Introduction: The final chapter of the book of Ruth tells the story of Boaz’s agreement to redeem Ruth after the closest relative to her deceased husband refused to do so. God blessed both Ruth and Boaz for their faithfulness with a lineage leading to both David and Jesus. From this account, Jesus reveals seven lessons about Himself as both redeemer and your Lord.
First, Boaz advised the closest kinsman of the deceased Elimelech that his land had to be redeemed. From this, God reveals that the Earth is under judgment and is in need of redemption. Second, while the closest kinsman redeemer was willing to pay the cost of redeeming the land, he refused to pay the cost to redeem the foreign woman Ruth. From this, Christ reveals that He has come as a kinsman redeemer to redeem all of mankind and the Earth at a great cost to Him. Third, the closest kinsman redeemer transferred his authority to Boaz by removing his sandal. While John the Baptist proclaimed that even he was unworthy to accept Christ’s authority by loosening his sandals, Christ reveals that He has given some of His authority to believers to be co-builders of His Church. Fourth, Boaz made a public declaration of his agreement to redeem both the family land and Ruth, an act which showed both his faith and his willingness to be held accountable. Jesus also publically proclaimed His promises so that you might trust them and have faith. He also wants you to publically process your faith so that others might hold you accountable and so that you might inspire others to have faith. Fifth, the elders and the witnesses to Boaz’s promise gave a blessing of fruitfulness to Ruth and Boaz. From this, Christ reveals that He can also bless you with His fruit when you accept Him as your redeemer. Sixth, after Ruth and Boaz had a child, the women blessed Naomi with rest and provision. From this, Christ reveals that He will also bless you with rest and provision when you accept Him as your redeemer. Finally, Ruth gave birth to both the line leading to King David and the King of Kings, Jesus. From this, Jesus reveals that He wants to be both your redeemer and your Lord.
The kinsman redeemer’s obligation to redeem the land of Elimelech. The same day that Boaz promised Ruth that she would have a kinsman redeemer, God brought Boaz, the closest relative of her deceased father-in-law Elimelech and the village elders together to resolve this issue: “1 Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there, and behold, the close relative of whom Boaz spoke was passing by, so he said, ‘Turn aside, friend, sit down here.’ And he turned aside and sat down. 2 He took ten men of the elders of the city and said, ‘Sit down here.’ So they sat down. 3 Then he said to the closest relative, ‘Naomi, who has come back from the land of Moab, has to sell the piece of land which belonged to our brother Elimelech. 4 So I thought to inform you, saying, ‘Buy it before those who are sitting here, and before the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, redeem it; but if not, tell me that I may know; for there is no one but you to redeem it, and I am after you.’ And he said, ‘I will redeem it.’” (Ruth 4:1-4). Elimelech sold his property in Bethlehem when the land was in a drought. He then fled with his family to Moab where both he and his two boys died without any heirs (Ruth 1:1). Under the Law, the nearest of kin was bound to redeem the property to keep it within the deceased man’s family: “If a fellow countryman of yours becomes so poor he has to sell part of his property, then his nearest kinsman is to come and buy back what his relative has sold.” (Lev. 25:25). Without a kinsman redeemer to buy back the land, Elimelech’s family line would need to wait until the Jubilee year to reclaim their land: “But if he has not found sufficient means to get it back for himself, then what he has sold shall remain in the hands of its purchaser until the year of jubilee; but at the jubilee it shall revert, that he may return to his property.” (Lev. 25:28). Yet, without any descendants, the Elimelech line would die out and there would be no one for the property to revert back to. Furthermore, any house sold within a walled city had to be redeemed within one year of the sale. If such a house was not redeemed within one year, it would not revert back during the Jubilee (Lev. 25:30). Boaz’s unidentified relative was of a closer relationship to the deceased Elimelech than Boaz. Thus, the duty fell to the unnamed relative (Ruth 3:12). The city elders sat as witnesses to the transaction. In Old Testament times, the gates to a city was a common meeting spot for the village elders to meet, decide disputed matters, and debate (cf., Prov. 31:23; Josh. 20:4; Gen. 19:1; 34:20). There were ten men who judged the preceding (Ruth 4:2). They symbolized the judgment that exists under the Ten Commandments when mankind is judged without a Savior. Here, the ten men would soon cast judgment upon the unnamed relative who would refuse to redeem Ruth.
