Ruth part 10
Verses 1-2 “Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there; and behold, the near kinsman of whom Boaz had spoken came by. So Boaz said, “Come aside, friend, sit down here.” So he came aside and sat down.
And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down.
Boaz has repeatedly affirmed that he wants Ruth for his wife. That she would be a tremendous blessing to him. Boaz could have gone ahead and taken her. He could have avoided this meeting at the gate if he had chosen to do so.
But Boaz had a greater desire. A desire to please God and to be right before Him. Even at the risk of loosing Ruth. Boaz would rather loose all and honor God.
If only David had considered the actions of his great-grandfather when he first happened to glance in Bathsheba’s direction. So much sorrow and destruction could have been avoided.
Inevitably times of decision rise up in our lives. Decisions that will alter the course of our lives.
Decisions that will either make us stronger in the Lord and knowing Him, or will bring ruin.
Boaz had lived his life set aside to God. He didn’t live his life based on a whim, turning whichever way his emotions and desires led him. Rather, he committed all his ways to God and tempered his thoughts and actions accordingly.
And so we find Boaz at the gate laying down his wants. Willing to let God work. Trusting God with the outcome of his obedience. No matter what.
Verses 3-4 “Then he said to the near kinsman, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech.
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 let 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.”
Boaz is backing the near kinsman into a corner, so to speak.
He very smoothly and concisely lays out the facts. ‘There is land available… you get first dibs on it… if you won’t redeem it, I will.’
Notice that Boaz has left Ruth out of it at this point. Why?
It seems that Boaz knows something of the character of the man. He knows that the kinsman has the financial ability to redeem the land for himself, but not the heart to care for Ruth.
The law of God can only affect the outside, (the land)… but it can’t save and transform the heart, (Ruth).
Verse 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 raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance.”
Boaz’s palms are sweatin’ now!
Deuteronomy 25:5-10 states, “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband’s brother
shall go in to her, taker her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her.
And it shall be that the firstborn son which she bears will succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.
But if the man does not want to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate to the elders, and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to raise up a name to his brother in Israel; he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.
Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him; and if he stands firm and says, ‘I do not want to take her,’
Then his brother’s wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders, remove his sandal from his foot, spit in his face, and answer and say, 'So shall it be done to the man who will not build up his brother' house.'
And his name shall be called in Israel, ‘The house of him who had his sandal removed.’
We saw God lead Ruth to Boaz’s field… not the nearest kinsman. We saw Naomi led by the Lord to instruct Ruth to make herself vulnerable to Boaz… not the nearest kinsman.
We now see Boaz standing in the city gate on Ruth’s behalf… not sending her there to tend to it on her own.
Boaz has obeyed God and made himself Ruth’s mediator, interceding for her before the elders and townspeople.
This is the position that Jesus takes for us.
Verse 6 “And the near kinsman 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.”
The world at large looks at The Redemption work of the cross and declares that they will take no further part in it lest they ruin their own inheritance. The inheritance of the things of this world.
Does partaking of the Great Redemption mar our earthly inheritance? Yes.
The redemption work of the cross is a total uprooting. We are no longer comfortable and at home with the ideas and sinful pleasures of this world. Our lives are hid in Christ. Our goals become eternal. We become strangers and pilgrims in a foreign land.
Ever feel like you’re running in a marathon with 10,000 people across the Golden Gate Bridge… with the odd problem that you’re running the opposite direction?
Guess what? If that’s the case you’re right on track! And all those that have gone before you are cheering you on.
If you are tempted to turn around and go with the flow of the worlds idea’s and value’s it’s time to drop to your knee’s and urgently seek God’s face. (Don’t worry about getting smushed, God will surround and protect you).
If you’ve given in and are running the wrong direction now… turn back. The race is not lost!
Yes… turning and retracing those same steps again can be miserable, difficult work. Yet when the Lord calls the end of the race, which direction do you want to be running?
What is the inheritance you seek after?
Verse 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 an attestation in Israel.
Therefore the kinsman said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” So he took off his sandal.
The world’s reaction to The Redeemer is the opposite of Ruth’s.
Matthew 27:30 “Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.”
Luke 23:34 “Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.”
Jesus is the great Kinsman Redeemer. The world rejects Him. In essence, the world removed His sandal and spit in His face.
Verse 9 “And Boaz said to the elders and to 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.”
Have you noticed that the nearest kinsman’s name is not known? That he, like Orpah, is only mentioned briefly and then forgotten? The decisions we make bear consequences.
Orpah had the same legal claim on the kinsman redeemer that Ruth had. But she forfeited all in her choice to turn back to the world. The nearest kinsman could have gained the coveted land and a treasure of a wife in Ruth… his name might have been known and remembered for all time…
Verse 10 “Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to raise up the name of the dead on his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from the gate of his place. You are witnesses this day.”
I love this verse! In verse 9 Boaz states his purchase of the land. But verse 10 shows his heart.
Moreover… more importantly… of more value.. Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife.
Boaz had to meet the requirements to be the kinsman redeemer. He had to be a near relative, he had to be able to pay the purchase price, he had to be willing to redeem and he had to fulfill the method of redemption. (The legal and accepted method was meeting at the city gates with the elders witnessing the transaction.)
Jesus also meets all the requirements of the Kinsman Redeemer for our debts, for our property and to be our bridegroom.
1 Peter 1:18-21
Father, thank You for sending Your Son to be our Kinsman Redeemer. We stand in awe of the willingness, the love that You
have shown us. Lord, help us to walk in Your ways and to be like You. Just as Boaz and Ruth point to You, use us to show Yourself to others.
Draw us closer.
In Jesus we come
1) Have you made it a habit in your life to make right (God centered) choices in the little things?
2) Have you seen examples of Jesus portrayed in Boaz’s life?
3) Not once in the book of Ruth are we told what she looks like. All the praise and affirmation of her is due to her character. What are some of the character traits in Ruth that we should all have as women that claim Christ as Redeemer? Are there traits that you find lacking in yourself?
4) Is there willingness in your heart to lay down your wants and leave them to God… whether you ever receive them or not? What are some of the things you find yourself wanting right now that you are holding onto, unwilling to yield to Him?
5) In the Great race… which direction do you most often find yourself running? Do you identify with and conform to the moral image of this world? Or do you find yourself at odds with the world because you identify with God’s image?
copyright 2002 tkc