Boaz and Ruth

The Best Gift: A Kinsman-Redeemer

 For your Maker is your husband—the LORD Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.  Isaiah 54:5

If the mothers in 10th century B.C. Bethlehem passed around a “Most Eligible Bachelors” list at the town well, Boaz’s name would’ve certainly been on it.

Everything the Bible says about Boaz is admirable. He was devout. He acknowledged the Lord’s sovereignty over both his business and personal affairs; he obeyed the levitical laws about gleaning (Leviticus 19:9-10). He was a gentleman. He treated his workers and gleaners with the same gracious, respectful attitude that he used at the city gate when he addressed the elders. He was discerning. When Ruth, an impoverished widow, gleaned in Boaz’s fields, he recognized her stellar character and rewarded it. He then protected her from both the advances of less noble men and town gossip.

When Ruth told her mother-in-law Naomi about Boaz’s kindness and generosity, Naomi was pleased. She remembered that Boaz was one of her husband’s relatives and could act as a goel, a kinsman-redeemer. The role of the goel is described in Leviticus 25:24-25. If a paternal estate had been sold, the nearest living male relative could buy back the property so that it would remain in the family. Boaz chose not only to redeem the property but also to marry the widow, Ruth, so that her first husband’s branch of the family would have an heir.

Ruth came to Bethlehem as a helpless widow, without a livelihood or a future. But she found grace in the eyes of Boaz and became a chief resident of the city, secure in the love and the prosperity of her new husband. God rewarded Boaz and Ruth with a son, Obed, who was the grandfather of Israel’s greatest earthly king, David, and an ancestor of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ.

God has provided each of us with a Boaz. Jesus Christ has plucked us from the fields of spiritual poverty, shame, and hopelessness. He has made us His bride and given us His name. We will live forever under His protection and enjoy forever His abundance.

Glory to God in the Highest! Our Kinsman-Redeemer has come.

DIG DEEPER:

Read Ruth 1-4. As you read, make a list of all the ways in which Boaz is symbolic of Jesus Christ. Then thank Jesus for being your kinsman-redeemer.

Note the prophecies spoken by the city elders and the women in Ruth 4:11-15. How were they fulfilled for Boaz, Ruth and Naomi? How have they been fulfilled for us?

Both Ruth (a Moabite) and Rahab (a Canaanite) were Gentiles. They were grafted into Abraham’s family tree. Why is that significant? Read Romans 4:1-12 and 11:13-22. You might also want to read Father Abraham under Dig into People of the Bible.

Christ is not only our Redeemer, but he’s also our husband. What privileges does that give us? See Ephesians 2:4-7, Revelation 5:10, and Revelation 19:7-9.

To learn more about Ruth and Naomi, read Ruth under Dig into People of the Bible.

Denise K. Loock

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