Real Possibilities

Michael Wilcock

READ : Ruth 2:19b-20

“May he be blessed by the Lord.” (v. 20)

Naomi is clearly delighted with what has happened. But her reasons need a little
explaining. Boaz’s kindness is not “cold charity.” It is warm-hearted, and the two women
appreciate it. It is, all the same, charity; and the real, practical trouble about charity
is that you can’t rely on it. It usually doesn’t last.

But in Israel, in the old days, you shouldn’t have needed to rely on it. Family was
very strong, and the rule was that if you fell on hard times there was always some
next-of-kin who was reckoned to be responsible for you. His help you should be able to
rely on permanently.

That was why Naomi was so excited when Ruth told her the name of the farmer who had
been so kind. He was more than just a “good Samaritan” whose generosity might tide them
over a time of crisis. He was Boaz, a “close relative,” and if things worked out, they
might be able to claim permanent protection from him.

We have already seen in this story a hint of a likeness between Boaz and the Lord Jesus. Here is another one. Boaz might not only make kind gestures; he might put himself under lasting obligations to the two women.


Lord, thank you that you love us permanently, not occasionally. Amen.