On Sunday, one of the "Top Ten Words That Change Your Life" I talked about was redemption. I described was redemption is and how it is powerful for us today. I didn't have time then but I wanted to show you an awesome parallel, a real-life picture that we're given in the Bible to even further illustrate redemption.
The book of Ruth tells the story of Boaz becoming the kinsmen-redeemer for Naomi and Ruth and rescuing them from a bleak future. The historical significance of Ruth & Boaz's marriage is obvious - they are part of the lineage of Jesus. But the story of redemption knitted into this historical tale, the story of provision and God's faithfulness to rescue is more than significant, it is powerful.
It would be definitely worthwhile to read through the short book of Ruth and compare it to what we know about redemption. God's story of grace and love is woven through every page of scripture, BC or AD!
I found a great explanation of this story on the web - use this for a launching point:
One of the most beautiful passages where the word Goel is found is in the life of Naomi in the book of Ruth. The book of Ruth is a story about Naomi's Goel. Naomi was the poorest person in Israel, but her kinsman was the richest man in Israel. Because of the death of her husband and two sons, she and her daughter-in-laws lost all income and their homestead. Naomi was living in a foreign land and sensed the loss of her homeland and relatives. She became bitter. The secret of all her daughter-in-law Ruth had was in union with Boaz. The nearer kinsman had the first right to the property and Boaz came next after him. If Ruth’s closer relative would not redeem or purchase it, Boaz was prepared to do so. The man who was nearest of kin agreed to redeem the piece of land until he found out there was a young widow involved. He graciously backed out! That left Boaz as the rightful nearest of kin who had the privilege of redeeming her land and her with it. The Moabitess and the Jew became one. Boaz was nearest of kin to her deceased husband (Ruth 2:1). He was able to redeem by paying the price of redemption (2:1), and he was willing to redeem the land (4:4). That is what makes this epic so beautiful.
Four things were required in order for a kinsman to redeem:
- He must be near of kin. (Leviticus 25:48; 25:25 Ruth 3:12–13)
- He must be able to redeem (Ruth 4:4–6). He must be free of any calamity or need of redemption himself.
- He must be willing to redeem (Ruth 4:6ff)
- Redemption was completed when the price was completely paid (Leviticus 25:27; Ruth 4:7-11).