Summary: It is this word which describes Boaz that is at the center of the Book of Ruth and points directly to Jesus Christ which is the point of our time together today… Jesus Christ is our Kinsman-Redeemer.
BOOK OF RUTH:
“OUR KINSMAN REDEEMER”
The Book of Ruth in the Old Testament is one of my favorite books in the entire Bible. It is a short historical story with a simple divine plot which speaks directly to our lives today. I find the people to be real as well as their struggles. In the midst of the story of Ruth, we have something that directly points us to Jesus Christ which is spiritually invaluable.
The book of Ruth can be summed up by 10 key words which can help us understand the story of Ruth if we are not familiar with it. Because this is the third in our series of three messages on the Book of Ruth, I’d like to use these words to re-familiarize ourselves with the story rather than re-read the passages. One of these words is quite significant for us today:
Famine… the beginning of the hardship for mother-in-law Naomi and eventually what brought daughter-in-law Ruth into the story
Emptiness… Naomi’s life after the death of her family was marked with loss
Bitterness… the feeling of Naomi towards God at the loss of her husband and two sons in death
Kindness… the actions of Ruth in staying with her mother-in-law and going back to Bethlehem with her
Gleaning… Ruth was young and worked hard in picking up leftovers at harvest time in the fields so she and Naomi would survive
Blessed… Ruth is in the field of Boaz who is a good and Godly man, he protects her and provides a way for her to gather more than they need
Kinsman-Redeemer… Boaz is a close relative of Naomi’s husband who may be of help in their dire need
Redeem... Boaz can marry Ruth, buy back land, and make things right for Naomi and Ruth
Praise… God gets credit for all that He did in bringing Ruth and Boaz together
Renew…Naomi and Ruth both have a new life set before them drastically different than before and a baby is born which brings hope into their lives
Of all of these key words which summarize the Book of Ruth, the most important word is “kinsman redeemer.” It is this word which describes Boaz that is at the center of the Book of Ruth and points directly to Jesus Christ which is the point of our time together today… Jesus Christ is our Kinsman-Redeemer. The job of the “kinsman redeemer” is originally described in the Book of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. This “kinsman redeemer” basically is a blood relative who can opt to help his family member when they get themselves into trouble and might do so at high personal cost.
I. REDEEM FROM BONDAGE
The first job given in the Old Testament for a kinsman redeemer is the job of buying back a relative who has gotten themselves sold into slavery. Selling oneself into slavery was a measure someone might take to pay off debts that were over their head. Now, in the story of Naomi and Ruth, there is no slavery… the circumstances for these two ladies has not reached such a dire circumstance just yet. They are in need, hungry, in debt, and the next step for them is perhaps slavery. What prevents bondage is Boaz.
READ Leviticus 25:47-50
“'If an alien or a temporary resident among you becomes rich and one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells himself to the alien living among you or to a member of the alien's clan, 48 he retains the right of redemption after he has sold himself. One of his relatives may redeem him: 49 An uncle or a cousin or any blood relative in his clan may redeem him. Or if he prospers, he may redeem himself. 50 He and his buyer are to count the time from the year he sold himself up to the Year of Jubilee. The price for his release is to be based on the rate paid to a hired man for that number of years.”
We find in Leviticus that God provides a way out of slavery for someone who is indentured to pay off a debt. I want you to notice two things about this passage. First, the identity of the person who is the kinsman redeemer must be someone who is a close relative. Verse 49 mentions an “uncle or a cousin” and then expands it to other more distant relatives. The person who does the redeeming must be blood related.
Second, we find that this blood relative can have the job, if he is able, to pay off the debt which the relative is a slave for and provide freedom from bondage. This relative redeems the debt. This loving relative pays what is not their debt to set the relative free.