The Great Entrepreneurs of the Bible – Boaz: Business as the Extension of Faith
Posted by· April 29, 2020
Original Post can be found here. By Thomas Schetelich
Boaz is an outstanding example of a Christian in business. His story is told in Chapters 2 through 4 of the Book of Ruth, and outside of that account, he is mentioned elsewhere in the Bible only in the genealogies. But those few chapters paint a character portrait every Christian in business would do well to emulate.
Boaz lived near the end of the time of the judges. It was a spiritually dark time in Israel, when a generation arose that did not know the Lord, and which forsook the Law of the Lord to worship Baal – the god of material gain (Judges 2: 10 – 13).
Boaz was the son of Rahab, the woman of Jericho that was a heroine of faith described in Joshua 2, Hebrews 11 and James 2. In this dark time, Boaz was a shining example of what a godly man can accomplish.
Boaz – A Man of Great Wealth
Boaz is described as “a man of great wealth” (Ruth 2: 1). The words of the verse have a heroic quality to them – being the same words as used to describe the “mighty men” of David. Boaz used his wealth to be a hero in his community. He was trusted in the gates, and relied upon in his city (Ruth 4: 1).
His business was agriculture. Throughout the account in Ruth, he speaks with purpose and decision. He acts after consideration; and after consideration has become intention. He accepts and comfortably bears the mantle of leadership in his community (4: 9, 10).
Boaz saw his business as more than the sum of his decisions and his energy. He saw the Lord as active in his business and through it. This attitude defined his work. Daily he called out to his reapers “The Lord be with you!” and they responded in kind (2: 4).
And so he ran his business as an extension of his faith. He based his business decisions on spiritual values, honored godly character, rewarded virtue. Also he expected and required virtue from his workers. (Ruth 2: 9 – 12; 3: 10, 11).
Intentional Grace, Particular Purpose
Despite his CEO leadership position, Boaz was active in the daily affairs of his business and in the details. There was a management structure to his business – Ruth 2:6 describes “the servant who had charge of the reapers.” But although there was a management hierarchy, Boaz was there working with his laborers. He made life easier for his workers, honored family commitments and exercised authority with grace.
Boaz spread the wealth that his business created. His reapers would go through his fields, reaping and bundling the grain. The poor of the land would come behind, picking up the stray stalks that remained. Boaz instructed his reapers to “let grain from the bundles fall purposefully.” (2: 16). The verse sums up Boaz’ character – acts of intentional grace, done for a particular purpose. He was not giving handouts; he was making it easier on the poor to be rewarded for the dignity of their daily work.
Finally, Boaz knew how to enjoy life. After the harvest was over, he celebrated, ate and drank “and his heart was cheerful.” (Ruth 3: 7). He neither flaunted his wealth, nor tried to hide it.
These qualities can be emulated by Christians in business. Today is again a time when people worship the Baal of material success and some have forgotten the LORD. Like Boaz, Christians can operate businesses with the intention and purpose of godliness, earning profit through honest work, making life better for employees, accepting leadership in the community, and enjoying the blessings of success.