Kindred of Elimelech

by John O’Malley

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“Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech” (Ruth 2:3).     

Boaz’s history is often untold. We marvel at Boaz’s compassion toward Ruth. She was a Moabite by birth; yet in her new birth, she was an Israelite. When Boaz saw Ruth in his field, he did not instantly reject her because of her birthplace. He simply accepted her status in the faith over her status as a foreigner. 

Normally, Israelites would be slow to accept an outsider. What then made Boaz so apt to accept Ruth? Perhaps the answer becomes clear when we pause to look at Boaz’s family album. Let us ask him:

 “Boaz, do you have a picture of your parents?”

“Oh yes, let me show you my parents,” his reply would be. “Here is my father, Salmon. He was an Israelite prince.” 

“Oh, I see. Do you have one of your mother?” 

“Yes, let me show you. You may have heard of my mother. Did you ever hear the story of the walls falling down in Jericho except for one woman’s apartment?”

“You mean Rahab the harlot?” 

“Yes, Rahab the Gentile girl from Jericho is my mother.”

 Now it is quite easy to see why this powerful man would take the time to accept a young, widowed Moabite convert by providing for and protecting her. 

 This same Boaz was also a man with a heritage. He belonged to the same family line of Elimelech. This was not by happenstance. It was God in His sovereignty which placed Boaz in the family that would be able to redeem the name of Elimelech, and thereby restore the line of Christ.

 Boaz was also a man of honor. Although this point will later be seen clearly, Boaz was honorable in his integrity toward men, women, and God. No wonder God chose to use him!

 Many times people believe that their lives have very little value or importance. They often discredit their abilities, discount their talents, and even minimize what God has bestowed upon them. 

It would be easy to discredit or discount your abilities or heritage, but God has placed you where He needs to use you. Never grumble or gripe about what you do not have. You have what He wants you to have for what He wants to do with you.

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