Saturday, October 27, 2007

Boaz: In Him is Strength

"He erected the pillars in the front of the temple, one to the south and one to the north. The one to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz" (2 Chronicles 3:17, NIV).

In the footnote at 2 Chronicles 3:17, the New International Version reads, "'Boaz' probably means 'in him is strength.'"

When King Solomon erected and named the pillars of the newly constructed temple of God, could he have been thinking about his ancestor Boaz, the husband of Ruth? How could he have named a pillar Boaz without thinking of him?

During the days of Boaz, the Israelites occupied the promised land, but God did not occupy their hearts. With a few exceptions, even the judges who led them did not exemplify godly behavior or wisdom. They fell into idolatry time after time. They did what was right in their own eyes, but failed to live right before the Lord.

However, Boaz was an exception. He was a man of faith and character. He lived up to his name. In him was strength.

When Boaz spoke, the Lord was on his mind (Ruth 2:4, 12). He was a generous man who was willing to share (2:14). He protected Ruth's dignity (2:15-16). He protected her virtue and reputation (3:8-14). Boaz dealt with people honestly and wisely (4:1-10). In marrying an immigrant who had become a believer in God, he did not fall victim to ethnic prejudice (4:13).

Boaz was a pillar in his community. When much of his society had grown corrupt, he stood out as a man of strong character, a man of reliable integrity.

In later years, the name of Boaz became associated with a pillar in God's temple.

Today, Christ calls upon his people to imitate Boaz's faith and character, to be strong in our commitment to our God. As Jesus promised, "Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God" (Revelation 3:12, NIV).

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