Boaz is introduced, so it seems, out of nowhere. As we begin Chapter 2, there has been no mention, not even a hint that a new character was to appear on the scene.Only Boaz’s name and a few facts about him are given at this time. He does not yet enter the lives of Naomi and Ruth. The opening verse only introduces him to the reader, suggesting that he will soon become a part of their lives, a significant part.
The name Boaz most likely means, in him is strength or son of strength. Boaz was a man of wealth or standing in the community of Bethlehem. The Hebrew word has a wide range of meanings such as warrior, a well-to-do man of wealth, a distinguished, honored man. This means that Boaz was a man of considerable position and influence in Bethlehem.
Boaz was a relative, a kinsman of Naomi’s husband, Elimelech. This fact—plus the fact that he was a wealthy, honorable man—is a strong suggestion that Boaz will soon become the savior of Naomi and Ruth. In fact, this is the very purpose for introducing him at this time in the story.
Naomi, who had suffered so much throughout her life, and Ruth, her daughter-in-law who had accompanied Naomi back to Bethlehem, were destitute. They were both widows, left all alone to fend for themselves in a male-dominated world. They even lacked the money to buy food, the most basic necessity of life.
But here is Boaz thrust upon the scene, introduced as a wealthy, honorable man. The implication or suggestion is clear: God appears on the scene to save these desperate, needy widows. Boaz will be their savior. He will rescue, deliver, and redeem them from their distress and sufferings. Their hopelessness will be turned to joy.
Keep in mind that Boaz was the son of Rahab, the prostitute who was saved. This means that Boaz and his mother Rahab were to become a part of the lineage of Jesus Christ. Naomi and Ruth were totally unaware that God was about to save them from their desperate plight. But this was not to be all, God was also planning to use them to fulfill His great promise to Abraham, the promise of the promised seed—the wonderful promise that the Savior or Messiah would come through the descendants of Abraham. Ruth was to become a part of the lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The sovereign power of God was moving the events surrounding Naomi and Ruth in order to fulfill His promise made to Abraham centuries before. Naomi and Ruth were to play an important part in fulfilling God’s great promise to send the Savior into the world. They were totally unaware that God was preparing to use them in His great cause to save mankind.
Listen to this message here: