#295 Boaz: Serving by Standing Well

March 2, 2021

The story of Boaz is nestled in the account of Ruth, the foreign daughter in law of Naomi. (If you’re not familiar with the story, take 10 minutes to read the book of Ruth.) Boaz appears in the story in chapter 2 after Naomi and Ruth, both widows, return to Israel from the country of Moab. His life speaks quietly and powerfully to all serving leaders and we’ll examine several areas in which his life is a model to us. The first comes as he is introduced to us for the first time.

1 Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek, whose name was Boaz (Ruth 2:1, NIV*).

Boaz is introduced here as a “man of standing.” Reflect on that for a moment. Standing is not a word we commonly use to describe someone. But it reflects strength, valor, and uprightness. It implies dignity and action. Boaz served by being a man of standing and serves as a model to all serving leaders.

Serving leaders stand by character development.

Boaz, was a man of character. He led with integrity, he was a man of his word and he honored others. All these reflect a person of unswerving character. We will see more of his character revealed as we continue to look at his life in this series. His character is even more remarkable when we consider the time in which he lived. In Ruth we have glimpses of the reality that not everyone in the area had character like Boaz. He lived during the time of the judges when “everyone did as they saw fit” (Judges 21:25). He is a man of standing because of his character. Boaz teaches serving leaders that leading begins on the inside. He demonstrates that leadership is more about who we are than what we do.

Serving leaders stand by consistent living.

Boaz is famous! We still tell his story today, thousands of years after his life. But Boaz had no idea that he would have this legacy! He was just doing what was right day after day. Leaders often look for ways to make a difference or to make an impact. Boaz teaches serving leaders that consistently living by godly values is the way to serve. Serving leaders do what is right, not to accomplish great things but simply because it is right. They stand day after day on their values and lead others with consistent living.

Serving leaders stand by changing others.

Boaz served as a man of “standing” and as a result his life would influence many others. Notice what people said to Naomi upon the birth of his son, Obed.

14 The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! (Ruth 4:14)

The life and character of Boaz impacted Ruth and her mother in law Naomi. But it also led to generations of famous leaders in Israel, first King David and ultimately Jesus! His character would be passed on to many generations. Boaz teaches serving leaders that when we stand well, we serve well. We make a difference when we stand!

For further reflection and discussion:

· Skim the four chapters of Ruth with “standing” in mind. Do you see other examples that demonstrate how Boaz was a man of standing?

· Would others call me a person of “standing”? Are there any gaps in my character that impact my ability to lead? What steps will I take to rectify these issues? In what areas do I need God to change my heart?

· Is my leadership focused more on end results or daily consistency?

· In what ways does my leadership reflect consistently doing what is right? Am I tempted to do what looks beneficial instead of what is right? What is God inviting me to change?

· Who is watching my life and leadership closely? How does my standing impact them? What difference will my standing make 100 years from now? How does that motivate me to serve by standing?

Until next time, yours on the journey,

Jon Byler

* Other translations use “mighty man of wealth”, “prominent man of noble character”, “a man of worth”, and “worthy man” to describe Boaz.

In the next issue, we’ll look at how Boaz served by treating others well.