Thursday, June 9, 2022
Recently I referred to the story of Ruth, a woman who stepped out of her homeland and left her own family to follow her mother-in-law, Naomi. Her personal sacrifice really made a difference. But that’s not the end of the story. Ruth meets a man named Boaz. He is a wealthy landowner. He is a relative of Naomi’s husband who died. He is about to fall in love.
I would challenge you to study the concept of redemption in the Old Testament – something we don’t have the time or space to do here. But in short, redemption is the “buying back” of what had been lost. The social and cultural system of the Old Testament honored family names, heritage, and ownership. If a man died without having a son, a relative of the man was to marry the widow and produce an heir that would carry on the family name and ownership of property. The relative was called the kinsman-redeemer. Without a son to carry on the family name, the name would be lost, and all rights of ownership would be lost. The kinsman-redeemer was the rescuer of what would be lost.
Ruth 4:13-15 “So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”
Boaz was second in line to redeem Naomi’s family name and property. After following the proper protocols, he jumped to the front of the line when the relative in front of him declined the opportunity. This required him to make a financial sacrifice to purchase the land. It also required him to marry a foreign woman whom he barely knew. But what a difference his sacrifices would make for all of us. His willingness to become the redeemer of another person’s name and heritage brought joy to all those in the land. Naomi’s position in society was secured. She would not be left homeless and nameless. The other women praised the Lord because of Boaz. Ruth would fulfill her calling to bear a son and carry on the heritage of Naomi’s family line. You and I would be blessed by all of this because the son born to Boaz would be the grandfather of King David, whose family heritage would culminate in the birth of our Redeemer Jesus Christ.
As you reflect on the story of Ruth you will see the need we all have for a Redeemer to buy back the lives lost to sin. Notice the way Ruth and Boaz stepped out of their own little worlds and made sacrifices for others. It’s our turn to step out of our worlds and make sacrifices for people who need redemption. Somewhere around you is a person who is lost and needs to be bought back. The sacrifices you make to meet their needs will be the way they see the Redeemer. It’s time we realize we are their kinsmen, and they need us.