REDEEMED! HOW I LOVE TO PROCLAIM IT!
Ruth 4:1-17 (NKJV)
Boaz Redeems Ruth
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.”
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.”
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. 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.”
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.”
Descendants of Boaz and Ruth
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. 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.
The little book of Ruth in the Old Testament begins with a series of tragedies.
In Chapter one, there is a Famine, there is a backslidden Family, there are three Funerals, there is great Fear and there is a Final goodbye.
We are introduced in chapter 1 to a young widow named Ruth. She is from the land of Moab. Therefore, she is a woman under a curse, Deut. 23:3. She was no doubt born into idolatry. Yet, by the providence of God, she marries into a family of Israelites. These people, though they are backslidden, introduce young Ruth to Jehovah. Ruth, after the death of her husband, follows her mother-in-law Naomi back to the land of Israel. There, they proceed to try and make a living as best as they can, Ruth 2:2.
This first portion of Ruth is a sad spectacle. It presents in graphic detail just what happens in lives that are lived outside the will of God! Thankfully, God had plans to help Naomi and Ruth!
Because their husbands were dead, these women had no way of reclaiming the family land. You see, when the children of Israel went in and possessed Canaan, the land was divided up among the 12 tribes of Israel. Within these allotments, the land was divided up by families. No man was allowed to sell his land outside his tribe. In the case of financial difficulty, a man might be forced to mortgage his land. In this case, he lost all rights to the land until it had been redeemed by paying off the mortgage, or until the Year of Jubilee, when all debts were cancelled anyway.
Apparently, this is what had happened to the land that belonged to Elimelech. As women, Naomi and Ruth had no way of getting back the land that had belonged to their husbands. Thankfully, where man fails, God prevails! Even though these women were helpless, God had already made provision for them.
Here is where the law of the Kinsman-Redeemer comes into play. The Kinsman-Redeemer was a relative who protected the needy members of his family. There were three things that the Kinsman-Redeemer could redeem, or buy back.
1. A relative sold into slavery – Lev. 25:47-49.
2. Preserve the lineage of the family by marrying the widow of a deceased relative and providing an heir to the family possessions – Deut. 25:5-6. Children produced from such a union were considered to be the offspring of the deceased man.
3. Land that had been sold outside the family – Lev. 25:25.
It is against this backdrop of tragedy and trials that we are introduced to a man named Boaz. He is a near kinsman to Naomi’s dead husband.
In this short, but powerful book, we get to watch as the Kinsman-Redeemer works on behalf of these two poor widows. He willingly exercises the rights and duties of the Kinsman-Redeemer. He makes the difference in their lives and presents for us a thrilling picture of a great Kinsman-Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. In order for a person to be a Kinsman-Redeemer, he had to have three qualifications:
1. He had to be a near relative.
2. He had to be willing to redeem.
3. He had to be able to redeem.
Boaz fulfilled all of these requirements. And, as we shall see, so did the Lord Jesus, our heavenly Redeemer! Praise the Lord!
Let’s focus in a few of the events of this wonderful little book as we think on the idea of Redeemed! How I Love To Proclaim It!
I. V. 4 BOAZ HAD THE RIGHT TO REDEEM
A. His Right As A Member Of The Family – (His Right By Lineage) – This Kinsman-Redeemer had to be of near kin unto the needy relative. Boaz fulfilled this obligation, Ruth 2:1; 2:20; 4:4. Since he was a near kinsman, Boaz had every right to intervene for these women.
(Ill. Jesus Christ, our Kinsman-Redeemer possesses this right on behalf of the sinner. Why? Because He is near of kin unto us. 2,000 years ago, in the same little town of Bethlehem, Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, spoke His goodbyes to the Father in Heaven and came to this world, not to live as a God among men, but to be born as a man, John 1:1; 14; Phil. 2:5-8. As a member of the human family, Jesus has the right to be our Redeemer!)
(Ill. Note: There was one of nearer kin than Boaz, Ruth 4:3-6. However, he refused to do his duty as a redeemer because he did not want to marry Ruth! He knew she was a cursed woman from a cursed people. He knew she had absolutely nothing to offer him. After all, she was poor! This man had the right, but he could not do the job!
So it is with humanity. There are other things around us that promise redemption. Things like the Law and religion, but these things can never deliver! They are powerless to help the powerless! When the Law sees the sinner, it merely amplifies our inadequacies. When Religion sees the sinner it merely looks at us for what we can give to it. Neither can redeem!
Boaz, on the other hand, knew who Ruth was, Ruth 2:6. He knew her past. He knew her condition. He knew what she had to offer. He knew about the curse that was on her people. However, he didn’t care! You see, unlike the other kinsman, Boaz was like Ruth! Look back at his lineage, 4:21; Matt. 1:5. When you look at the bigger picture, it becomes clear that Boaz wasn’t concerned about marring his inheritance, his own mother was a woman of unclean birth. His mother was Rahab, the harlot, Joshua 2!
