Summary: Ruth the widow who left with her mother-in-law and came to Bethlehem and a difficult time, God has blessed her efforts and brought her into favor with Boaz. We have studied how this story as an allegory between Christ & the church. Watch for the blessing.
Ruth the widow who left with her mother-in-law rather than return to a soft life at her father’s house who more than likely could have arranged for a nice marriage for Ruth came to Bethlhem and a difficult time gleaning in the fields to help support herself and Naomi. God has blessed her efforts and brought her into favor with Boaz, a near kinsman who wants to play the role of kinsman-redeemer to raise seed or children for the dead so the household would not die out.
We have studied how this story as an allegory shows Naomi as a disenchanted, disenfranchised church member who is being restored, Ruth as the earnest seeker after God and Boaz, the kinsman redeemer who is like Christ in redeeming the lost.
Finally we need to remember the prayer we should have been praying for the last month:
Lord, break out of the box we try to put you in and destroy everything in our lives that is not of You. Mess up our schedules, plans, and preconceived notions of what a relationship with you should be and bring us into a real, vibrant, living relationship with You. God we are tired of knowing about You, we want to know You. We want more than just Your anointing, we want You, Your presence.
-Ruth in seeking God made the tough decisions time and time again and followed God. She chose to leave Moab. She choose to glean and not complain or ask for handouts. Ruth followed Naomi’s advice on approaching Boaz and be obedient. If she had stopped at any time she would have missed her blessings.
The Redemption Processes
Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down. (Ruth 4:1)
And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down. (Ruth 4:2)
-Despite the fact this was a busy season for the farmer, he took the time out of his schedule and sat at the gate and waited for the opportunity to redeem.
-He sat at the gate of the city. The gate of the city is a place where judgments were made.
-Why so many witnesses? Ten men of the elders of the city-as witnesses. In ordinary circumstances two or three were sufficient to attest a bargain; but in cases of importance, such as matrimony, divorce, conveyancing of property, it was the Jewish practice to have ten.[i]
And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's: 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. (Ruth 4:3-4)
-Boaz follows proper customs and does follow the law as Elimelech’s brother he had first right to redeem the land.
Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. (Ruth 4:5)
-But here Boaz springs his trap and lets the other shoe drops as it were and adds the fact he must also marry Ruth the Moabitess.
-Both the alienation of land and the extinction of a family were to be prevented by the law of the (go'el). The (go'el) would not come into possession of the land himself, but would hold it in trust for his son by Ruth, who would inherit the name and patrimony of Mahlon (her first husband). 6. I cannot redeem it. This would involve financial loss to the purchaser. The prospective (go'el) would mar his own inheritance by spending money on land that would belong not to him but to a son of Ruth. The Targum suggests that the relative was already married, but this would not have relieved him of obligation.[ii]
And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it. Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel. Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe. (Ruth 4:6-8)