Summary: The journey of Ruth’s redemption gives us a glimps into how Jesus would come and redeem thousands so many years later. An outsider becomes part of God’s divine plan...
Often times in church we use words, but we never really know the true meaning. There is an old hymn that goes, “redeemed how I love to proclaim it, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.” Now we claim that we are redeemed, which is worth getting excited about, but how do to share that with others? What does it mean to be redeemed?
Definition: To recover ownership of by paying a specified sum; to set free; rescue or ransom.
In the Old Testament we get an interesting glimpse which Jesus would fulfill on a much larger scale many years later. In the book of Ruth we read about something called a ‘kinsman redeemer’. From this we get an understanding of redemption and what a beautiful thing it really is. The kinsman redeemer was one who had the right to redeem, through some sort of family relation, what had been lost through death. That person would then by the property of the deceased and along with it the wife. That woman would then be restored and have the opportunity to bear a son to carry on the family name. All the land would pass on to her son and the lineage would continue, which was very important to the Hebrew culture.
When you read what Ruth has gone through, it is amazing that she had chosen to stay with her mother-in-law. She could have gone back home and married someone else and had a family. Instead she stayed with Naomi and chose the possibility of redeeming her new family’s name (1:16b). She would have to find someone who wanted to redeem her though, because she could not restore her own name. She needed someone to pay the price she could not pay. She was helpless and so was in a vulnerable position. Because of the death of the men in Naomi’s family Ruth had inherited an empty future. Her family had no future and she had no way of making a living, she was without identity. She had to find someone who would save her from her current circumstances and hope that he would be an honorable man.
There are many things in this life you have limited control over, like getting out of bed, deciding to go to work and choosing what colors you want your walls to be. There are things however that you cannot control in your own strength, like how to fill the void in your life that you can never seem to fill and where you go after you breath your last breathe. Because of sin we have inherited death and emptiness as our future. Are we worth redeeming? Does someone care enough to change our future? There has to be someone willing to pay the price it will cost to redeem you. Some does think we’re worth it, “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” 1 Peter 1:18-19
Redemption will cost you something (3:7-8)
Once Ruth had found Boaz, who was a legitimate kinsman redeemer, by relation, she had to present herself to him. She didn’t run up to him demanding he fulfill his duty, because he didn’t have to do anything. She recognized that she had nothing of significance to offer him and if he chose to redeem her it would only be out of honor and the kindness of his heart. She would have to humbly come and hope for the best.
You have to come to the understanding that you need to be redeemed and you can’t accomplish it through your own means. It is not something that is owed you, for there is nothing we could ever do to merit God’s mercy and grace. No we must, like Ruth, humbly approach God and ask him to redeem, rescue and restore us. The beautiful thing is that when we decide to come and present ourselves before him he will always accept us. “For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
If you will come before him and present your life to him He will redeem you, the price has already been paid for your wholeness.
Redemption’s rewards (4:13-17a)
When Ruth was accepted by Boaz her life, and the life of her mother-in-law, changed completely. In this patriarchal Hebrew society the greatest thing of value was a son. He represented the ability to carry on the family name. In a culture that held genealogy in such high regard, Naomi and Ruth had nothing in their future, but things were about to change. Boaz bought all the land belonging to the family and it was restored to the family. On top of that Ruth was taken as his wife and she gave birth to a son. Naomi’s family had been completely redeemed when she once thought all hope was lost.