This week we have been looking at the two kinsman redeemers in the fourth chapter of Ruth. One is all-in and one not so much. Then the question becomes….what can we learn from the differences between these two men?
They both had the same responsibility to redeem the future of Naomi and then in turn Ruth. They both were kinsmen – next of kin to Elimilech. They both had the means to do so. One wanted the land but taking on Naomi and Ruth was too much. The other was all-in and willing to step up and do what was right.
I have been both of these guys! I have have done it backwards, wanting the prize without doing the work and I have done it the right way by doing the work and getting the prize.
The first time I went to college, I was just like everyone else…young! Except, I was also immature! My wise parents, who at the time, I thought couldn’t get out of a wet paper sack, had protected me while I was growing up. I had not been given free reign to come and go and do as I pleased. I had a curfew. I had not been sent out into the world to do and explore to my hearts content. I had been protected. AND of course, at the ripe ole age of 18, I thought I knew more than they did so when I went to college, I considered myself free! I could come and go at will and do what I wanted to do!
My freshman year I was into fumes! – I put perfume on and burned Daddy’s gasoline. Eventually I met the man of my dreams and my hormones told me if I didn’t get married, I would just die! So at the end of sophomore year, sporting my associate’s degree, I got married. Due to my ill spent ‘freedom’ my GPA was a measly 2.7! BUT I was married and that defined me as a grownup! Right!?!
The second time I went to college, I was much wiser! Our children were grown and I was seeking a second career. This time I was paying my own way. I certainly wasn’t there to play or figure out who I was. This time I was there to get a degree. Funny (not ha ha, but daaang!) how many semesters of a 4.0 GPA it took to bring that 2.7 up to a 3.75 over all GPA !
I was all-in the second time! I wasn’t there to play around but to do what was right…to do what I needed. I set my mind and heart on my goal. I was focused and it paid off.
Where your heart is leads you to where you end up. Grades might seem like a trivial goal in the big scheme of life but when we get our heart right, we end up where we want to be. That was the case for me and that was the case for the two kinsman redeemers in our lesson from Ruth.
When we compare Boaz to the nearer kinsman, we can compare the condition of their hearts. Boaz was all-in and the other was in for what he could gain – the land. Scripture never mentions the nearer kinsman again. But history and scripture shows us Boaz’ reward – this son of Rahab, a prostitute from Jericho, was the great-grandfather of King David and consequently in the lineage of Jesus Christ. It didn’t matter who he was but because he was all-in God gave him a Legacy.
Lord, you see my heart; you know my motives. I want to be all-in for you…a woman after your own heart. Reveal to me your ways and keep my heart pure towards you.
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Cindy Willingham is a landscape designer, small group leader, avid encourager, and sinner saved by grace who is eight years new to Birmingham, Alabama. Her sweet husband of 37 years, two married children and four grand-kiddos fill her life with unbelievable fun and sweet snuggles. She thinks God is awesome and that the best adventure starts with saying yes to that still, small voice. ~ To read Cindy’s BoP Bio click here.