OUR KINSMAN-REDEEMER

Scripture Reading:  Ruth 2:17-23

“And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, ‘May he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!’  Naomi also said to her, ‘The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.'” (Ruth 2:20)

The rest of the book of Ruth focuses on Ruth’s relationship with Boaz.  Boaz made an enormous sacrifice for Ruth and Naomi.  Naomi knew that Boaz was one of her kinsman-redeemers (v. 20).  The Hebrew word is “goel” (kinsman-redeemer).  Boaz was a goel for the family.

In the Old Testament, God made two gracious provisions for people who lost their land to get it back (see: Leviticus 25).  The first was “the year of Jubilee.”  Every fifty years, the land automatically was returned to the heirs of the families who had lost their land.  But fifty years is a long time.  Therefore God also provided another means to get one’s family land back.  The land could be bought back by a goel (kinsman-Redeemer).  The goel had to be a relative and he was required to pay a fair price for the land in order for it to be returned to the heirs of the the family who lost it.

For Boaz to do this, he would have to make some enormous sacrifices.  First, he would be required to buy the land back with his own money, in order to restore the land back to the heirs.  But in this case the family really couldn’t be restored because there was no heir;  Naomi’s two sons were dead.  Thus Boaz would be required to marry the last family member, who was Naomi; but she was too old to bear children.  This meant that Boaz would have to marry Ruth; but she was a Moabitess.  This would be frowned upon because the Moabites were enemies of the people of Israel.

Do you see what Boaz faced?  He would incur a huge financial debt and he would be forced to break with the social customs of his day by marring a Moabite woman!  But Boaz did these things and restored the family of Naomi.

This story is part of a bigger story.  Let’s jump ahead.  Ruth and Boaz marry and a son is born to them.  This son became the father of Jesse, who was the father of David (4:18,19).  Generations later, God provided the true Kinsman-Redeemer when another child was born in Bethlehem from this family.  Jesus Christ is our Kinsman-Redeemer, who made a far greater sacrifice for us.  He paid an enormous price; He purchased us with His own blood (see: I Peter 1:18,19).

Lord Jesus, my true Kinsman-Redeemer, I know that You paid an enormous price to redeem me.  I bow before You in deep gratitude and humility for what You have done for me.

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