Now Boaz, gathered up all the elders in his town, as witness for the redemption of Ruth and Naomi. " 2 Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, "Sit here," and they did so. 3 Then he said to the kinsman-redeemer, "Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our brother Elimelech. 4 I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you [a] will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line." "I will redeem it," he said. "
5 Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the land from Naomi and from Ruth the Moabitess, you acquire [b] the dead man's widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property."
6 At this, the kinsman-redeemer said, "Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it." (Ruth 4:1-8)
Notice here that, the kinsman-redeemer was ready to redeem the property of Naomi, but was not willing to raise up a family of the dead. In those days the tradition of the kinsman-redeemer was to buy back all the property that their relative(now dead) had sold due to poverty. Also if they had any widows left behind, they were to take them as wife and raise up a family on behalf of the relative who had died, so that their generation does not die. The kinsman-redeemer nearer than Boaz, could redeem partially, because he was not interested in continuing the family line for the dead relative. Now that he was unable to redeem or did not want to redeem. Boaz is able to redeem Naomi and Ruth, because he is the next kinsman-redeemer in line and is willing. "9 Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, "Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon. 10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabitess, Mahlon's widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from the town records. Today you are witnesses!" "(Ruth 4:9-10)
The lessons I learnt from Ruth 4
- The two kinsman-redeemers-Ruth had 2 kinsman-redeemers, but only Boaz was willing to redeem them completely. Boaz was willing to redeem not only the property but also the widow Ruth. We too have 2 redeemers from our sin and destruction. The law and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Law has everything written down, so that if people are able to follow it, we can be saved from sin and death. However the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, fulfilled all the law so that we can now trust in His salvation and be redeemed from the curse of death. Its what the book of Romans talks about.
- Total Redemption-The nearer kinsman, was willing to redeem the property, but would not want to have a family with Ruth and Naomi. For us too, law could save us only partially -law can only tell us what is right and wrong-it can only save us if we're on the right, else we're condemned, with no relation to our God as a Father, but the very act of our Lord Jesus to come down and rescue us, by paying for our sins, we got connected to the family of God. We became children of God by believing in our Lord Jesus death for us. (John 1). Not only that, Ruth's children will now maintain her husband's family name through Boaz. Jesus did the same too "Acts 16:31 (Whole Chapter) They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." Our redemption through Jesus is not only for us, but for our entire family. So if you have family members not yet knowing Jesus, rest assured Jesus died for them too and the redemption stands good for them too and continue praying that they will realise and recognise Jesus as their redeemer.
- A public declaration-Boaz took Ruth as wife, before a whole community, in public. So also does our Lord Jesus. Our Lord Jesus, even though He was absolutely blameless and pure, took up our sin and did not die for it in a hidden corner, but right on top of a hill, before the whole world. Not secretly, but in public, declaring in public, "I take away the sins of the world." Can you imagine the sins of this entire humankind, from then until all the ones who aren't even in this world yet!!! Now thats total redemption.
Conclusion: The Law, which was given to Moses, that if we may abide by it, we will live and be blessed else we will die in sin. God knew that we would not be able to cope up with such a high standard of living, hence He sent His one and only Son, Our Redeemer Lord Jesus, who paid our death penalty for which we were held guilty by Law-(like Boaz paid for Ruth and Naomi's poverty stricken condition). All we need to do is believe that Jesus died for our sins and we immediately are redeemed, and become God's family. Thats how simple God has made it for us, I don't think there is anything that could be simpler than this. In the book of Ruth, the whole story of man and his redemption from sin and death is so beautifully adressed, along with the saving Grace of our Lord Jesus. Hope we see the lesson God gave through their lives.