Let the Redeemer Redeem!
This chapter is full of “Redemption.”
The interesting fact is that Ruth is not involved in it. She is not a key player yet will be the key recipient.
This was a job that only the Redeemer could perform.
Ruth could not be involved. She could not be her own redeemer.
She had to sit quietly and let her Redeemer do the redeeming.
Involvement on her part would have only messed up the situation.
Remember what Naomi told her?
"Sit still, my daughter, until you know how the matter will turn out; for the man will not rest until he has concluded the matter this day." Ruth 3:18
1 Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there; and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz had spoken came by. So Boaz said, "Come aside, friend, sit down here." So he came aside and sat down. 2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, "Sit down here." So they sat down. 3 Then he said to the close relative, "Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. 4 "And I thought to inform you, saying, 'Buy it back in the presence of the inhabitants and the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am next after you.'" And he said, "I will redeem it."
Up to this point things don’t seem to be turning out the way that we all would hope that it would turn out.
Boaz is not turning out to be the Redeemer of Ruth.
No doubt Ruth and Boaz fell in love back in that field and now it looks like they are not going to get together.
It is at a point like this that we feel we need to get involved and changed the outcome.
It was necessary that Ruth stay home and not interfere with the process.
The process was necessary for Boaz to become the Kinsman Redeemer.
All other potential candidates had to be resolved.
Manipulation is always a temptation.
The temptation to manipulate always comes into play.
There are many incidents in our life when we have to sit still and let the Redeemer redeem.
When you manipulate, it becomes your redemption instead of the Lord’s.
The Redeemer takes great risks.
Boaz, the kinsman-redeemer doesn’t really need to redeem the property and Ruth for his own interest.
First of all, he would be risking his good reputation by marrying a foreign woman.
Although Ruth had made a commitment to serve the God of Naomi, it would have provoked much gossip.
There was a strong stigma in Israel for a man to marry a foreigner because of the false gods that they would bring into the country.
Boaz was well known and was a very eligible bachelor.
For a foreigner to have landed a rich eligible bachelor would have made the relationship very suspect from the start.
This could have damaged Boaz’s good reputation.
Boaz, however, knew the situation in Ruth’s life and her commitment to the God of Israel and was willing to risk everything to redeem Ruth.
To redeem her he had to identify with her.
He was redeeming Ruth for her sake, more than for his sake.
That doesn’t mean that he wasn’t in love with her.
His love for her drove him to make the sacrifice.
The heart of the Redeemer always operates in love:
Boaz had the ability to choose any woman he wanted.
Ruth insinuated this very idea in her statement in Ruth 2:13
"Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants."
Ruth recognized from the beginning that for Boaz to be interested in her, he had to do it over many potential and very qualified women.
The Closer Redeemer Reneges
5 Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance." 6 And the close relative said, "I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it."
There are two kinds of redeemers.
- Those who redeem properties:
- Those who redeem people:
Those who redeem properties:
- The closest relative was only interested in getting more property.
- His priority was on the land he could accumulate.
- He was fearful of ruining his own inheritance.
- Redeeming Ruth was not a priority.
- Adam is a type of this kind of redeemer.
- Get, get, get all you can and take, take, take all you can.
- Possessions, possessions, possessions.
- Use people, use people, use people.
- Very carnal, worldly and never cover the needs of mankind.
Those who redeem people:
- The opposite is true of Boaz.
- The property was secondary.
- His motives were not to acquire more land.
- He was interested in the redemption of Ruth and Naomi.
- Boaz is a type of the second redeemer.
- He is a type of Christ who owns everything, but gives it all up to redeem people.
- Boaz was willing to risk his inheritance in order to redeem Ruth.
- That’s why the first relative reneged.
- A relationship was involved and the first relative wasn’t interested in relationship.
7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging, to confirm anything: one man took off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was a confirmation in Israel. 8 Therefore the close relative said to Boaz, "Buy it for yourself." So he took off his sandal. 9 And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, "You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, from the hand of Naomi.
A covenant requires shoe leather.
A relationship requires walking.
It requires time.
The first relative was ready to invest money for property but nothing for people.
He most certainly was not willing to invest time and hard work to the relationship that would need to be kindled in order to bring Ruth under his covering.
Boaz’s Covenant Focuses on Ruth, not the property:
10 "Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day."
In the heart of this is the desire of all wives regarding their husband.
They do not want to be treated as property.
They want to be the total focus of their husband’s redemptive work.
They do not want the things of life, the belongings, properties and all involved in its pursuit to crowd them out as individuals.
They want their husband to always redeem them, not just on one occasion.
11 And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, "We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 "May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the LORD will give you from this young woman."
The blessing is family based, not property based.
God’s blessings come by way of descendants.
Rachel and Leah along with their two servants produced the 12 tribes of Israel.
A nation came from them.
What is Ephrathah?
This is a region named after the grandmother of Caleb the spy who asked that God would give him an inheritance.
This region is where Bethlehem was located.
It’s interesting that part of Caleb’s inheritance would engulf this beautiful story and the birthplace of the Messiah.
Wow! What an inheritance.
Who is Perez?
He is one of the twin sons of Judah who Tamar bore.
The Perez family in the tribe of Judah was known for its strength and power.
Thus the reference to the offspring in verse 12.
It was through this family that the Messiah would come, more specifically through David.
The Greatest Blessing of All:
13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bore a son.
Notice the order.
- To take Ruth into his heart.
- To take Ruth as his Wife.
- To make love with Ruth.
- To have a son by Ruth.
Have you noticed who the important person is?
The Extended Blessing:
14 Then the women said to Naomi, "Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! 15 "And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better to you than seven sons, has borne him." 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. 17 Also the neighbor women gave him a name, saying, "There is a son born to Naomi." And they called his name Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Do you know what Obed means?
Obed means: “a servant who worships.”
The fruit of Redemption is a servant who worships.
I cannot help but associate the relationship of the greatest worshiper in Israel to Obed, his Grandfather.
Can you see why David was known as a Man after God’s own heart?
His Grandfather, Obed, was a worshipping servant.
His Father, Jesse, perpetuated the family custom.
18 Now this is the genealogy of Perez: Perez begot Hezron; 19 Hezron begot Ram, and Ram begot Amminadab; 20 Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon; 21 Salmon begot Boaz, and Boaz begot Obed; 22 Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David.
Without reading too much into the text, I cannot help but wonder how this family cultivated such an important characteristic of worship.
Naomi’s life was transformed from Mara, “Bitterness” back to Naomi, “Pleasant.”
Naomi is full of worship.
Ruth’s life is totally transformed and she is full of worship.
Boaz’s life is enriched by a powerfully committed woman and he worships.
Obed surrounded by worshipers becomes a great one himself.
Then Jesse who is the father of David brings forth the greatest worshiper known to Israel.