Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Kinsman Redeemer

 "And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich." Ruth 3:10

Boaz took a deep breath and smiled at the rising sun. Who would have thought when Naomi returned from Moab she'd bring with her a most virtuous woman from the Moabites? But Boaz was not a young man. He did not expect anything more than to bless Elimelech's family. Elimelech may not have been...Boaz frowned. Well, Elimelech may not have been the most astute in business, but he was a kind man and did choose wisely when he married Naomi. 

Turning to the gate, Boaz shook his head. How had the Lord blessed him, that Ruth would have favored him over his brother. He was a more settled man than his brother. Not the man of valor, valiant and strong, as the closer kinsmen was. He pulled on his beard. Not as handsome either. 

There, the man who had every right to claim Ruth drew nigh. Boaz rose his hand to him. "Ho, such a one!" 

His kinsman smiled as though life were nothing but a jolly. 

"Turn aside, sit down here." Boaz motioned him into the gate. He then caught the eye of ten elders milling about, no doubt wondering why Boaz had ventured in today. "Sit, you men, down here."

Joseph and Ephraim nodded to him before lowering themselves to the ground. Hezron grunted before following them, as did Pharez and Amminadab. The others followed, like the sheep they were. 

Boaz cleared his throat and looked at his brother. "Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, sells a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's." And shaped his face into a bored expression, though his heart told him his words would determine the future of his life. "And I thought to advertise you, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people." He turned his back to his brother and casually through his hand in the air. "If you will redeem it, redeem it." He turned on his heel and glanced at the man. "But...if you will not redeem it," he shrugged, "then tell me that I may know, for there is none to redeem beside you." He turned away and tilted his head to the side. "And I am after you."

Of course his brother would grin. Since youth, he was impetuous. "I will redeem it." He spoke with just a bit too much enthusiasm.

"Hmm." Boaz tapped his lips with his finger. "What day you buy the field of the hand of Naomi, you must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance."

His brother's eyes widened to twice their size, and his back stiffened. He pushed off from the ground and threw his hands in the air. "I cannot redeem it for myself lest I mar mine own inheritance." Yes, that was what Boaz thought. His brother had eyes on another wife to have sons with and would not want to entangle their inheritance. Greed had always been his main motivation in life. His brother smiled and stuck his hand toward Boaz. "Redeem you my right to yourself, for I cannot redeem it." 

Boaz' smile spread wide across his face. Indeed this was good day to be among the living and among the blessed of the Lord.

Boaz is a picture of Christ, our Redeemer. And I think, his brother (whether truly his brother or merely a kinsman, we don't know) is the 'hero' we often run to when we are in trouble. We're visual people and tend to seek comfort and the physical presence of someone. When we are in the midst of the argument, we want the favor of one we deem worthy of our respect. When failure occurs, we seek the comforting words of someone who might build us up again. Every time we seek someone else to fill our need, and not seek God, we are seeking the man who like the kinsman Boaz spoke with, the man least likely to help us. 

Boaz already demonstrated he would be both provider and protector to Ruth. He already demonstrated he respected her and held her in esteem. These are all elements of the love Christ has for us. Simply because Boaz had already taken these actions and attitudes toward Ruth, he proved himself a more worthy redeemer than his kinsman. So Christ does for us over any human.

People will disappoint. They will more often choose to care for their own needs, their own family needs, than another's. People are inherently selfish and greedy (greedy of course is an element of selfishness). Even the best of friends will fail another.

But Christ never fails. We might not be as faithful as Him, but He is always ready to be faithful to us, if we but lay at His feet and ask Him to cover us. He redeemed us for the price of our sins (which is death) by the death He paid on the cross (where we should have hung). To Him be glory and honor and power forever more.

"And I wept much, because no man was found worthy...And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain,...Thou are worthy...for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation:" Revelations 5:4,6,9


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