A wonderful model for what biblical giving looks like is found in the person of Boaz. In the book of Ruth, Boaz is a man of valor and respected as a prominent citizen of Bethlehem. When Ruth, a foreigner and a widow in need, goes to glean in the fields of Bethlehem, she happens upon the piece of land belonging to Boaz, who, it turns out, is a near relative to Ruth’s widowed mother-in-law, Naomi. The foreman of Boaz’s fields allows Ruth to glean and gather grain, in accord with the Law which required farmers to leave the edges of their fields unharvested so the poor, the needy and sojourners could scoop up the scraps and feed themselves.
When Boaz appears in the fields, he distinguishes himself as a man of God in his words and in his deeds. The most prominent feature of his godly character is revealed in his giving. Boaz’s spirit of generosity exceeds the formal requirements of the Law. Boaz gives Ruth more than immediate material relief. Boaz’s generosity, revealing a willing heart and spirit, is manifested in three ways: through his provision, his protection, and his promise.