Faithlife Sermons

Jesus: Our Kinsman Redeemer

This morning’s sermon is taken from Ruth 2 and Ruth 3. I do not have time this morning to read these two chapters in their entirety, therefore, I will read three portions and briefly summarize the rest. I encourage you to read these chapters when you get home today. We begin with the first three verses of chapter two:
Ruth 2:1–3 ESV
Now Naomi had a relative of her husband’s, a worthy man of the clan of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favor.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” So she set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech.
Ruth is favorably received by Boaz, for he had heard of all she had done for Naomi and considered her a “virtuous women”. This word “virtuous” is the same Hebrew word used Proverbs 31 for the “virtuous” women. Moreover, it so happens, that in the Hebrew Bible, the book of Ruth is found right after the Book of Proverbs. In other words, the Jews believed that Ruth was a living example of Proverbs 31!
Now let us continue at verse seventeen:
Ruth 2:17–20 ESV
So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she beat out what she had gleaned, and it was about an ephah of barley. And she took it up and went into the city. Her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She also brought out and gave her what food she had left over after being satisfied. And her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? And where have you worked? Blessed be the man who took notice of you.” So she told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, “The man’s name with whom I worked today is Boaz.” And Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the Lord, whose kindness has not forsaken the living or the dead!” Naomi also said to her, “The man is a close relative of ours, one of our redeemers.”
Ruth continued to glean in the fields of Boaz for several weeks, then in chapter three we read these words:
Ruth 3:1–11 ESV
Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, should I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you? Is not Boaz our relative, with whose young women you were? See, he is winnowing barley tonight at the threshing floor. Wash therefore and anoint yourself, and put on your cloak and go down to the threshing floor, but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. But when he lies down, observe the place where he lies. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down, and he will tell you what to do.” And she replied, “All that you say I will do.” So she went down to the threshing floor and did just as her mother-in-law had commanded her. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then she came softly and uncovered his feet and lay down. At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and behold, a woman lay at his feet! He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” And he said, “May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman.
It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, in the story of Ruth, God has given a picture of our condition without Christ and how Christ has redeemed us for Himself and His Father. Last Sunday, I briefly introduced the character of Boaz. Boaz, who is the kinsman redeemer, is a pivotal figure in the story; until Boaz entered the picture Naomi and Ruth had no hope for the future.
The same is true for us as well,...

Just Like Ruth, Without a Redeemer We Have No Hope

Ruth and Naomi’s circumstances were more grim than most modern readers appreciate. Most modern readers focus on their physical predicament and are ignorant of or chose to ignore their spiritual predicament.
Do not get me wrong, their physical predicament was dire. Without husbands and sons, they had little security physically. Beyond the daily requirement for food and shelter, there was the constant danger of assault. However, their real concern was being cut off from the commonwealth of Israel. It was this danger that the institution of the kinsman redeemer was ordained by God to address. In Deuteronomy 25, we read these words:
Deuteronomy 25:5–6 ESV
“If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel.
Notice that the real concern here was not the physical care of the widow, but rather that the family name not be “blotted out of Israel”. What is going on here?
You cannot answer that question unless you understand the biblical concept of typology.
The word “typology” comes from the Apostles teaching that the people, places and things in the Old Covenant, serves as “types and shadows” of the greater realities found in the new. The family name and allotment of land has a far greater significance than would normally be the case. Ones name being enrolled in the commonwealth of Israel pointed to their name being enrolled in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27) and their inheritance of land pointed to their inheriting eternal life in the New Heaven and New Earth (Hebrews 3:7-7, Revelation 21:1-22:5). To be “cut off from Israel” meant to be cut off from Christ and all of the New Covenant promises! Of the Gentiles, Paul writes:
Ephesians 2:11–12 ESV
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
Jesus said, “Salvation comes from the Jews” (John 4:22) and the Apostle Paul describes the salvation of Gentiles as being “grafted into Israel” (Romans 11:17-24).
I am not suggesting that believing Jews such as Jeremiah or Daniel, who lost their ancestral lands lost their salvation, I am saying however, that the loss of a family’s inheritance was a picture of losing ones salvation. Therefore, it was taken very seriously. The image Paul paints of Gentiles being “without hope and God in the world”, is an accurate one. It is the spiritual state of everyone who does not have faith in Jesus Christ, because as the Apostles preached:
Acts 4:12 ESV
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
This all important role that Jesus plays in our salvation brings us to the person of Boaz, who as a kinsman redeemer points us to Christ and His ministry of redemption.

Just Like Ruth, God Has Provided Us With a Redeemer

Make no mistake, it was God who provided Naomi and Ruth with a kinsman redeemer, not only did God provide the institution of the kinsman redeemer, God by His providential hand guided Ruth to the fields of Boaz.
The book of Ruth opens by telling the reader that this story takes place during “the time of the judges” (Ruth 1:1). This was a lawless time “when everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:5). Twice in chapter two we are reminded Ruth was in danger of being sexually assaulted. It was no accident that Ruth so happened to find herself in the fields of Boaz who is described as a “worthy” man, but not only that, we are told he is a near relative of Ruth’s deceased father-in-law, Elimelech. As such, he was eligible to be a kinsman redeemer.
Just like Boaz, Jesus made Himself one of our near relatives.
Hebrews 2:11–17 ESV
For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again, “Behold, I and the children God has given me.” Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
It is not by accident that the church is called “the bride of Christ” (Eph 5:25-27, 2 Cor 11:2, Rev 19:7-8). Christ takes us as sinners who have been cast out of God’s Holy Land, whose name has been blotted out of His Book of Life, “without hope and without God in the world” and has redeemed us with His blood and made us His own. Scripture says He has given us a “new name” (Rev 2:17), an inheritance “that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading, kept in heaven for us” (1 Peter 1:4-5).
All this and more can be yours in Christ if you but humbly place yourself at the feet of Jesus as Ruth placed herself at the feet of Boaz.

Just Like Ruth, We Must Place Ourselves at the Feet of Our Redeemer

Ruth’s mother-in-law instructed her to put away were widow’s garments, put on her finest garments and place herself at the feet of Boaz.
I hated dating. You try to put your best self forward, all the while running the risk of being rejected.
I can imagine Ruth had every expectation that she would have been rejected that night. She was a poor widow, she had no dowry to offer. She was a foreigner, but not just any foreigner, she was from the hated Moabites!
I am afraid that when it comes to salvation, many, if most people, are fully expect Christ to reject them. Deep down they know they are unworthy to be a bride for Christ, no amount of makeup or perfume can cover up the ugliness and stench of our sin, but Jesus is a “worthy” man like Boaz. He sees beyond our flaws to our potential.
Jesus said:
John 6:37 ESV
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
Jesus is the Kinsman Redeemer that turns none away who come to Him. He is the powerful and loving Husband that is able to take the most defiled bride and restore to her a virginal purity that is “without spot or wrinkle” (Eph 5:25-27)!
Will you not come to Him today?
Let us pray.
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