The entire Earth is in need of Christ’s redemption. Like Elimelech’s land, the entire Earth is under the judgment of sin and needs to be redeemed: “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Ro. 8:19-21). “Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”’ (Gen. 3:17-19). Christ’s death brought redemption to the entire Earth: “and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” (Col. 1:20). Only Christ will be worthy to open the title scroll to reclaim title to the earth: “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?’ And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, ‘Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”’ (Rev. 5:2-5).
God is sovereign and will ensure mankind’s redemption. The closest kinsman redeemer passed by the moment that Boaz sat down at the city gate (Ruth 4:1). This might have appeared to have been a fortuitous encounter. Yet, Boaz had just made a vow to Ruth to find her redeemer that same morning (Ruth 3:13). The encounter that morning was not a chance meeting. It showed the sovereignty of God in bringing them together and fulfilling Boaz’s vow. He will also use His sovereignty to ensure mankind’s redemption. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Ro. 8:28).
The kinsman redeemer’s refusals to pay the cost to redeem Ruth. Only after the nearest kinsman agreed to redeem Elimelech’s land did Boaz reveal the more important issue of the redemption of Ruth. While the nearest of kin was more than willing to acquire more land, he could not bring himself to also redeem Ruth, Elimelech’s Moabite daughter-in-law: “5 Then Boaz said, ‘On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the deceased, in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance.’ 6 The closest relative said, ‘I cannot redeem it for myself, because I would jeopardize my own inheritance. Redeem it for yourself; you may have my right of redemption, for I cannot redeem it.’” (Ruth 4:5-6). The unidentified relative’s motives for refusing redeem Ruth were rooted in selfishness. While his exact reasons are unknown, several potential costs may have weighed against the cost of redeeming Ruth: “First, when he added up the cost of redeeming the property, plus the cost of maintaining the widow Naomi, plus the cost of marrying Ruth, he may have concluded that this was not a fiscally sound move. Rather than enhancing his assets, the newly acquired responsibilities would drain resources from the holdings he had inherited from his ancestors. Second, he probably also considered the implications of raising up the name of the deceased, that is, producing an heir for Elimelech. Given his own age and the age of Ruth, he may have thought that she might bear him no more than one child. Since this child would be legally considered the heir and descendant of Elimelech, upon the death of the go el he would inherit the property that had come into his hands through this present transaction as well as the go el’s inherited holdings. Furthermore, since the name of Elimelech had been establish / raised up through the child, the go el’s entire estate would fall into the line of Elimelech, and his own name would disappear. Third, in view of Boaz’s introduction of Ruth as ‘the Moabitess,’ he may have pondered the ethnic implication of the transaction, concluding that his patrimonial estate would be jeopardized by falling into the hands of one with Moabite blood in his veins.” (Daniel Block, The New American Commentary: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture, Judges, Ruth, Vol. 6, B & H Publishing Group 1999 p. 716-7). Boaz also faced these costs. Yet, his love was greater than his greed.
