A story of redemption, love, hope, and restoration
Last time we learned that one kinsman redeemer considered the cost of redemption too great, and therefore, gave up his right of redemption. But thankfully Boaz, the next of kin, did not view marriage to Ruth as an undue burden; rather he takes full responsibility for her and brings about her redemption.
“Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, ‘You are witnesses this day that I have bought from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and to Mahlon. Also Ruth the Moabite, the widow of Mahlon, I have bought to be my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brothers and from the gate of his native place. You are witnesses this day.’”
This is the pinnacle moment, the climax of the story, the single event towards which all the others were working. This is the redemption of Ruth!
But…it doesn’t feel that exciting, does it?
As I was studying and reflecting upon this section of text, I kept feeling a bit of a let down. Almost like the dramatic ending and exciting moment of redemption that I’d been expecting never came to fruition. Seriously, this moment—the redemption of Ruth, the point of the story—consists of Boaz making two statements. How boring! How simple!
Then, as I was prayerfully seeking the Lord for His revelation, it came. The significance, power, and awesomeness of this event finally sunk in.
As Boaz stands in the legal court of his day and claims responsibility for Ruth’s redemption, he lists the history and social status of all those belonging to Ruth and Naomi’s family—Elimelech, Mahlon, and Chilion. He references Ruth as a Moabite and widow, two titles that have brought hardship and grief to her life. But this is the last time those two terms would be used to identify her! In fact the names of Elimelech, Mahlon, and Chilion are never again mentioned in Scripture. From this point forward, Ruth’s identity was no longer associated with her past. She was no longer considered the widow of Mahlon or a Moabite, rather she was hereafter called Boaz’s wife.
This is a beautiful thing and the core essence of redemption! Not only was Ruth and her property under new lordship and ownership, but she was also gaining a new identity. The former realities of her life were being replaced with a new status.
Notice, however, that this didn’t happen with a lot of fanfare or fuss, but rather in a simple almost rudimentary act of legal work. Boaz was merely claiming the property of the deceased and taking upon himself the responsibility of Ruth. Ruth wasn’t even present for this huge shift. She was at home patiently waiting for her redeemer to bring about her redemption. She had no part or responsibility in the matter. Everything came about through Boaz.
Similarly, our Redeemer doesn’t need our help in the redemption process. Often we try to help God do the “best” thing when we should instead stay home and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. He’s the One who accomplishes the work, who stands in our place in the courtroom of God, claiming us as His own. For just as Boaz stood in the city gates to claim Ruth as his and give her a new identity, so also Christ stands in the throne room of God declaring us before the Father as bought, redeemed, and new.
We are no longer linked to our past failures, sorrows, and sins, but are co-heirs with Christ and sons and daughters of the living God. No longer is our name foreigner, alienated from God, but loved, cherished, and adored. Praise the Lord!
However, all this did not come without cost. While we don’t know the monetary price Boaz had to pay for Ruth’s redemption, our ransom price was one perfect life. One life lived in perfection, holiness, and absolute righteousness before the Father, and then willingly sacrificed and given for us. It was no ordinary price, no simple act or easily accomplished deed. Nor was it measured in ounces, coins, or currency. The price of our redemption was innocent blood poured out for us.
Most would consider it too high a cost and not worth the sacrifice. But our Redeemer didn’t. He willingly paid our ransom and brought about our redemption even at the sacrifice of His own life. What a beautiful Savior!
So now the question for us is…have we embraced our new identity in Christ? Are we living as God’s redeemed children? Or do we take lightly the sacrifice of our Savior?
May we never lose sight of the cross and Who took our place and paid our ransom with His blood. And may we never forget that just like Ruth we are no longer a Moabite or foreigner, but now a beloved child of God. So live like it!
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
~I Peter 2:9
Are you now excited and fired up about Ruth’s redemption?! Do you see the significance of Boaz’s statements? What other thoughts/truths did the Lord bring to your mind and heart when you read Ruth 4:9-10?