So it is with our Heavenly Boaz! His own mother was a common sinner! Therefore, He has compassion on the lost. The Law makes demands that we can never meet. Religion promises that which it cannot deliver. Jesus, on the other hand, provides what we need, freely and fully!)
B. His Right As A Man Of Faith – (His Right By Law) – Another Reason Boaz did what he did was because the Law of God demanded it. It appears, from reading this book, that Boaz was a godly man. His desire was to carry out the will of God. He was a man of faith.
(Ill. Again, in this, He pictures the Lord Jesus Who came to this earth willingly to take the place of sinners on the cross. Did He have to? No! But, in the counsel halls of glory, before the mud seals of this world were ever fashioned, the Godhead knew there would come a day when the world would need a redeemer. When the call was made “Who will go for us?” Jesus Christ responded with, “Here am I, send Me!” This is born out by Rev. 13:8, which tells us that Jesus was already dead in the mind of God before the foundation of the world.
You see, the Law demanded death for sin, Gen. 2:17; Rom. 6:23. Jesus went to the cross for us so that He might discharge the Law of God. He had the right to die in our place because He is family and because He fulfilled the requirements of the Law!)
I. Boaz Had The Right To Redeem
II. V. 4-9 BOAZ HAD THE RESOLVE TO REDEEM
A. His Desire For The Task – Naomi knows that Boaz is a near kinsman, she then instructs Ruth to go to him and to cover herself with his cloak. This was a woman’s way of asking a man to perform the duties of a Kinsman-Redeemer unto her. She was literally proposing marriage to Boaz. Boaz reacts by expressing his joy at being chosen by Ruth and by letting her know that he would be delighted to redeem her and all her inheritance.
(Ill. Jesus Christ did not have to be hog-tied and forced to go to Calvary! The Bible says that He went there without a word, Isa. 53:7. When He stood before Pilate, Jesus never tried to defend Himself and get out of the death that was coming, John 18:27. He desired the death that He died because He wanted to pay the redemption price for you and me, Heb. 12:2. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross was of a willing nature. He did it because He wanted to!)
B. His Devotion To The Task – 3:18 tells us that Naomi is convinced that Boaz will get right to the business of redemption. Chapter 4:1-4 bears this out. When the morning comes, Boaz goes to the city gate. A place where the elders congregate, where judgments are made and where business is conducted. Boaz goes there and begins the process of redeeming Ruth. It appears that nothing would delay or stop Boaz from completing his mission on behalf of Ruth.
(Ill. Again, the similarity between Boaz and Jesus is hard to miss. The Bible indicates that Jesus was determined to go to the cross and die, Isa. 50:7; Luke 9:51. The Bible makes it plain that Satan tried to destroy our Lord while He walked in this world, Matt. 2:16; Matt. 4:37-38. There were other times when Satan tried to distract the Lord from His appointed task, Matt. 4:1-11; John 6:15, John 18:10-11. However, Jesus allowed none of these things to sidetrack Him. He came for the purpose of dying for sin and that is exactly what He intended to do!)
C. His Discharge Of The Task – 4:9 tells us that Boaz stayed with the task until it was completed. He was able to tell the elders at the gate that he had paid the purchase price and that the redemption had been accomplished! Now, all that had belonged to the family of Elimelech belonged to Boaz. Now, Ruth was no longer a widow doomed to a life of poverty. She was the wife of a mighty and wealthy man!
(Ill. Jesus, our Heavenly Boaz, also stayed with the task until it was perfectly completed. Outside the gate of Jerusalem, in the presence of witnesses, He paid the price by giving His life on the cross for you and me. When the task had been fully accomplished, and the Heavenly Father had been fully satisfied, Jesus proclaimed an end to the transaction, John 19:30! Thank God, redemption is fully paid for and complete!)
I. Boaz Had The Right To Redeem
II. Boaz Had The Resolve To Redeem
III. V. 9-10 BOAZ HAD THE RESOURCES TO REDEEM
(Ill. Chapter 2:1 makes it clear that Boaz was a wealthy man. He had the financial resources to carry out the redemption.)
A. V. 9 The Resources To Purchase Ruth’s Property – 4:9 tells us that Boaz purchased all that had belonged to Elimelech, Chilion and Mahlon. In other words, Boaz bought out the whole inheritance of this family, lock, stock and barrel! Think for a minute about Orpah. She went back to her family in chapter 1. If she had followed Naomi back to Bethlehem, it seems clear that Boaz would have redeemed her too!
