Was there any doubt in our minds that Boaz would say, “yes”? Once again this righteous man speaks words of blessing from God over Ruth. Boaz highlights Ruth’s “kindness” in proposing marriage. It is a word that has been uses throughout Ruth. Naomi tries to send her daughters away, with the words, “May the LORD show kindness to you, as you have shown to your dead and to me” (1:8).
When Naomi hears that it is Boaz who has welcomed Ruth into his field and provided for her, she exclaims, “He has not stopped showing kindness to the living and the dead” (2:20). This loving-kindness, shown by Ruth to Naomi as she stayed with her, highlighted in Boaz’s actions towards Ruth, is now praised by Boaz. It is intended to highlight that Ruth chooses Boaz for love, not obligation. It is one of her defining attributes in the story – her love for others. Interestingly, in acting this way, Ruth – an outsider from Moab – reflects the character of God, who perfectly demonstrates this loving- kindness.
Boaz tells Ruth not to be afraid. Yet risk is injected into the story: it turns out that there is another guardian-redeemer who may have a “claim” over Ruth. But as for Boaz, his intentions are clear: he wants to marry Ruth.
We experience, through our interactions with others, blessing and loving-kindness. It is part of the gift of human relationships. Yet the ultimate source of these good things is God himself. In the story of Ruth, we ultimately see God’s blessing and God’s loving-kindness poured out into the lives of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz.
Where in our lives do we see evidence of God’s blessing and loving-kindness?