Ruth Marries Boaz: The Security of a Kinsman Redeemer

Shared on June 30, 2024

Our lessons on Ruth comes to an end this week as Ruth marries Boaz. Join Pastor McCrary this week as we he teaches about Ruth having a kinsman redeemer. Ruth is a key to why you and I can be redeemed today and that reason will also come to light this week!

Introduction

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been taking a look at the story of Ruth.  Ruth, the Moabitess woman, has come to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law, Naomi.  There’s a divine plan that involves Ruth that we are going to see play out in this week’s lesson.  God can and will use anybody and Ruth is proof of this truth.

The Redemption of Ruth

In our lesson last week, we took a look at the growing infatuation of Boaz towards Ruth.  We should remember that Boaz was a close relative of Elimelech, the dead father-in-law of Ruth.  Boaz was a man of great wealth whose field Ruth initially gleaned in but then she found favor in his eyes (Ruth 2:1-2).

Security for Ruth

Our lesson opens with Boaz at the gate of Bethlehem looking for a relative of Elimelech (Ruth 4:1).  When he saw this relative, Boaz spoke with him about a piece of Elimelech’s land that Naomi was set to sell (Ruth 4:3).  The land that Naomi was set to part ways with was land that belonged to Elimelech and Boaz sought to keep the land in their family (Ruth 4:4).

According to the Mosaic Law, if one’s kin became poor and had to sell their possessions, a redeeming relative could redeem what was sold (Lev. 25:25).  If no kin was able to redeem the possessions, they would be lost until the Year of Jubilee when freely returned (Lev. 25:28). The year of Jubilee occurred every fifty years (Lev. 25:8)! So, if you truly desired to keep something within the family, there would be a sense of urgency to redeem it.

Now, this seems pretty straightforward, right?  As straightforward as this all seems, there was actually more going on.  In scripture outside of what’s selected for this lesson, we see Naomi’s desire to find “security” for Ruth (Ruth 3:1).  The “security” Naomi sought for Ruth’s was her safety in marriage – an old desire Naomi had for Ruth (Ruth 1:11-12). 

While Naomi desired marriage for Ruth, Ruth hadn’t really shown any interest in remarrying.  Boaz was infatuated with her but Ruth was modest.  Ruth would work in the field and return back home, but harvest season was coming to an end.  So, Naomi set forth a plan that had Ruth begin to lay claim to a man that was infatuated with her (Ruth 3:3-4).  

Ruth did just as Naomi had instructed her to do.  Boaz had laid on the threshing floor, the place where grain was separated.  I want to point out that the threshing floor was not a closed-in facility but was outdoor and public.  As he lay there after eating and having drink, Ruth came and laid with her feet to his feet, and pulled his cover over herself (Ruth 3:6-7).

When Boaz had gotten cold, he reached for his cover and noticed a woman laying at his feet (Ruth 3:8).  Ruth revealed herself to him and as Naomi instructed, she spoke of her desire to be taken under his wing (Ruth 3:9).  What Ruth was requesting was for Boaz to be a “kinsman redeemer”.

A kinsman redeemer

Going back to days that predated the law, we will see the act of a kinsman redeemer.  Judah, one of the twelves sons of Israel, became a kinsman redeemer.  Judah married a daughter of a Canaanite woman and had children by her (Gen. 38:1-2).  His oldest son took a wife whose name was Tamar, but because of his oldest son’s wickedness, the Lord killed him (Gen. 38:6-7).

The death of Judah’s oldest son left Tamar as a widow.  So, Judah said to the next brother in life to take Tamar as his wife but he disobeyed and was also killed (Gen. 38:8-10).  After the death of Judah’s wife, Tamar played the role of a harlot and laid with Judah, her father-in-law, and bore his child (Gen. 38:12-26).  Through this action, Tamar is another woman who is in the lineage of Jesus (Matt. 3:1-3).

So, Ruth, similar to Tamar, had every right to go to Boaz with the desire he be her redeeming kinsman.  The fact that we have seen she was a poor relative, through marriage, she must claim a redeeming kinsman according to the law.  Let’s also point out that Boaz had already kind of been acting as a redeeming kinsman anyway, right?  So, this act of Ruth was the first step in making Boaz the redeeming kinsman official.  

Boaz becomes Ruth’s redeemer

So, taking a look back at the ongoing conversation between Boaz and this closer relative, we know that Boaz true desire was Ruth.  However, because the closer relative had the first rights to Elimelech’s property, Boaz had to check with him.  Initially, the closer relative said that he would redeem the land.  After hearing that, Boaz then made the only play he could to be able to redeem the land and Ruth.

Boaz told the relative that he would also need to redeem the Moabitess woman who was the wife of Elimelech’s dead son (Ruth 4:5).  Boaz was waging that this relative would not want to redeem Ruth because she was a Moabite.  This is where I remind you of what was said in the Mosaic Law.  

In Deuteronomy 7:3, the children of Israel were forbidden from marrying the people of the land.  Even more, in Deuteronomy 23:3, the children of Israel were commanded that an Ammonite or Moabite should enter the assembly of the Lord.  Boaz was implying that this relative would be breaking the Mosaic Law by taking Ruth.

Now, I know that you’re thinking, wouldn’t that mean Boaz was breaking the law?  It’s clear that Boaz had no concerns about breaking the law.  Why did he have no concern about breaking the law? Well, the truth of the matter is that what Boaz was doing was actually legal. Mahlon, one of Naomi’s sons, was the one that had the unlawful marriage that brought Ruth into the assembly of the Lord. Boaz, according to the law, had every legal right to redeem her and her possessions.

Our lesson closes out on the note of Boaz and the close relative coming to agreement according to the custom (Ruth 4:7-10).  Again, Boaz made the point to seal his legal rights with those ten witnesses! So, Boaz legally redeemed Elimelech’s land and out of love and infatuation he redeemed Ruth as well.

Our Kinsman Redeemer

Like Ruth, do you realize that you also have a kinsman redeemer?  Thanks to Boaz and Ruth, our Redeemer entered the world through the seed of David. 

In many ways we are like Ruth— a foreigner in this land we call Earth.  Jesus to us is as Boaz was to Ruth. As Boaz was infatuated with Ruth, Jesus is infatuated with all of us. You and I need security, much more than Ruth needed security. So, like Ruth, we need to claim our kinsman redeemer or we will be lost. The kinsman redeemer you should claim today should be Christ.

So, we must go to Christ, lay at His feet, and tell Him that we desire to be under His wing.  When we claim Him, Jesus will go before the Father and lay claim to us. Before the Father as a witness, Jesus will proudly redeem us from this foreign land.  

We don’t often picture the redemption process in this manner because of how Jesus redeemed us.  Jesus shed blood on the cross for us.  Yet, our redemption story, though it’s sown in Jesus’ shed blood, is a beautiful story.  Our redemption is one we should be grateful and appreciative of.

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