Summary: Christ died on the cross for you; he went to the grave for you; and even today he stands at the door of all people and knocks...notice he doesn’t crash the door, we have to invite Him in, take the gift of eternal life by faith. Ruth gave Boaz permission a
Ruth has come all the way from the land of Moab into the heart and home of Boaz. And we who were one time strangers, far from God, without hope in the world, are now sealed in the heart and home of Jesus. We today have been redeemed into the family of God, and one of these days we are going to live in His home. What a glorious prospect we have of someday being with Him.
Boaz has had to sit back and wait for Ruth to claim him as her kinsman redeemer, and Christ like Boaz, is not free to move on your behalf until you claim him as your kinsman redeemer.
Christ died on the cross for you; he went to the grave for you; and even today he stands at the door of all people and knocks, saying in Revelation 3:20, “I stand at the door and knock: if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him, and eat with him, and he with me”.
Notice he doesn’t crash the door, we have to invite Him in, take the gift of eternal life by faith. Ruth gave Boaz permission and now she waits for him to do what he can do to redeem her. Boaz loves her and wants to redeem her, and the message we are to give to the world is that Jesus loves us too and wants to redeem us. Our story with God is a romance just like it was for Ruth and Boaz.
Boaz goes to the city gate because that is where all town business took place. I don’t know how it was in Canada years ago, but in the states just about every town in history was originally built around the court house or city hall in the center of town usually surrounded by a large town square. In Israel it was similar but it was the city gate that served as this center.
Boaz knows if he goes to the gate many of the town elders will be mulling around, and the chances of this other redeemer wandering by is very great. And of course he does and Boaz asks him to sit with him. Notice the man’s name is never mentioned, this is very common in the Bible when someone does something that God is not pleased with. You can bet if had redeemed Ruth his name would be glorified. In fact the actual term Boaz uses here when he calls him would be equivalent to us saying hey “Mr. So and So”. I’m sure Boaz knew his name, so it’s interesting that he uses this term.
Now the ten elders that he gathered were likely the judges of the town who would spend most of their time at the gate, the court, and now court is in session and Boaz makes his case with an interesting strategy. Even though for him this is all about Ruth, he doesn’t even mention her at first, he only mentions the land.
Now the man accepts the offer to redeem the land for Naomi because there would have been a certain amount of disgrace if he had not. At this point Boaz has an inner “DOH” and his heart probably sank. But he was prepared for this and then he plays his next card and let’s the man know there’s a catch.
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you Ruth the Moabitess is included in the deal, you have to redeem or marry her too. Notice he makes sure the man knows she is from Moab. Now there is a law in the land that comes from Deuteronomy 23, “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord”. That means that if this man brought Ruth into the congregation of the Lord, it would jeopardize his own property. Not only that, he probably already has sons, so if he had any more with Ruth that would affect what his current children would get.
Now the law of Levirate marriage said that if your brother’s wife was widowed without a son, you had to marry her and give her children to carry on your brother’s name. Obviously neither Boaz or this other man were brothers of Ruth’s husband so they were not required to take Ruth as a wife. The land yes, but not the widow. If this man would have only known what this could have done for his name throughout history he may have reconsidered marrying Ruth, but as it stands his name is never even mentioned.
Well needless to say Boaz is relieved. But something we often miss when reading this story is the action that this other man does when he gives the redeemer rights to Boaz. In verse 7 we see how the man is stuck in the past and the Law when he gives Boaz his sandal. This was archaic even for that time. You see just like Boaz represents Jesus, this man I believe represents the Mosaic Law. It is love that redeems, not the Law.