June 28, 2023
The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have a Bible Edge
Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.
The “she” in this verse is Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi. The “daughter” is Ruth. The “man” is Boaz. Boaz was a mighty man of wealth; Ruth was a poor widow. Evidently this man had a reputation for keeping his word. Even the mother-in-law of his future wife said so.
He did. He fulfilled his promise. It is a short book; all the details of his promise can be read in just a few moments. The lesson in this series of Life lessons learned from great people is this: keep your word.
It is far easier to give your word than keep it. The keeping of it though is the proof of honesty, thoughtfulness, and personal character. Every person who has ever lived can give testimony of at least one time when someone gave their word and did not keep it. It can be devastating to the one to whom the promise is made. At the least it is disappointing, at the worst it is devastating.
There is a word for keeping one’s word that is not used very much anymore. It is integrity. In the world of electronics, a circuit has to have integrity to work. The integrity of the circuit is tested; if it fails the test it needs to be fixed or replaced. The integrity of a printed circuit board is vitally important. So is the integrity of a person. Sometimes the integrity of an electrical circuit is compromised because of a bad component in the circuit, or it was not properly assembled, or because it was not designed properly. There are multiple reasons for circuits not to work. Likewise, there are multiple reasons why a person who makes a promise cannot keep that promise.
But make no doubt. No one has and maintains a reputation for keeping their word unless they keep their word routinely. Meaning that before they make a promise, they consider all aspects associated with keeping it. How can it be kept? Have all the potential roadblocks been considered that would hinder the promise from being kept? Do others have the power to stop the promise from being kept?
Boaz considered these questions and probably more. He said to Ruth: Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning. (Ruth 3:13) Ruth desired that he would do the part of a kinsman redeemer, but he knew that another man was a closer relation, it was the other man’s right. His promise took that into consideration, and his promise was kept.
The Bible Edge learned from the life of Boaz is this; consider all aspects of the issue before making a promise, once made however, keep it. Personal integrity will be the result.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.