Unrequited Faithfulness

Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and to Mahlon. Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day.” (Ruth 4:9-10 ESV)

It is one thing to do something for someone who can return the favor. People do it everyday. Kids do chores so they can get an allowance. Employees work to get a paycheck. Friends do favors because they hope for one in return. In stating his purpose, Boaz clearly communicated his reason for buying the property: to honor three dead guys. That’s right. He did what he did for someone who would never be able to say “thank you.” Boaz practiced unrequited faithfulness.

Unrequited means unreciprocated, unreturned. There is no way Boaz can get any return on his investment. Elimelech, Chilion and Mahlon have died. They can’t say “please” nor can they say “thank you.” Boaz is practicing unrequited faithfulness.

Today you will most likely encounter someone who will never know the sacrifice you’re making, the burden you’re carrying, the pain you’re enduring–to help them. In those interactions, know that there is an unseen Observer who initially commands and ultimately rewards. It is He whom you are serving. Serve Him today.