Summary: Boaz stands firm as the Kinsman-Redeemer for Ruth, as a result she is no longer Ruth the Moabite, but Ruth the wife of Boaz and a woman in the genealogy of the Messiah. Full redemption has been accomplished.
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“The More Than Happily Ever After”
If you have got children or your teenagers then you will be familiar all those moves put together by Disney and Pixar. And you will know that all of those movies end the same way.
They Lived Happily Ever After.
The fairy-tale ending.
Snow Whites isn’t dead.
Pinocchio is a real boy.
The Fox and the Hound can be friends.
Woody and Buzz have saved the day.
Elsa is finally able to accept herself.
We like those sorts of endings because it means we can all go to bed happy that something is nice in this world.
But is that real life? Can we have the expectation of a “Happily Ever After?”
Let’s read Ruth 4:1-22
Disney would be happy with that ending wouldn’t he!
But is it realistic? Is the story only about Happily Ever After?
I’ll tell you up front that it isn’t. In fact this a More Than Happily Ever After Event
Let’s work our way through the text and see how it works.
The Happily Ever After For RUTH
It might seem hard to believe but it has been less than 24 hours since Naomi first came up with the plan for Ruth to find rest. Remember the radical plan.
Get washed, perfumed and nicely dressed.
Sneak into the end of Boaz’s bed.
Ask Boaz to marry you in the middle of the night.
The planned worked – but there is a small problem. There is a kinsman-redeemer who is first in line before Boaz.
Now I don’t know about you, but I sense Boaz is on a mission.
Ruth and Boaz get up early in the morning, at a time when no-one can recognise that a woman is there.
Boaz gives Ruth a heap of barley – then he goes to the town gate and sits there.
He is looking for a certain man, and the town gate is the best place to find him.
The town gate is also the place where important business takes place because the elders are on hand to witnesses these transactions.
So the man eventually comes … and we never know his name. In fact the Hebrew text is deliberately vague because probably the best translation is “Hey Mr So-and-So”.
Hey Mr So and So … we need to talk about a deal.
Let’s look behind curtain number 1
Naomi has land and no one to inherit it.
All those listen would nod their head, “Yes … yes”. Bethlehem was only a small town and Naomi’s return as a poor widow was widely known. The law of God required that, if at all possible, the land should remain in the family and be offered to the nearest relative.
Mr So and So would hardly be able to contain his joy. Because this is how the process works.
When he says I will redeem it he is actually agreeing to take over the land until the year of Jubilee – which occurred every 50 years. At the year of Jubilee all property bought in this way had to revert back to the family of the original owner – which in this case would be the sons of Elimelech. But Elimelech has no sons … so the land will not need to be given back.
But behind curtain number 2
If you want the land you also need to take the widow.
In this case the widow in mind is Ruth … because she is the only one with the physical ability to maintain the name of the dead.
When she has a son the land will pass on to him and Mr So and So gets nothing. In fact Mr So and So would have more heirs with who he must divide his own property.
The deal of a life-time comes with strings … wedding strings.
Boaz gets Ruth.
Ruth is now secure.
Naomi is protected and will now be looked after.
They all live happily ever after.
Except maybe for Mr So and So who now needs to buy a new pair of sandals.
But is that what the story is all about … Happily Ever After.
The MORE THAN Happily Ever After For RUTH
She is not just getting a husband … she has been redeemed.
She doesn’t owe anything to anyone.
She has been given a place, a name … security.
No longer is she Ruth the Moabitess. She is Ruth the wife of Boaz.
Her past has been made irrelevant. Her future is security in the land, and in the hand, of God.
That is what Redemption brings.
You see, too often in this world we are like Mr So and So. We ask
What is in it for me?