Summary: This is the fourth sermon in the book of Ruth. This is a study in redemption.
Bought With a Price
Today we conclude our series on the Book of Ruth. (Review) Chapter one showed Naomi is in a bad situation. She had left her own country, lost her husband, lost her two sons and one of her daughters-in-law left her too. Yet Ruth stayed with Naomi. In fact she said, “Your people will be my people, Your God my God, Where you go I will go, where you stay I will stay.”
In chapter two we found that Naomi and Ruth had returned to Naomi’s country. Ruth goes out into the fields and is able to glean enough grain to keep them alive. In chapter two Naomi and Ruth discover that they have a relative who could ease their struggle to survive. Naomi looks at this as God’s hand involved in their lives. We find that God is actively involved in their lives and we asked the question – is God actively involved in our lives even though we don’t perceive it sometimes?
In chapter three we found a message of full blown hope. Naomi helps Ruth work out a plan for the future - a plan for more then just a plan survival – a plan for full life. A plan that would affect the rest of their lives. A plan that would guarantee them a secure future. They had traveled from despair to hope.
Today we come to a story of Redemption. Follow along with me in Ruth chapter 4:
Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there; and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz had spoken came by. So Boaz said, "Come aside, friend, sit down here." So he came aside and sat down. And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, "Sit down here." So they sat down. Then he said to the close relative, "Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, sold the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. And I thought to inform you, saying, ’Buy it back in the presence of the inhabitants and the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if you will not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am next after you.’ " And he said, "I will redeem it." Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance." And the close relative said, "I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right
of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it."
Ruth 4:1-6 (NKJV)
In redemption there are three elements:
1. The redeemer must be a blood relative.
2. The redeemer must be able to redeem.
3. The redeemer must be willing to redeem.
In the story of Ruth we find that Boaz is made aware that he could be a redeemer of Ruth and Naomi. Boaz was a close relative – but Boaz also realizes that there is a relative that is closer. Boaz goes out to meet the relative and explains the situation to him. At first the man shows an interest. He becomes aware that he is a close relative. He has met the first criteria.
He seems to be able to redeem the land. He has the financial ability to purchase the land. And at first he is every interested in purchasing the property. In fact the scripture says that he proclaims, "I will redeem it." He has met the second requirement – he was able to redeem it.
Then Boaz adds the final requirement. Its found there in verse 5: "On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance."
At that point the man backs out- leaving the door open for Boaz. In fact the scripture says: "I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I ruin my own inheritance. You redeem my right of redemption for yourself, for I cannot redeem it."
How many of you remember when coke came in bottles like this? You would by a coke from the store and it would come in a bottle like this. In fact this is an actual coke bottle. After you finished the coke you could take the bottle back to the store where you bought it and they would give you a few pennies for bringing it back. They would buy it back - they would redeem it.