Summary: This sermon is a part of a series on the book of Ruth
Today’s message comes out of Ruth 3. Let’s take a quick review of what has led us to this point…
Chapter 1: Naomi and her husband and sons move from Bethlehem to Moab because of a famine in the land. Yet Naomi’s husband dies. Her sons marry, but 10 years later, they too die. Naomi sets out to go back to Bethlehem, and one of her daughters-in-law, Ruth resolutely comes with her.
Once back in Bethlehem, Ruth begins to glean grain to sustain them. It turns out that she gleans in Boaz’ field, who very kindly and generously obliges.
Turn with me to Ruth chapter 3, and then keep your Bibles open while we walk through this chapter.
In chapter two Ruth meets Boaz. When Ruth Tells Naomi about him, Naomi becomes joyful something which had eluded Naomi previously. A glimmer of Hope began to shine in Naomi’ heart, for she was beginning to see what looked like the hand of God and his blessings
Listen to verse 20, This man, speaking of Boaz, is a close relative, he is one of our Kinsman redeemers.
Now I think that it is important to understand what a kinsman redeemer is.
The Hebrew word for a kinsman-redeemer is “goel.” which literally meant or referred to a relative who functioned on behalf of another person and his property within the family circle in times of crisis: This person could:
· redeem property by purchasing what has been lost and returning it to the one who was forced to sell.
· redeem persons, that is, a relative who was forced to sell himself into slavery.
· redeem blood, by avenging the death of a relative who has been murdered.
Or redeem a family and its family name
This provision would allow a childless widow to marry an available brother of her deceased husband to raise up children in her deceased husband’s name. If a brother was not available, then the next eligible closest of kin could marry her.
Boaz was eligible on both accounts. Not only to serve as a redeemer for his family, but also to marry Ruth and raise up children in her deceased family’s name, so that the name would not be lost forever. Boaz was her redeemer. But Boaz’ hands were “tied” in the matter of marrying Ruth. It was not up to him. He could not claim her for his wife. It had to be Ruth’s move.
It is important to grasp this concept of redeemer. Now let’s look back again to chapter 2 verse 23 in light of this new information.
Verse 23 said that Ruth gleaned during both the barley and wheat harvests while still living with her Mother-in-law.
Can you imagine the scene day after day? Naomi asking her about her day and about Boaz. Waiting patiently to see what would happen. Seeing what if any movement Ruth was making on claiming her redemption and her redeemer.
Chapter three opens with Naomi breaking her silence. Listen to verse 1.
One day Naomi, her mother-in law said to her, “My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you can be well provided for. Is not Boaz, with whom servant girls you have been, a kinsman of ours?
Basically Naomi is telling Ruth quit delaying Claim what is yours. It is time for you to move on. I wonder what was keeping Ruth from claiming redemption
Maybe she didn’t feel worthy enough
Maybe she felt like she wasn’t good enough
Maybe she felt her being a Moabite woman would get in the way
Maybe she feared rejection
Maybe she just procrastinated
Maybe she was stuck in the past and not in the present
For whatever the reason Ruth was failing to claim what was rightfully hers. But the only way it could happen was if Ruth chose it. The Ball was clearly in her court.
For many in our world for whatever reason we fail to claim redemption. We live out our lives never claiming the hope of the future. Tonight if you have never entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then you too are rejection and ignoring your redeemer.
Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know that you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet, and lie down. He will tell you what to do.
Naomi was very specific about what to do. Naomi knew that Ruth was a foreigner in a strange land and may not know the customs. Naomi not only pointed Boaz out as her personal redeemer, she told her specifically what to do about it.