Most movies have a hero, and every romantic movie has its hero who rescues in some way the damsel in distress. He swoops in when all hope is lost and ensues in an epic battle between our hero and his antagonist. This is similar to how I view myself when I step on a bug for my wife.
The book of Ruth is no different. In Chapter 1 we were introduced to Ruth and Naomi in a time of tragedy. Today we are introduced to our hero in a time of hope and excitement.
Verse 1 introduces to us our hero.
“And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.” Ruth 1.
The term ‘kinsmen’ or ‘kinsman’ is found just over 20 times in our Bible, and the vast majority of those are in the book of Ruth.
A kinsmen in the Bible was a male relative who had the Biblical responsibility to act for a relation who was in need. It could be some kind of trouble or danger, or in need of vindication and release.
As the book of Ruth unfolds, we get to see Boaz in the position of kinsmen-redeemer act on behalf of Ruth.
Primarily, the responsibility of the kinsmen was three-fold.
1. To buy back forfeited inheritance or one who sold himself into slavery.
2. To avenge the blood of any of the family who had been murdered.
3. To take the widow of the deceased and raise up children. If the nearest relative refused, then the next one could step up.
So in other words, his responsibly was to do for me what I cannot do for myself.
It’s amazing to look at the Psalms of David, and surely he had his great-grandpoppy in mind when penned the term, ‘redeemer.’
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
“But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.” Psalm 49:15
“Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;” Psalm 103:4
As we look at the Old Testament through the eyes of the New, we can clearly see Boaz as a type of Christ. A picture if you will, of Jesus who too did for me what I (or anyone) could not do for myself.
Please note these fantastic similarities.:
1. Jesus identified with me. This is because of the incarnation. Jesus became man to save man because man could not save himself. “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,” Hebrews 2:11
2. He understands my great need. “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.”
For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:17-18
3. He whom in a position of power helped me when I could not help myself. “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14
Friends, may we continually thanks and praise God for our own redemption.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
Ryan King is pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Westville.