13 December 2020 PM – Ruth 2:20 – Ru20 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Leslie B. Flynn told a story that illustrates a redeemer.
An orphaned boy was living with his grandmother when their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to get upstairs to rescue the boy, perished in the flames. The boy’s cries for help were finally answered by a man who climbed an iron drainpipe and came back down with the boy hanging tightly to his neck.
Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the town’s wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen to give the boy a home. But as they talked, the lad’s eyes remained focused on the floor. Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hands from his pockets, revealing severe scars on them. As the crowd gasped, the boy cried out in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe. With a leap, the boy threw his arms around the man’s neck and held on for dear life. The other men silently walked away, leaving the boy and his rescuer alone. Those marred hands had settled the issue.
That man had paid the price of redemption. –Our Daily Bread, edited.
Transition: This evening I want us to study together three facts about the Jewish kinsman-redeemer that picture the work of Jesus Christ.
1. The kinsman-redeemer must be a relative.
a. God established the law.
1) Read Leviticus 25:23-28
a) Here is a man who just could not get is little farm to pay all the bills. He may have been a poor manager, the fields may not have been very good quality or the weather had been against him. Whatever the case, he had to sell his land to pay his debts.
b) He could not get back his land without paying the debt, waiting for the year of Jubilee, or getting a near kin to redeem the land for him.
2) Read also Leviticus 25:47-49
a) Here is even a sadder situation of a man who due to crop failure or famine was reduced to poverty. He had debts to pay and no money with which to pay them. Evidently, he had already sold his land. He had nothing left.
b) As a last resort, he could sell himself into slavery to pay his debt. In order to get free, he must somehow earn the money, wait for the year of Jubilee or have a kinsman-redeemer pay his debt for him and set him free.
3) God wanted His people to keep their land and not sell it outside their family. Thus, He created this law that if a man must sell land to pay a debt, a relative could redeem the land by paying the debt for him. If no relative would do so, then in the year of Jubilee (every 50 years) all property was returned to the original owner and all slaves were set free.
b. The story of Ruth is about a kinsman-redeemer
1) Elimelech must have sold his land before he moved to Moab. When Naomi returned, without a kinsman-redeemer she could not get her land back until the Jubilee.
2) Boaz was a close relative to Elimelech and thus Boaz was qualified to be Naomi and Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer.
c. God created man in his own image.
1) He created us in his own image. In this sense, from Creation, all mankind is related to God. We are His people. I am not implying that everyone is a child of God in the sense of spiritual new birth. That is different.
2) In Hebrews 2:11, Christ calls humans his brothers.
3) We were poor miserable creatures serving as slaves to sin. Jesus Christ, being our Creator/relative, had the right to become our spiritual Kinsman-Redeemer.
2. The kinsman-redeemer could pay the debt for his relative to get his land back or to set him free.
a. A kinsman-redeemer had to be benevolent.
1) Being a kinsman-redeemer was costly. The poor relative may never be able to repay the kinsman-redeemer. In some cases, the amount paid by the kinsman-redeemer may have been a great sum. Thus, he must have wealth.
2) Being a kinsman-redeemer was an act of pity. Nothing but a kind and generous heart could move a man to pay out such a price for a poor relative.
3) The kinsman-redeemer must be motivated by love for his poor relative. Why else would he pay out of his own pocket the great sum to redeem the land or buy him back from slavery?
b. In the story of Ruth, Boaz became the kinsman-redeemer for Naomi and Ruth.
1) Evidently, Elimelech had become poor and was forced to sell his land to pay debts or fearing the famine had sold his land. Ten plus years had passed since that sale. Elimelech had died as well as his only two sons. Naomi, a childless widow, was left alone with her daughter-in-law Ruth. They owned nothing and had a debt that they could not ever hope to repay.
2) Ruth 4:3 says that Naomi was selling a parcel of land; however, Boaz and his kinsman did not discuss buying the land. They discussed redeeming the land; therefore, her offer to sell must have been a plea for a kinsman to redeem the land which years earlier Elimelech had sold.
c. Jesus alone could pay our sin-debt for us
1) We were poor helpless sinners enslaved to sin and unable ever to redeem ourselves. No amount of effort on our part could possibly pay the sin-debt that hung over us.
2) In love, Jesus paid the enormous debt caused by our sin. By His blood, He redeemed us. (Ephesians 1:7) “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;“
3) He redeemed us from all sin. (Titus 2:14) “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.“
4) His redemption fully justified us, freeing us from all guilt. (Romans 3:24) “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:“
5) As we will learn, Boaz could not redeem Naomi and Ruth until they humbly asked him to. Neither can Christ redeem a soul until He is asked to do so.
3. The kinsman-redeemer must marry the widow.
a. God created this law as well
1) Here is a strange law that God had established to preserve families if a husband died childless, his brother was to marry the widow and bear children in his brother’s name. We will detail this in our next sermon.
2) Boaz recognized this and had to be willing to marry Ruth if he redeemed the family’s land. It appears that his redemption was not just out of pity for these two poor widows. In the weeks that had passed before he redeemed Ruth, God has nurtured a love in his heart for Ruth.
3) J.V. McGee states, “It [the Book of Ruth] reveals the love side of redemption.”
b. Christ redeemed us and made us His bride.
1) When Christ redeemed us, He paid the ultimate price for our souls, but He did not stop there.
2) Christ loved us so much that He also made us His bride. His instructions in Ephesians 5 to a husband on loving his wife are based on Christ’s own love for believers as his wife.
3) It was Charles Wesley who penned the words, “And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Saviour’s blood? Died He for me, who caused His pain? For me, who Him to death pursued? Amazing love! How can it be That Thou, my God, should die for me?”
Conclusion: The facts that we have studied together about the kinsman-redeemer are interesting, but they become amazing when applied to Jesus Christ. He was qualified to redeem us. He was happy to redeem us, though it cost him dearly. In love, He has made all the redeemed His bride. That is amazing love! Think on that as we sing our closing song.