(Ill. Like the family Ruth married into, you and I were born into a family that was down and out! You see, our father, Adam, sinned against the Lord and brought death, destruction and damnation upon all his children. He left us spiritually destitute and without hope! Thank God, that is where Jesus Christ stepped in! Everything Adam lost in the Garden of Eden, Jesus purchased back on the cross. Adam gambled away fellowship with God, Jesus bought it back. Adam gambled away life, Jesus bought it back. Adam gambled away peace with God, joy, blessing, righteousness, etc; but Jesus bought it every bit back for us when He went to the cross and died for us! Jesus has the resources to carry out a transaction of this magnitude!)
B. V. 10 The Resources To Purchase Ruth Personally – Boaz had the resources to be able to make Ruth his wife. He wanted to buy back the property, but he also wanted to buy the person!
(Jesus also has the resources to buy the person. When a sinner trusts the shed blood of the Lord Jesus, that sinner becomes a redeemed member of the family of God. He is forever purchased and forever changed by the blood of Christ. Jesus specializes in taking old, hell bound sinners, saving them by His grace and transforming them into the children of God. When He pays the price, He purchases the whole person, 1 Cor. 6:19-20; Titus 2:14. Glory to God, I am glad that Jesus is able to “save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him”, Heb. 7:25.)
I. Boaz Had The Right To Redeem
II. Boaz Had The Resolve To Redeem
III. Boaz Had The Resources To Redeem
IV. V. 10, 13 BOAZ HAD THE REASONS TO REDEEM
(Ill. There are probably many reasons why Boaz did what he did. However, looking at the text tells me of two very important reasons that must not be overlooked. For Boaz, there was more to his actions than keeping the Law, or just the fact that he was a relative. He had two compelling reasons for redeeming Ruth. These reasons also speak to our hearts this evening.)
A. The Reason Of Giving Love – 2:5; 8-13; 14-17; 3:10-15 – All of these verses seem to indicate that Boaz has fallen in love with Ruth. He loved her in spite of her lineage. He loved her in spite of her poverty. He loved her in spite of the fact that she had nothing to offer him but herself. He loved her with a selfless love that sought nothing but her best interests! He cares about her and wants to provide for her needs. Therefore, he willingly pays the price for her redemption and buys her unto himself.
(Ill. This is just what motivated Jesus to do what he did for you and me! He was born in this world, He lived in poverty, He endured rejection and shame, He went to the cross for one primary reason. And, that reason is LOVE – Rom. 5:6-8. He, like Boaz, loves us in spite of all those things that we have against us. He loves us in spite of all we do wrong. He loves us even though we are poverty stricken and we have nothing to offer Him but broken lives and shattered hopes. He loves us, therefore He willingly paid the redemption price on the cross!)
B. The Reason Of Giving Life – 4:5; 13 tell us that another reason Boaz wanted to marry Ruth was to bring life out of death. Without a Kinsman-Redeemer, the family of Elimelech would die out. That family would perish from Israel. Boaz cared about that family and wanted to preserve life!
(Ill. This is why Jesus went to the cross. This is why He suffered and died for us! His desire is to take those that are dead in sins, Eph. 2:1, and who are headed to Hell, Psa. 9:17, save them by His grace and bring life out of death, John 5:24. He wants to give life to those trapped in death! This is just what He does for every one who received Him as their Savior and Lord. He provides salvation full and free. He produces life in the place of death. He makes dead men live!
Ill. Like Lazarus, sinners are trapped in death! Jesus comes to their tombs and calls their names. When they hear Him and respond, He gives them life eternal through faith.)
Notice verse 13. From chapter 2:1 until chapter 4:13, Boaz is the center of attention. (Ill. Just like Jesus ought to be!) However, this poor, heathen girl is now the bride of a wealthy redeemer. She comes back into focus. My… how things have changed for Ruth! This book opens with a funeral and closes with a wedding! I want you to notice one thing with me right now.
Notice in verse 13 what the Bible tells us about these two and their relationship. It tells us that there is an intimacy that is now possible. It tells us that Boaz is able to do what he could not do in 3:10-14. Now, Boaz is able to take Ruth into his arms and love her.
You see, all the barriers that were between them have been removed! They were separated by race, social status, morals, etc. Now, they are one flesh! She is as rich as he is! She is able to have fellowship of the most intimate kind with Boaz. They have been brought together in a intimate relationship!
That’s what you have in Jesus this evening if you are saved! You, who were once separated from Jesus by a gulf of sin and poverty have now been brought near to Him. You are as rich as He is. You are no longer separated, but are in an intimate relationship with Jesus our Kinsman Redeemer!
Now, we are no longer doomed! Now, we are no longer poverty stricken! Now, we are no longer as good as dead! Now we live in Jesus. Now, we can rest in His bosom and we can experience the intimacies of His redeeming love! Thank God for redemption! Redeemed! How I love to proclaim it! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Redeemed through His excellent mercies, His child and forever I am! Are you?
Hallelujah! Praise His Holy Name!