Originally scheduled for March 13
Testament contains many items of history, one of which is the Book
of Ruth. It’s a love story, which also introduces to us the idea of
the “Kinsman Redeemer.” We are presented with a young lady by the
name of Ruth, a stranger in a strange land. She is of the tribe of
Moab, which is not one of the tribes of Israel. She was married to
an Israelite, and with her mother-in-law Naomi returned to the area
of Bethlehem. She is what my mother would’ve called a “shirttail
relation.” From the context we can also deduce that she is a
somewhat older woman, and of course a widow and an alien — and
therefore someone with very little hope.
male lead in this romance, is introduced to us as a man who is rich,
a pillar of the community, a kindly man given to generosity and a
very devout follower of God. It’s important to note that Boaz
himself has no obligation under the Old Testament law to be of any
assistance to Ruth. He could just wash his hands of whatever he sees
in need and say it’s the other man’s problem. All of these things
are detailed quite carefully in the Old Testament law. To exceed
this would be somewhat unusual. But it is the nature of Boaz that he
does not skimp when he tries to help. So he goes to the man who is
first in line and asks him to do what is required under the law. The
man cannot afford to do it; he therefore passes the privilege on to
therefore becomes what is known as the “Kinsman Redeemer.” The
actual details are rather technical, having to do with sale of land
in Israel. But the short of it is that Boaz rescues her from her
poverty and marries her at the same time. We are not told, but we
must assume that they lived happily ever after.
The story is
given to us as a model. We, collectively, are like Ruth. We have no
real claim upon the Lord God Almighty; we’re not even in the family.
We have no standing on which we can claim his help as a matter of
right. But out of God’s great love for us he sent his son, our
“kinsman Redeemer,” to rescue us. He was not obligated to do this;
he did it out of love. We, like Ruth, are under the wings of God
Almighty, seeking refuge.
was granted to us at the Cross. Christ asked that we remember the
sacrifice he made for us. So we find in the bread, which represents
his body and the cup which represents his blood a simple picture of
the sacrifice he made. Like many things simple, it is also profound:
a picture of what he has done for us.