We’re finally reaching the climax of the book of Ruth! Everything else has been building toward the moment of redemption. Unlike a lot of the narrative books of the Old Testament that chronicle the events of many people over a long period of time, Ruth is focused on this one chick and her mother-in-law… and a kinsman redeemer. It’s their story. The story of how God redeemed a difficult situation to the point that, against all odds, the central characters figure into the lineage of King David.
The concept of a kinsman redeemer was introduced to Israel by God in books of the law. It was always intended to point toward Christ, and in Ruth’s story, we see it more clearly than anywhere else. This person, of his own free will, would pay the debt he did not owe and supply the object of redemption with all her needs.
It’s a responsibility that one would have to be prepared to assume, and, on the night Ruth comes to him on the threshing floor, I’m struck by how quickly Boaz speaks up that he’s not the closest would-be kinsman redeemer. Clearly, he figured out who Ruth was and had already been thinking about assuming the responsibility for redeeming her… Makes me think of a song: What a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty, mighty, good man!
That night, Ruth’s clearly coming onto him, in a discreet way, but his mind is already there. Leave it to the experienced Naomi to hatch such a scheme! We all need that friend or relative in our lives, right? Or maybe that’s you! I should say, I need friend or relative like you! Seeing about their welfare is serious business, and Naomi knows well enough to strike while the iron’s hot. I know folks want to talk about the book of Ruth like it’s a love story, and that may be the case, but it was also a marriage of convenience. I personally think our girl Ruth got all of the above! Amen! I receive it, Jesus! BUT there’s this other guy that had the right of redemption before Boaz. And his situation was a little different… He kind of already had his life pulled together—a wife and heirs. In my mind, he did what was right for his situation in choosing to yield his right of redemption to Boaz. And anyway, it wasn’t him Ruth was visiting at night on the threshing floor. He seemed unaware she even existed. This demonstrates a very different attitude from Boaz, whose already thinking about it before Ruth pushes the issue.
Joni Butler has called the ‘Ham home since 2012. Officially, she’s here for employment but has found a home here at Breath. Though an avid diarist for years, this is her first writing gig. Jesus is her best friend and she loves pursuing Him passionately. You can read more about Joni in her Breath Bio.