Summary: The last sermon in the Ruth series examines Boaz as a type of Jesus as our kinsman-redeemer and the rewards to Ruth for her faithfulness to God.
Here Comes the Bride
September 1, 2013
TEXT: Read the whole chapter: Ruth 4:1-22
Everyone likes a story with a happy ending, and the Book of Ruth is that kind of story. The book began with 3 funerals and 3 weeping widows; it ends with a wedding and, ultimately, the joyful birth of a baby boy, as we will see. At the beginning of the book of Ruth, everything is falling apart; at the end, life has been put back together again.
If this story were a work of fiction, someone might say, “But life isn’t that way. People don’t always live happily ever after.” That’s true; but the book of Ruth IS true, and these events happened to real people. Everything ended “happily ever after” because the characters of the story obeyed God.
Before we begin our study, let me give a little bit of historical background to help you understand chapter 4: God gave a law on the children of Israel that reinforced a very important principle in the Word of God.
The principle is that we do not own anything because God owns everything. We just use what God gives us. When we act as if WE’RE the owners, we begin to love our possessions too much, which can turn into a subtle form of idolatry. When we understand that we are only the USERS of the possessions God has entrusted to our care, then we understand the principle of stewardship.
Now this principle was applied to the people of Israel in the ownership of their land. GOD owned their land and the land was assigned to the various tribes and families. The land was intended to stay within that tribe and within that family.
If a family became destitute and had to sell their land, it would revert back to them in the Year of Jubilee, which occurred once every 50 years, OR a wealthy relative could redeem the land for them, and it had to be sold back to the kinsman-redeemer if he could pay the price. This is the law of the kinsman-redeemer that we have been talking about that plays itself out in chapter 4.
Now let’s note two important points from this passage of Scripture:
I. FIRST LET’S CONSIDER RUTH’S REDEMPTION – Verses 1-10
One word that is repeated many times in this passage and in chapter 3 is the word “redeem.”
“Redeem” simply means “to buy back” or “to purchase.”
Note three aspects of the law of the kinsman-redeemer we see in this chapter, which pictures our own redemption in OUR Boaz, the Lord Jesus Christ:
• First, note the CHARACTERISTICS of the redeemer
According to the Law of Moses given by God, not just anyone could be a redeemer. He had to meet three conditions:
1) He had to BE A CLOSE RELATIVE first of all.
Not just anyone could waltz in and redeem someone from servitude or redeem someone who had lost his land. In fact, not just any relative would do. It had to be a NEAR kinsman—that is, a close relative.
For Jesus Christ to redeem us, He had to be our near kinsman. But He was eternal, omniscient, omnipotent God.
How did He become our “near-kinsman”? – Hebrews 2:14-15 – “Forasmuch, then, as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same, that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
In order to redeem us, Jesus became a near kinsman by becoming human like us.
2) Second, the kinsman-redeemer had to BE ABLE TO REDEEM.
The relative had to have the money to pay the price. Jesus was able to pay our price of redemption because He was perfect and holy.
Use a couple or three of these verses: Heb. 4:15; 7:27; 1 Pet. 2:22; 1 Jn. 3:5; 2 Cor. 5:2; John 8:46.
His perfect holiness cancels all our debt of sin! He was fully able to pay our debt.
3) Finally, he had to BE WILLING TO REDEEM.
The closer relative in Ruth 4 was apparently able to redeem Ruth, but he was not willing. When initially presented with the idea, he was agreeable because he thought it would add to his estate. – Note verse 4 – “And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it.”