Jesus came to fulfill the Law. Through Jesus, any ongoing obligations to be redeemed have been terminated: “but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God,” (Heb. 10:12). Like Christians, the Jews long ago abandoned the practice of redeemer weddings, called a “yibbum”. Some even assume that the Sadducees tested Jesus with a hypothetical question of a woman being married to more than one brother because the practice had died out even before Jesus arrived. For three reasons, the Talmud strongly discouraged a “yibbum”. First, outside of the narrow exception of needing to provide for a widowed sister without heirs, it was an abomination in God’s eyes for a man to marry his brother’s wife. In God’s eyes, it was equivalent to a man being with his own brother: “You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s nakedness.” (Lev. 18:16; 20:21). Second, although the Law quoted in Deuteronomy allowed for property to passed in the absence of a male successor (Dt. 25:5), it was God’s intention that property was to pass freely through women as well as men. When the Jews approached Moses on this question and Moses sought God’s guidance, God made clear that property should freely pass through women as well as men (Nu. 27:1-11). This showed that there are many human customs that God permits without endorsing. After God clarified the issue, the practice of yibbum was limited to circumstances to when a man died without any children and with contiguous plots of land with his brothers (Mishneh Torah, Laws of Yibbum and Halizah 1:3; Shulchan Aruch, Eben ha-'Ezer, 156:2). Third, both because God’s Law in Leviticus and to protect a woman from a brother-in-law or a cousin-in-law who might marry her merely to seize the deceased husband’s land for himself, Jewish law allowed either the surviving relative or the widow to opt out of a yibbum through a special ceremony called a “halizah” or “chalitzah.” During this ceremony, the window took the next of kin’s shoe and spit on the floor in front of at least ten others while they recited a pledge. The widow then became free to marry whomever she desired or no one at all and keep title to the land. The shoe was a sign of one’s power and right (Ps. 60:8; 108:9). John the Baptist, for example, was not worthy to untie Jesus’ shoe because he was not qualified to take any of Jesus’ authority or power (Jo. 1:27). The loosening of the shoe symbolized a transfer of all rights to land. This was how Boaz obtained his right to redeem Ruth (Ruth 4:7).
Jesus also came to fulfill the Spirit of the Law. Before this rule became moot, how was the unidentified kinsman redeemer able to offer to redeem the land while turning down Boaz’s request that he also redeem Ruth? Technically, only a brother of Ruth’s deceased husband had an obligation to marry her to give the family an heir who could inherit the property. While the obligation to redeem land extended to the “nearest of kin” (Lev. 25:25), the obligation to redeem a widow was limited to the “husband’s brothers”: “When brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband's brother to her. It shall be that the firstborn whom she bears shall assume the name of his dead brother, so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.” (Dt. 25:5-6). Under this rule, one of Judah’s surviving sons was obligated to marry Tamar and give her an heir after her husband Er died. When the next oldest son Onan failed to fulfill his duty, God also took Onan’s life (Gen. 38:9-10). Although the Jews had extended this duty by custom to other relatives, this duty did not exist under the Law. Boaz therefore appealed to the kinsman redeemer to fulfill the “spirit of the Law”. Yet, the unidentified kinsman was unwilling to do more than what was legally required of him if it involved personal costs. Jesus came to fulfill the Law (Matt. 5:17). Yet, He did more than what the Law required from a kinsman redeemer because He loves us (Jo. 3:16). He came to redeem the entire world, even His enemies (Ro. 5:10). Finally, while Boaz paid money to redeem the land, Jesus paid the price of redemption for mankind with His own blood: “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” (1 Pet. 2:24). “and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” (Heb. 9:12-15). “And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—” (Col. 1:21-22). If you are grateful for the terrible price that He paid to redeem you, how are you thanking Him? (Ro. 12:1-2).
Satan has come to take the land without redeeming mankind. The unnamed kinsman redeemer was like Satan. Satan seeks title to the Earth. Yet, he has no care its inhabitants. He has 10 names in the Bible, which symbolize his judgment under God’s Law. The last three of these names listed below reflect his temporary ownership of the world until Christ comes to redeem it. His titles include: (1) “the serpent” (Gen. 3:4; 2 Cor. 11:3); (2) “the devil” (Matt. 25:41; Jo. 8:44; 1 Jo. 3:8); (3) “Satan” (Job 1:9; Matt. 4:10; Lk. 10:18; Rev. 20:2); (4) “morning star, son of the dawn” (Is. 14:12); (5) “the evil one” (1 Jo. 5:18); (6) “he who is in the world” (1 Jo. 4:4); (7) “the dragon” (Rev. 12:9); (8) “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2); (9) “the prince of this world” (Jo. 12:31); and (10) “the ruler of the world” (Jo. 14:30; 16:11). Those who put their hope in the world have put their hope in a ruler who does not care about their redemption.
