Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | July 6, 2012

Our Kinsman-Redeemer, by David Bower

A Tribute to God’s Unfailing Faithfulness

The Book of Ruth is the bright light at the end of the dark tunnel of Judges. I feel depressed after reading the Book of Judges; I’m saddened by Israel’s refusal to follow God’s directions for success and happiness. Although there are moments of return they always seem to quickly stray away on a path of their own and wind up getting into serious trouble.

Judges ends on a very sad verse, Judges 21:25 which tells us the bottom line of Israel’s plight, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” This sounds a lot like anarchy to me; a dictionary definition of anarchy is “a state of lawlessness or political disorder due to the absence of governmental authority.”

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

 But then there is the Book of Ruth which to me is like a refreshing breath of pure air after emerging from a dark cellar filled with putrefaction and decay. What is of particular interest is the events in Ruth are actually taking place during the time frame of Judges.

What we are seeing is God’s faithfulness to His plan for mankind’s redeemer being carried forward in spite of the willful disobedience of his chosen people. The nation who was to bring blessing to the world may have seriously stumbled but God’s plan was faithfully preserved by a gracious God who would not be thwarted by Israel’s disobedience.

Although it is not precisely stated in the Book of Ruth it is believed that the story of Ruth took place during the time Gideon was Judge over Israel. Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and his two sons Mahlon and Kilion left Israel because of a famine in the land and moved to Moab. Later Elimelech, Mahlon and Kilion all died in Moab and Naomi decided to return to Israel.

Ruth, a Remarkable Lady

Naomi’s sons had married Moabitess women named Orpah and Ruth and Naomi urged them to remain in Moab but Ruth insisted on accompanying Naomi back to Israel and made the statement which has come down through the centuries, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” Wow, talk about a powerful conviction Ruth surely had one!

In retrospect we can see the hand of God working in Ruth’s life, giving her a certainty that would not be denied that her future was in Israel with Naomi. Well what do you know, that turned out to be just the case for Ruth; God had a wonderful plan for her life that did require she move to what was for her, a foreign land.

As the book progresses we see her meeting and eventually marrying Boaz but it is to Boaz that I wish to devote the remainder of the blog. We will need to consider the law of the kinsman-redeemer first.

The Law of the Kinsman-redeemer 

In Leviticus 25:25-34 we read of the law of the kinsman-redeemer; in verse 25 we read, “If one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells some of his property, his nearest relative is to come and redeem what his countryman has sold.”

Boaz was Naomi’s nearest relative except for one kinsman who is never named. In the 4th chapter of Ruth we are told of Boaz’s confronting the kinsman who refuses to step forward because it would involve taking Ruth as his wife and raising children to the name of her dead husband. This opens the door for Boaz who agrees to serve as kinsman-redeemer to Naomi and marry Ruth.

Why is Boaz thought of as a type of Christ? This takes us back to Genesis where Adam sinned against a direct command of God causing him to die spiritually and also costing him the entire earth; Adam sold his birthright to earth for a piece of fruit. Satan is now master of the earth and has been since Adam’s sin.

God’s solution to this loss was to plan for a kinsman-redeemer for Adam and the entire human race. The problem was that there was no earthly man with the spiritual resources to redeem the earth from Satan. For such a man to exist he must be free of original sin and no man had ever been born who could qualify until the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ as Mankind’s Kinsman-redeemer

With Christ we now had a candidate for kinsman-redeemer who was fully qualified to redeem mankind’s inheritance from Satan; he was a kinsman and He had the resources to pay for the redemption. When Christ stepped up to die on the cross in our place He was dying for our fallen sinful nature and redeeming our inheritance as well from Satan.

Christ will return to reclaim mankind’s inheritance at the Second Advent; earth will be restored and Christ will reign on earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

As you probably know, Ruth became the daughter-in-law of Rahab, the harlot, the great grandmother of King David and in the direct line of the Lord Jesus Christ. What a fantastic account of God’s grace at a time when Israel was stumbling.

The Book of Ruth is encouraging to me as a reminder that God is always faithful and never fails to provide for His children and ensure His promises will be fulfilled exactly according to His plan.

Even today as we look about and see the discord and unrest all over the world we can be fully assured that God’s plan is being carried forward in full accordance with His will. God is faithfully preserving His plan and all who have received Christ as their Savior.


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