. " And David inquired at the Lord, saying, Shall' pursue after this troop? shall I
overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail
recover all" (1 Sam.30:8). He ought to have done that earlier: now after he lost everything he went to the
Lord. God is showing us how foolish we are. Now God forgave David when he obeyed Him and gave all
the men into his hands.
Going by the number of the army of the Amalekites, it was not possible to pursue or smite them. Because
David enquired of God, God told him to pursue the Amalekites. God in His own way helped them to
pursue the enemy. On the way, they found an Egyptian who was about to die. God uses simple means to
deliver us and help us. They had pity on that Egyptian. They gave him food and drink (vs.11, 12).
Through him, they recovered not only what they had lost but much more than that. By believing God's
Word and by obeying His Word they recovered all. Even though their loss was great, by humility and
obedience they recovered. The spoil was so great, that David sent presents to all his friends who had
helped him in the past. When he was pursued by Saul, David had to provide food for all his men. David
being a man of God kept clear record of all that he received from his friends. Some gave shelter and some
gave food. In some places he stayed for two days and in some places for four days or more.
He knew the
quantity of food they brought. Now he sent them all gifts and presents from the spoil. He was so thankful
for their help in time of need. By enquiring from God, by obeying, Him and by believing in Him David
recovered everything. He paid all the past debts, which he had to pay to his friends. Thus we also can
recover all our past losses. But we have to ask God's forgiveness for not doing His will in some cases and
make it a principle to find God's will and plan for all matters.
Many believers buy property without finding God's will and do many other things without knowing God's
will. Some people get their children married without finding God's will. Now they are weeping and their
children are also weeping. Now if they humble themselves, repent and confess their sin and obey God
and His Word, they can recover all and even more. May God make us all men and women after His own