Be willing to make sacrifices for Christ. Believers can also run the risk of treating their faith like the unknown kinsman redeemer. Many are willing to accept religion when it looks good or brings prestige. Yet, few are willing to make any sacrifices for Christ or subject themselves to public ridicule for Him. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.’” (Matt. 16:24). Is there anything in your life that you have given up for Him?
Be a Boaz to others in need. Boaz must have faced all the same doubts as the closest kinsman redeemer about redeeming Ruth. Yet, the love of God within Him prompted Him to restore this woman and family in need. Believers are also called upon to restore one another. “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.” (Gal. 6:1). Are you seeking to restore others who have fallen?
The closest redeemer transfers his authority by removing his sandal. After the nearest redeemer refused to redeem Ruth, he transferred his right to redeem both her and the land by removing his sandal: “7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning the redemption and the exchange of land to confirm any matter: a man removed his sandal and gave it to another; and this was the manner of attestation in Israel. 8 So the closest relative said to Boaz, ‘Buy it for yourself.’ And he removed his sandal.” (Ruth 4:7-8). The transfer of authority came about by humiliating the person with authority: “But if the man does not desire to take his brother’s wife, then his brother’s wife shall go up to the gate to the elders and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to establish a name for his brother in Israel; he is not willing to perform the duty of a husband’s brother to me.’ Then the elders of his city shall summon him and speak to him. And if he persists and says, ‘I do not desire to take her,’ then his brother’s wife shall come to him in the sight of the elders, and pull his sandal off his foot and spit in his face; and she shall declare, ‘Thus it is done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.’ In Israel his name shall be called, ‘The house of him whose sandal is removed.’” (Dt. 25:7-10). This represents mankind’s shame because it cannot redeem itself.
Jesus was also humiliated so that you could be empowered. Although He was without sin, Jesus bore our shame: “Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him,” (Matt. 26:67). “They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.” (Matt. 27:30). Even the prophets, like John the Baptist, were not worthy to assume Jesus’ power (Mk. 1:7; Jo. 1:27). Yet, He has voluntarily transferred some of His authority to believers through the Holy Spirit: “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.” (Jo. 16:23). God the Father transferred His authority to Jesus. Jesus in turn transferred authority to believers so that they could be co-builders in His Church: “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (Matt. 18:19-20). Are you using your authority to spread the Gospel? (Matt. 28:16-20).
Boaz’s public declaration of his agreement to redeem both the family land and Ruth. After obtaining the right to redeem both Ruth and her family land, Boaz publically proclaimed his right and obtained the confirmation of the tribal elders: “9 Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, ‘You are witnesses today that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. 10 Moreover, I have acquired Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, to be my wife in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance, so that the name of the deceased will not be cut off from his brothers or from the court of his birth place; you are witnesses today.’ 11 All the people who were in the court, and the elders, said, ‘We are witnesses.” (Ruth 4:9-11(a)). As a man of honor, Boaz sought to redeem all that was potentially lost through Elimelech’s death. If he wanted to save money, he could have tried to redeem only the half of the estate lost through Ruth’s husband Mahlon. He also could have made his promise in private. Yet, he was not afraid to be held accountable to his promise. In faith, he made his vow in public for all to see.
