For many of us, we hear the name Boaz and we immediately think redeemer. If we’re NIV readers, we think kinsman-redeemer. And, as I’ve learned this morning reading in the CSB, if you’re a CSB reader Boaz is going to spark family redeemer for you. Boaz, the close relative who paid the price for Naomi’s field so that he could take Naomi’s widowed daughter-in-law, Ruth, as his bride. Boaz, the family redeemer who with Ruth birthed the line from which my Family Redeemer would be born.
But it’s not Boaz the redeemer who captures my imagination this morning, it’s Boaz the wingman.
When Ruth pledged her loyalty to Naomi (Ruth 1:16) it was more than just an over-the-top declaration of love for Naomi, it was also an over-the-top act of faith in Naomi’s God. And Boaz recognized that.
Boaz answered [Ruth}, “Everything you have done for your mother-in-law since your husband’s death has been fully reported to me: how you left your father and mother and your native land, and how you came to a people you didn’t previously know. May the Lord reward you for what you have done, and may you receive a full reward from the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”
(Ruth 2:11-12 CSB)
Ruth’s determination to leave her people and her inheritance for a foreign land and no inheritance was to, in effect, trust the Lord God of Israel and place herself under the protection of His “wings.”
But God isn’t a bird. Nor is God material. God is spirit (Jn. 4:24). And so, if Ruth were to physically realize the refuge of God’s wings, God would need a wingman.
At midnight, Boaz was startled, turned over, and there lying at his feet was a woman! So he asked, “Who are you?”
“I am Ruth, your servant,” she replied. “Take me under your wing, for you are a family redeemer.”
(Ruth 3:8-9 CSB)
Boaz the family redeemer. Boaz the flesh and blood actualization of God’s protection. Boaz the wingman.
And as I chew on that, knowing that Boaz foreshadows the greater Family Redeemer, the Lord Jesus, I remind myself of the refuge I have found under Jesus’ wings.
A refuge by faith. A refuge found at His feet (Ruth 3:7). A refuge bought with a price (Ruth 4:9-10, 1Cor. 6:20). A refuge under the wings of the God who is spirit, actualized by the same God who came in the flesh (Php. 2:7-8). Wings of refuge freely extended by Jesus (Mt. 23:37). The Christ — the promised Son of God who was not ashamed to call me His brother (Heb. 2:11) — is my family redeemer and forever protector.
He will cover you with His feathers;
you will take refuge under His wings.
His faithfulness will be a protective shield.
(Psalm 91:4 CSB)
Because of grace alone. For His glory alone.