Showing posts with label Boaz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boaz. Show all posts

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Naomi – a heart that seeks the good of those that serve under her.

Naomi – a heart that seeks the good of those that serve under her.
"My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be well provided for?” Ruth 3:1-2 NIV.
As a recap from the lessons from the book of Ruth, we learned never to allow ourselves to be caught by any of the immoral traps the devil lays on our way. In the first, second and third lessons, we shared about the integrity and moral strength of the man, Boaz. Boaz is an encouragement to us who live in an age where it is as if sex is for sale. The truth is that we can overcome the moral challenges of our time. 

We also learnt that as elders we should be straight-forward and truthful. Most elders in our churches are intimidated in the presence of issues, hence so many crises concerning doctrine,  leadership positions, lifestyle and behaviour of younger leaders and discipline generally. The kinsman-redeemer’s truthfulness helped the elders’ meeting not to prolong and drag unnecessarily.  The issues were resolved amicably.

This is the last lesson in this series from the book of Ruth as we look at ourselves as pastors, leaders and God’s men who have submitted ourselves as instruments in His hands. Our attention is on the woman, Naomi who asked Ruth, “My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee. That it may be well with thee?” (KJV). Having served and followed her committedly through the years, Naomi decided to help her to be established. She elected not to allow Ruth to serve her perpetually till she is “wasted”. She began to think about Ruth’s future.

Now there are many questions we need to ask ourselves as men and woman that other people serve under. The junior pastor under you, have you asked yourself, how can I seek rest for him? He has worked under you for ten years but has not made significant progress in his life. Are you comfortable for him to continue that way? A lot of senior pastors do not intentionally seek the growth of those under them. In fact because of the current celebrity mentality, most leaders make every effort to ensure that those under them do not rise so that they will remain the only “light in the midst of darkness”. This competitive spirit is not the spirit of Christ.

Again, your gate man or driver who has served you all these years faithfully, have you asked yourself, how can I seek rest or ‘a permanent house’ for him? It is not only that he is serving you, but even his family has joined him in serving you and your children. Is that the way you want them to continue till probably you die and your family will push them away? 

Do you think of the future of those who serve under you? Naomi would have continued to enjoy the services of Ruth without thinking of the future of the young lady.

For some of us, every maid and house help is a devil. She has served you for years, dressing and taking your children to and from school. You entrust the lives of your children into her hands and she has been making progress and yet you do not think about the future of the girl who is taking care of your ‘kings and queens’. All you see in her are demons and Satan. Oftentimes, these ones living with us are either our relatives or the relatives of our spouses. Are you thinking like Naomi or do you want them to serve you perpetually, bringing ‘roasted grain’ home every day for you? 

We have used these illustrations to bring home the points we want to make. The question is, "what are you thinking concerning those who serve under you?" Naomi enjoyed the ‘roasted grain’ Ruth was bringing home for her, but she thoughtfully found a way to help her establish. In this our short life, let us resolve to build lives and not destroy them; to establish lives and not to use and dump; to lift people and not bring them down; to offer a helping hand to those who are not as privileged as we are and not to exploit them. God will bless you. Amen.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Boaz - "The righteous shall not make haste".

"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.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Boaz - The moral challenge

"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 3:13 NIV.

The passage above was Boaz's response to what we may call Ruth's 'marriage proposal' to him. There are many things we can learn from the life of Boaz which I believe is a challenge to us as Christians today. Ruth was there alone with him in the field, in the middle of the night, but he did not touch her. He was a rich man and was qualified to claim Ruth to himself, but he exercised self-control. He had been showing favour to Ruth since the harvest started. She had gleaned from his field severally, but he did not exploit the situation as it presented itself. To say it in our modern words today, he helped Ruth and Naomi to have something to eat. He helped her to have something to do temporarily. However, he did not allow these to make him to exploit the vulnerable woman. "Lie here until morning", he told her but never touched her.

Many people have thrown morality to the winds. Many men can no longer be trusted with the opposite sex no matter who the woman is to them. We have had cases of people sleeping with their best friend's wife or fiance. What of those who sleep with maids who serve them in the house? We seem to see every woman as a sexual figure without considering the stories behind these figures we see. We have a generation that has bought into the worldly deception that sex is the high point of happiness. Sex is now a god. Everyday, sex is being advertised and sold to us through the means of the TV, Print Media and the Internet as if you are missing the whole world if you do not engage in it. If a girl says that she is a virgin today, her friends will squirm and make her feel very awkward.

The churches are not a 'safer place' any more. A lot of stories of pastors abusing the privilege God gave to them abound. Every now and then, you hear stories of one moral failure or the other among church leaders. We are indeed in a big moral crises. Our children are confused because we do not model purity to them and cannot answer the questions they are asking based on the sensual information they are exposed to.

But, is it possible to live a holy life today? YES IT IS! Is it possible to show the kind of moral strength Boaz exhibited in the passage above? YES IT IS! That moral strength is what we need today.Boaz was a man of honour and integrity.

This is not meant to condemn or discourage anyone struggling to come out of a moral failure. 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. We once shared A Letter to Christian Men by the wife of Tim Challis on this website and we still think that every man should think seriously about it. We can be different from the world. We can make a covenant to be the Boazs of today.

Write me if you were blessed or have any need for counselling. Drop a comment. God bless you.