Jesus, the kinsman redeemer for all mankind, has made promises that you also can trust. Like Boaz, Jesus is a kinsman redeemer. He qualified as a kinsman redeemer because He humbled Himself into human form to become our “brother.” (Heb. 2:11). He became the second Adam who redeemed humanity to restore its lost spiritual inheritance (1 Cor. 15:45; 1:30; Rev. 1:5). He will perform a redeemer wedding or yibbum. Yet, the yibbum will not be completed until He marries the Church in heaven (Rev. 19:7-9; 21:1-2). Like Boaz, Jesus has made know through the Bible His intent to redeem you. He has made His public promises in the Bible so that you will trust Him and have faith in Him.
Publically confess your gratitude. Boaz confessed his willingness to redeem Ruth before the elders of the town (Ruth 4:9-10). Like Boaz, God also wants you to confess your faith to others: “But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.” (Dt. 30:14). Paul later quoted this verse so that believers would not only observe the Word, but to profess the author of the Word as the source of their salvation: “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ -- that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;” (Ro. 10:8-9). If you confess Jesus to be Lord and Savior before others, He in turn will confess you in heaven: “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God;” (Lk. 12:8; Matt. 10:32). “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” (Rev. 3:5). When you confess your faith you allow others, you allow others to hold you accountable. You also may inspire others to become believers in Christ. Are you publically confessing your faith in Christ to inspire others?
The blessing of fruitfulness given to Ruth and Boaz. Speaking at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, both the elders and the other witnesses to this redemption then prophetically pronounced blessings of fruitfulness upon Ruth and her descendants: “11b May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built the house of Israel; and may you achieve wealth in Ephrathah and become famous in Bethlehem. 12 Moreover, may your house be like the house of Perez whom Tamar bore to Judah, through the offspring which the Lord will give you by this young woman.’ 13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he went in to her. And the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.” (Ruth 4:11(b)–13). By praying for Ruth to become like Rachel and Leah, the crowd was prophetically praying for Ruth to become a matriarch of Israel. All three women had a foreign origin. Ruth was from Moab. Rachel and Leah’s father Laban was Aramean (Gen. 31:20). The prayer for Ruth to build Boaz’s house just as Rachel and Leah built the house of Israel was a prayer for fertility (e.g., 1 Sam. 2:35; 2 Sam. 7:27; 1 Chr. 17:25, 10; 1 Kgs. 1:38). The prayer for them to bear a son like Perez, the son of Tamar and Judah, was a prayer for their heirs to build the tribe of Judah (Gen. 38:29). Even though Judah was tricked into having his child, Perez was the first record child from a kinsman redeemer. Tamar was also a Canaanite. Rachel, Leah, Tamar, and Ruth all showed God’s grace in bringing the gentiles into His adopted family. The public honor that Ruth brought to Boaz at the city gate was also a sign of her godly virtue: “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. . . Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.” (Prov. 31:10, 23). The fact that God immediately blessed them with a pregnancy was a sign of His faithfulness. By contrast, Ruth’s first husband Mahlon was cursed and infertile during his ten years of disobedience in Moab (Ruth 1:4-5).
Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus can also bless you with His fruit. Christ can also bless you to be fruitful. When you spread His Word in faith, your labors can be returned up to a hundredfold: “And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” (Matt. 13:8; Mk. 4:8; Lk. 8:8). He can bless you with the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). He also blesses an obedient individual or a nation with fertility: “4 Blessed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground and the offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.” (Dt. 28:4). With obedience: “He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, . . .” (Dt. 7:12-13). If you keep the Commandments, “you may live and multiply . . .” (Dt. 30:16). The Jews first left Israel as a clan of 70 people (Gen. 46:27). After 400 years in captivity (Gen. 15:13; Ex. 12:40), the men of fighting age totaled 603,550 (Nu. 1:46). Are the fruits of Christ’s blessings visible in your life for others to see? (Matt. 7:16, 20; 12:33; Lk. 6:43-44).
