Friday, June 1, 2012

The Kinsman Redeemer

The Book of Ruth, A Love Story
The Kinsman Redeemer
Ruth 2:18-23
And she took it up, and went into the city: and her mother in law saw what she had gleaned: and she brought forth, and gave to her that she had reserved after she was sufficed.  And her mother in law said unto her, Where hast thou gleaned to day? and where wroughtest thou? blessed be he that did take knowledge of thee. And she shewed her mother in law with whom she had wrought, and said, The man's name with whom I wrought to day is Boaz. And Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. And Naomi said unto her, The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen. And Ruth the Moabitess said, He said unto me also, Thou shalt keep fast by my young men, until they have ended all my harvest.  And Naomi said unto Ruth her daughter in law, It is good, my daughter, that thou go out with his maidens, that they meet thee not in any other field.  So she kept fast by the maidens of Boaz to glean unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest; and dwelt with her mother in law.
The History
Elimelech had taken his family to Moab and left his debt behind. Since Ruth was married to one of his sons, she was obligated to pay what was owed as was Naomi. According to Jewish law, only in the year of jubilee, which came every fifty years, could all debt be wiped away. If Naomi waited for this time to come, she probably would be dead, the property sold and Ruth would most likely be a servant to some land owner. But, provision was made for those who needed redemption and could not redeem themselves–––it was written into the law. If a near kinsman of sufficient means could be found, who was willing to pay the redemptive price; he could pay the debt and release the debtor of any bondage or servitude.
The Blessing
Naomi begins to understand what is happening to her and her daughter-in-law and praises God for His loving kindness towards them both. Ruth, without human direction or instruction, went to the field of Boaz, a close relative, to glean and there is shown graciousness and given protection.  Ruth is asked to not go outside the boundaries of the field of Boaz because there are many dangers beyond his field and he, Boaz is wanting to keep her safe from harm. The request or command of Boaz was not out of selfishness or desire to deprive Ruth of happiness but a command of love. 
So it is with the love of God. Christ does not want Christians to stray from God’s commands because He knows the pitfalls and dangers outside the boundaries of His loving care. If Ruth would have persisted in leaving the field of Boaz, she could have gone freely without Boaz stopping her. We as Christians can step outside the loving care of our Lord but the results are painful and unnecessary. How much better it is for us to obey and follow His commands knowing they are the pathway to life and liberty. The only time we are completely free is when we are voluntarily bound by the love of Christ. 
Thought: Look to the field of Boaz and see how pleasant and safe Ruth felt in the midst of hard times. She didn’t have a difficult time deciding to stay in his field, obeying his commands, because she saw and experienced such great love from Boaz. When we know and experience God’s abounding love for us, we too will be willing to stay in His field as obedient followers being transformed into joyful reapers––for the glory of the Gospel of Christ. 

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