What I am about to write is speculation. I think it is safe and sound speculation, but it is – indeed – speculation nonetheless. So there.
As followers of this blog and members of the church I pastor can attest – I have been captured by Boaz in the Bible story of Ruth. The author makes it clear the events that transpire in Ruth took place during the time of the judges. Not Israel’s best moment. Everyone did what was right in their own eyes (Translation: everyone did NOT do what was right in God’s eyes.). Men were jerks. Spiritual leaders were selfish. Women were used and abused. And this was among God’s own people.
Boaz, however, was a bright light in the cesspool of darkness. A breath of fresh air. A diamond in the rough. An unexpected ray of sunshine. A man who walked with God when very few were. Obviously, a man who knew God and lived so that others might know what his God was like.
This begs the question: Where did he learn it? Who taught him how to be such a man? Who showed him what noble character looked like?
[Here comes the speculation, but stay with me. . .]
I am guessing he didn’t learn it from his church youth group.
I am guessing he didn’t learn it during youth camp at the beach.
I am guessing he didn’t learn it from reading a book on character.
My guess is that he learned how to know, love, and walk with God from his daddy, Salmon. Now we don’t know much at all about Salmon (except that he had a really cool name). But we do know Salmon’s daddy (Boaz’s granddaddy) was Nahshon. And we know Nahshon was a godly leader from the tribe of Judah.
Somewhere Boaz learned how to respect women.
Somewhere Boaz learned how to show self-control when sexually tempted.
Somewhere Boaz learned how to treat his employees as human beings made in God’s image.
Somewhere Boaz learned a good, hard, work ethic.
Somewhere Boaz learned the ways of God.
Somewhere Boaz learned how to walk out the ways of God.
Somewhere Boaz learned how to show dignity to the foreigner, the poor, and the widow.
Somewhere Boaz learned patience.
Somewhere Boaz learned honesty, integrity, and character.
Somewhere Boaz learned generosity, kindness, gentleness, and grace.
Somewhere Boaz learned how to worship, love, honor, and be present with God.
I may be wrong, but I cannot help but believe Boaz learned these things from watching and listening to Salmon. Boaz had a daddy who walked with God in the time of the judges. Because of that, Boaz knew how to walk with God when everyone else was doing what was right in their own eyes.
Why do I write this? Because I am tired of making excuses. I am tired of griping at the culture. I am tired of delegating what is my job. I am tired of us “church people” (myself included!) railing against our society and trying to fix it with a system or a program or a modern day “model for ministry.” What if it never was intended to be the youth minister’s job to “make” my child worship God? What if it never was the Sunday School teacher’s job to teach my child what God has said? What if it has always been my job? What if it isn’t someone else’s job to “fix” my child spiritually; but my job to model and implement in my home what a relationship with God (in the time of the judges) looks like? What if we are at fault for the dearth of godly men?
From what we know, Salmon wasn’t a priest or a pastor or a youth minister or a Sunday School teacher or an author or a leader within the Southern Baptist Convention. What we know is that he was Boaz’s father. Boaz walked with God during a time when no one else was. Boaz learned it from his dad. Men, we too live in a similar time. Let’s quit griping about the culture and take ownership to lead the next generation of men to know, love, worship, and walk with God.
What can you determine to do today to take ownership of the potential “Boaz’s” God has placed in your life?