The blessing of protection and provision to Naomi. After Ruth had a son, the women prophetically pronounced a separate blessings that Naomi would also be “restored,” and “sustained” in her old age: “14 Then the women said to Naomi, ‘Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a redeemer today, and may his name become famous in Israel. 15 May he also be to you a restorer of life and a sustainer of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.’” (Ruth 4:14-15). Naomi previously sought to provide rest and provision to Ruth (Ruth 3:1; 1:9). For her selfless faith, God rewarded her with the blessing that she sought for Ruth. Moreover, she would have the honor of a famous son and family line.
Jesus can also protect and provide for you. Like Naomi, Jesus can also protect and provide for you when He becomes your redeemer: “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” (Prov. 30:5; 2 Sam. 22:31). “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.’” (Jo. 6:35). “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” (Jo. 6:51). His rest and protection also includes the promise of eternal life: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (Jo. 5:24). Have you taken Jesus’ blessings for granted?
The royal dynasty that came through Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz. Ruth gave birth to both the line leading to King David and later to the King of Kings, Jesus: “16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her lap, and became his nurse. 17 The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, ‘A son has been born to Naomi!’ So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David. 18 Now these are the generations of Perez: to Perez was born Hezron, 19 and to Hezron was born Ram, and to Ram, Amminadab, 20 and to Amminadab was born Nahshon, and to Nahshon, Salmon, 21 and to Salmon was born Boaz, and to Boaz, Obed, 22 and to Obed was born Jesse, and to Jesse, David.” (Ruth 4:16-22). Through their meekness, Ruth and Naomi were blessed: “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matt. 5:5). This was the first time in the Old Testament when a woman was recorded as being present during the naming of a child. It was a sign of the honor given to both Naomi and Ruth. Ruth’s son would become the grandfather of the future King David (1 Sam. 16:1-13; 17:12). While darkness filled the land during the time period of the Judges, God used a lowly but faithful foreign woman to sow the seeds of Israel’s redemption through King David. Jesus later became a descendant through the lineage of David (Lk. 2:4; Jo. 7:42). He brought redemption to all of mankind as the King of Kings (Rev. 19:16).
The unrighteous are quickly forgotten. While the Bible records each member of the lineage leading to Christ, the name of the closest kinsman redeemer who refused to redeem Ruth is not recorded. From this, Christ reveals that the unrighteous will be forgotten in heaven. “May they be blotted out of the book of life and may they not be recorded with the righteous.” (Ps. 69:28). By contrast, those who accept Christ will be recorded in the book of life (Rev. 21:27). Jesus will also remember all of your acts of faith and love: “For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.” (Heb. 6:10). Has your life been filled with acts of faith and love for Christ to remember?
You can partake in Jesus’ inheritance as well. Jesus redeemed the gentiles as well as the Jews by twice drawing gentiles into His lineage through kinsman redeemer marriages. In the Bible, two is the number of confirmation (2 Cor. 13:1). First, He became a descendent of the kinsman redeemer marriage between the gentile Tamar and her father-in-law Judah (Matt. 1:3). Second, He became a descendant of the kinsman redeemer marriage between the gentile Ruth and Boaz (Matt. 1:5). Through Him, we can be adopted into His lineage through faith: “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (Gal. 4:5). “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Ro. 8:14-15, 23). Are you trying to help others become adopted children as well?
Make Jesus your redeemer and Lord over your life. While King David’s reign would only last during his lifetime, Jesus’ reign will last forever: ‘“Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.” (Jer. 23:5). “and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” (Lk. 1:33). ‘“I will establish your seed forever and build up your throne to all generations.’ Selah.” (Ps. 89:4, 36). If Jesus is your redeemer, is He also Lord over you?
Jesus is not your Lord if you refuse to do what He says. A believer may proclaim Jesus as Lord. Yet, Jesus is not your Lord if you disobey Him: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” (Matt. 7:21). “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Lk. 6:46). “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” (Jam. 1:22). “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matt. 7:24). “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” (Matt. 7:26). If you call Jesus your Lord, is there any area of your life where you are refusing to obey Him?