Theme: God redeems us like Boaz redeemed Ruth. Let us rejoice in His redemption.
- Why does God redeem?
- What happens when He does?
1 Now Boaz had gone up to the gate and sat down there. And behold, the redeemer, of whom Boaz had spoken, came by. So Boaz said, “Turn aside, friend; sit down here.” And he turned aside and sat down. 2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down.
Boaz returns to his leadership role in Ruth’s life.
- Set against a Old Testament backdrop, she had taken a step by approaching him in the night.
- It might leave us wondering if female initiation of the relationship is a good idea.
- Truth: 1 Corinthians 11:3 (ESV)—3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
- Boaz had already launched. He was a solid leader already.
3 Then he said to the redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our relative Elimelech. 4 So I thought I would tell you of it and say, ‘Buy it in the presence of those sitting here and in the presence of the elders of my people.’ If you will redeem it, redeem it. But if you will not, tell me, that I may know, for there is no one besides you to redeem it, and I come after you.” And he said, “I will redeem it.”
Two strategic elements.
- He made no mention of Ruth.
- He put the man in the eye of the elders.
5 Then Boaz said, “The day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead, in order to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance.” 6 Then the redeemer said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I impair my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”
Deuteronomy 25:6 (ESV)—6 And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.
Why wouldn’t the first man redeem Ruth?
- Too poor to have a wife?
- Didn’t want to marry a Moabitess? Remember, in this story, every man who touched Moab died.
- Didn’t want his money to be put towards another man’s child/inheritance?
1. God works to redeem, because the closer redeemer couldn’t.
Law vs Faith: Romans 3:20–22 (ESV)—20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
Adam vs Christ: Romans 5:15–16 (ESV)—15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.
7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one drew off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was the manner of attesting in Israel. 8 So when the redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself,” he drew off his sandal.
Modified from the original: Ruth should have pulled his sandal off his foot, spit in his face, and said, “So shall it be done to the mane who does not build up his brother’s house.” Then everyone would call his house, “The house of him who had his sandal pulled off.” (Deuteronomy 25:9–10)
9 Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and to Mahlon. 10 Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day.”
It is clear Boaz’s goal was marriage to Ruth.
Boaz got a good thing in getting a marriage.
- Proverbs 18:22 (ESV)—22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.
- Proverbs 31:10 (ESV)—10 An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
2. God works to redeem, because He wanted us.
I don’t know if the first redeemer couldn’t or wouldn’t, but God wanted to.
- Matthew 13:44 (ESV)—44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
- Matthew 13:45–46 (ESV)—45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
1 Peter 1:18–19 (ESV)—18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
God is love. God is just. Here is the battle.
- Hosea 11:8 (ESV)—8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender.
3. God works to redeem, which brings us a better life.
11 Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman, who is coming into your house, like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you act worthily in Ephrathah and be renowned in Bethlehem, 12 and may your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring that the Lord will give you by this young woman.”
The witnesses pronounce a blessing upon Boaz. This is all joy from this point forward. The conflict is over. A new life has been given.
Better — Robust.
- On Ruth: fruitful like Rachel and Leah.
- On Boaz: act worthily and be renowned.
- On their home: because of the offspring (like the house of Perez - in the line of David).
Robust: Is this not what God does in redeeming us?
- “Next to” relationships change.
- “Within” relationship changes.
- “After us” relationships change.
13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son.
Better — Rapidly.
You wait, then God strikes.
- Zechariah the priest — after years of waiting for a child.
- Christ’s first coming — after years of silence and waiting.
- Coming of the Spirit — after days of waiting in prayer.
14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”
Do you remember these women? They had to listen to Naomi’s song of bitterness in Ruth 1. Now they sing of a full life for Naomi.
Better — Full.
Psalm 126:5–6 (ESV)—5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! 6 He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. 17 And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. 18 Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez fathered Hezron, 19 Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, 20 Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, 21 Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed, 22 Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David.
This was important because of the latter promises to David.
- 2 Samuel 7:12–13 (ESV)—12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.
Better — Family.
Are you a Son of Adam or a Son of Christ?
The book ends with anticipation.
- Isaiah 11:1–4 (ESV)—1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. 2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. 3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, 4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.