By Pastor Gary Jennings
I do have my favorite men in the Bible that I often read about and also find myself referring to in my discussions with other people; guys like David, Paul, Moses, Gideon, Joshua and Elijah. These guys really inspire me. They not only tell me what to do, but also what not to do. But recently I bumped into this man Boaz. We studied about this man in one of our Men’s Wednesday Morning Bible Studies. He was never on my list of favorite guys in the Bible to read about and to learn from; but he ought to have been. I can glean a lot from this man.
In the Book of Ruth we read that Boaz was a wealthy land owner. He not only was a very capable man, but he was a generous and righteous man. When harvest season came around, the Law of Moses instructed harvesters not to completely strip the land, but to leave some behind for people who were poor. These less fortunate people would then glean these fields.
During one harvest season there was a young widow named Ruth who happened upon one of Boaz’s fields. Food was scarce and as she gleaned, Boaz noticed her and inquired as to who she was. He went far beyond the Law of Moses. He went to her and had compassion on her. He protected her. He invited her to drink from his water jars and eat from his meal table. He then instructed his workers to purposely leave more stalks behind for Ruth to glean and pick up. Boaz was quite a man. The rest of the story goes like this; he ends up marrying Ruth and she became his is lovely bride and gives him a son named Obed. Obed would become the grandfather of Kind David, and his family tree would run right to Jesus Christ our saviour.
Ruth gleaning grain from one of Boaz’s fields got me to thinking and questioning myself. It is good to take good stalk of ourselves. I asked the man in the mirror, what are you leaving behind for others to glean? What is there in my life that I would be eager for others to pick up? What is there that I purposely need to lay out there so others can scoop it up. How could gleaning from me make someone else’s life better? All kinds of thinks rush to center stage in my mind when I contemplate the answers to those questions. It boils down to this; I need to be conscious of being an example in everything I say and everything I do. The Apostle Paul reminds me in II Corinthians 3:2 that I am like a letter. I am addressed to the world. They open up my letter and read me.
Oh God, help me to write my life well, so others may read well and glean much from who I am. May I inspire hope and vision? May I lead by exhorting and be generous with the gifts, talents and resources you have entrusted me with? May I encourage others to run the race of life well?
Yes, Oh God, please help me!