Friday, 25 March 2016

Boaz - "The righteous shall not make haste".

Sphere: Related Content "Although it is true that I am near of kin, there is a kinsman-redeemer nearer than I. Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to redeem, good; let him redeem. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning." Ruth 3:12-13 NIV.


In our previous post here, we looked at the high moral strength exhibited by Boaz and how every Christian, especially leaders have to take it up as a challenge and resolve to live above board. We concluded in that post with the words "Don't give up. Fight and win because your purity is God's will. You can make it. This is meant to encourage all men to pursue excellence and purity in their relationships; pursue purity in their thoughts and conducts. We can win; we can overcome if we believe, no matter what is going on around us today". In the midst of the moral decadence we are experiencing today, you can still remain a Christian if you want. You can live a holy live if you want.

We are not yet done with the life of the man, Boaz. We want to highlight the self-control he showed and his willingness to follow the established rules, even though he had the opportunity to violate them with bold face. After he listened to Ruth, he asked her to "stay here for the night" and the record continues "So she lay at his feet until morning" Ruth 3:14, and yet she left him that morning still intact the way she met him. God will help us to begin to live in ways that will restore trust and moral integrity that Christians are known for. God will help us as leaders to model this kind of moral strength to both our children and our congregations who watch us day by day. Moral failure can deal a great blow to the faith of our children and those we mentor, even when we have sincerely repented ourselves.

Look at the passage above again and observe how Boaz was ready to wait for the kinsman-redeemer who was closer to Ruth's late husband than himself to make up his mind on whether he would marry Ruth or not. Imagine that if the man was interested in Ruth, Boaz would have missed the opportunity to marry her. He would have lost out despite all the help he had given to her, yet he did not mind. The help he gave to her had not attachments. The attitude was "if she is mine, I will definitely have her, but if she is not  mine, let the will of God be done". "...he that believeth shall not make haste" Isa.28:16b KJV. This fundamental Christian attitude is scarce today among us. We violate ethics, break codes of conduct and oaths of office because of our ambitions. Christian leaders who compare themselves with others push the church member unjustly so as to get the kind of financial wealth they desire; 'no time to waste', 'now or never'. In fact, today if you pray "Lord let your will be done" some people will look at you as if you do not have 'faith'. Boaz was ready to wait for the right thing to be done, even taking a step that makes him vulnerable.

Finally another thing to learn from Boaz is his carefulness to avoid scandal from something he was doing with his whole heart. He made effort to ensure that onlookers did not misunderstand him, even though his heart was free and he did not commit any sin. Ruth was made to leave very early in the morning before anyone could be recognized and he told her "Don't let it be known that a woman came to the threshing floor". Though he did not have anything to hide, he was still concerned not to have a scandal around his life. There are many things that can be out of our control, however, we are expected to play our part in things within our control. When I hear some arguments put up by some Christian leaders who travel alone with a member of the opposite sex for programs and conferences, some leaving their spouses behind at home, I cannot help but to really wonder where we learned such carelessness from. We allow and even engage in careless jests and relationships and when scandals eventually break out, we are left only to start explaining and defending ourselves. In most cases, scandals move faster than your explanations. Careless lifestyles can cause us problem when we allow them and they will affect the effectiveness of our Gospel testimony.

Boaz was indeed a man of honour. Let's learn from his life. In part 3 of this series, I will be sharing a few lessons from the life of the kinsman-redeemer.
God bless you as you celebrate the Good Friday.
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