I recently was studying the book of Ruth. It's such a lovely story of redemption and I always enjoy reading the story of how God took a widow who was a foreigner without hope (or children) and made her a part of the Messianic lineage. This time however I was struck by the godly character of Boaz!! What a hunk!
I guess I should explain that since I was a teenager, my friends and I have referred to great godly "guys" as trees. It really comes from Psalm 1 where the righteous man is described as a tree. A slightly immature "guy" might be a sapling but the really godly ones are OAKS!!
Boaz can definitely be classified as an oak. The Bible calls him a "man of standing"....someone who was rich and influencial and yet closely connected to his workers and his land. It's beautiful to see how Ruth finds herself under Boaz's "shade." This is how Boaz shows Ruth kindness:
Boaz provided work and food in abundance for Ruth and her mother-in-law. He had the workers pull out extra grain for her. He invited her to eat with him and provided water and more than enough food. He became Ruth and Naomi's source of food and provision and he was generous!!
Boaz made sure that his workers treated Ruth with respect, he gave her a place among his servant girls and by inviting her to stay in his fields, he kept her from any harm that she might have suffered from men wanting to take advantage of a foreigner in dire straits.
Boaz spoke life to Ruth and he respected her. He told her how much he admired her for leaving her land/people and coming to Israel with her mother-in-law. He did not treat her like a "filthy foreigner" but he saw her character and respected her. He even said at one point that his fellow townsmen know that she is a woman of noble character.
As I studied this story, I realized that there is someone who is better than a billion Boaz's!! It's Christ! He is the ultimate tree in whom I find perfect SHELTER!!! In Christ, I have:
"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3
"You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance." Psalm 32:7
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1
Wow! He is the ultimate Sheltering One and in his shade we find complete peace and blessing! Yay!
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1