Redeemed! Redeemed! (2)
Last time we looked at how Boaz wasted no time in finding the “Other Guy” that could potentially redeem Ruth and the land that belonged to Elimelech. Boaz was a man of integrity and did not want to cut any corners during this process… He wanted to make sure that his marriage to Ruth was, first of all, the will of God... and secondly, He wanted to make sure that it was God honoring.
This other guy, at first, said that he would redeem the land. But when he found out that he would have to redeem Ruth as well and give her a son to carry on the name of her late husbands family, he right away 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.”...
This man knew that taking her into his home and raising up her children would “ruin his own inheritance.” The problem of dividing that inherit-ance among future children he would have with Ruth was more than he wanted to deal with.
Not to mention if this man was already married (and he probably was) then he knew that it would be awkward (at best) to bring home Ruth as wife number two.
There is also a racial consideration that in raising up an heir through a union with Ruth would produce a child of mixed blood, a child with Moabite blood.
As I said last time… Redemption is “all or nothing”… This guy wanted the land, he wanted all of the reward with none of the responsibility… and he tell Boaz...“you can redeem it”… and that is where we pick up our study this morning… (Read 4:7-12)…
The first thing that I want you to see this morning is…
1. The Sign of Redemption
1. The Sign of Redemption
vv.7-8 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging, to confirm anything: one man took off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was a confirmation in Israel. Therefore the close relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” So he took off his sandal.
The writer says, “it was the custom in former times in Israel” to confirm a transaction by the removing of a sandal… Today, for every piece of property that you own, you should have a deed. Back then, a wealthy land owner would have a filing cabinet full of sandals...
The ceremony is described in Deuteronomy 25 for when a kinsman declined his responsibility. The one declining removed a sandal and the woman he declined to honor spat in his face... Fortunately for this man, no lack of honor was involved, because there was another kinsman who was willing to redeem, and therefore, they just did the part of the ceremony involving the sandal.
One commentator said “The passing of the sandal symbolized Boaz’s right to walk on the land as his property”
Interesting observation… This other guy did not want to redeem Ruth because it might ruin his family name… the funny thing is, his family name wasn’t even mentioned in this account and after he gives up his sandal, he is never spoken of again... But here we are… Thousands of years later… Talking about Boaz and Ruth… It is accounts like this that reveal the fact that we can trust in the promises God gives us in His Word…
1 John 2:17
17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
This “other guy” was worried about himself, and his worldly possessions…he passes away... and is never spoken of again... But Boaz chose to follow God’s leading and his name is now spoken of with honor…
Listen folks… as the quote goes… “this one life will soon be passed… only what’s done for Christ will last!”… (Read verse, on screen, again)
After this transaction took place between Boaz and this other guy… Ruth’s Redemption was confirmed… And The Second thing that I want you to see this morning is that…
2. Redemption was Proclaimed
2. Redemption was Proclaimed
look at v.9… “And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, from the hand of Naomi.”
I don’t think it took Boaz two seconds after this other guy said “you redeem it”, to say “I will redeem it!!” … Boaz wanted to ensure that all who knew of Ruth and her situation were aware of her redemption. He was basically proclaiming that Ruth’s debt had been settled and that he had the right to take her as his wife.
Jesus, also proclaimed our redemption. The day that He hung, in agony, on the cross. And just before He gave up His Spirit, He said… “It is Finished”…
The phrase “It is Finished” actually comes from one Greek word, “tetelestai,” which is the same word that means “paid in full.” Often, it was used in an accounting term, which indicates a debt was paid. The uniqueness about the way it was written is that the tense of the word indicates both a point in time it was complete and that it would also continue to be complete or finished. And this is the essence of what Christ came to do… He came to “finish” God’s work of salvation in us... He came to “pay it in full,” the entire penalty, or debt, for our sins… And, in many powerful ways, He is still at work in our world today.
“Redeemed, How I love to proclaim it!”
3. Redemption was Purchased
3. Redemption was Purchased
v. 10a “Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired (Bought, Purchased) as my wife...”
Boaz had fully redeemed Ruth, paying her debt in full. No longer would she have to worry about owing a debt that she could not pay. Her account was marked “paid in full” according to the mercy and provision of Boaz.
We too owed a debt that we could never hope to pay. Jesus paid that debt and marked our account paid in full. We are set free in Him… As I serve Christ, I am not seeking to work my way to heaven. I am not trying to purchase my salvation. Scripture assures me that my debt has been paid.
J. Vernon Mcgee, tells a story that illustrates this point so very well...
In your mind go back in time about 160 years to the days before the Civil War. Imagine you are visiting one of the great cities of the South like Savannah, Atlanta, Birmingham, Jackson or New Orleans. As you approach the center of town you hear a commotion as a crowd gathers for a public auction and you gather round to watch the proceedings. The first thing you notice in the crowd is an crude, foulmouthed, loud, boisterous man who you know, by reputation only, as the meanest, cruelest, most hateful man around.
You also notice in the crowd another man who stands out for his dignity, gentle mannerisms and soft-spoken tone, and recognize him also by his reputation as a most kind, gentle, and gracious man. Both men, along with the crowd wait for the auction to begin.
Finally the auctioneer steps to the podium and begins rattling his words as the first item to be sold is brought to the auction block. There before you is a beautiful young black girl, about 20 years of age. Her dress is old and torn, but remarkably clean. She is obviously filled with anxiety and fear as the bidding begins.
From the start, the loud obnoxious man seemed to have his evil, lustful eyes set on this lovely, innocent, young lady. She obviously knew of his reputation and cringed in fear as he opened the bidding.
When the kind gentleman saw her fear, he too placed a bid. Soon only these two men were involved in the bidding as the price of the girl rose higher and higher... Finally the evil man bowed out of the bidding when he realized that the price of the girl was more than he was willing to pay.
When the auctioneer closed the bidding the kind gentleman paid the price for his purchase, he was then handed the Bill-of-Sale and turned to leave... The young girl started to follow her new master.
He then turned to her and asked, “Where are you going?” “Why, I’m going with you,” she responded; “You bought me and I belong to you.”
“O! You misunderstood,” the man said, “I didn’t buy you to make you my slave, I bought you to set you free.”
Then he took the Bill-of-Sale and wrote across in big bold letters – FREE! – signed his name and gave it to the girl.
“I don’t understand,” the girl said. “You mean I am FREE!” “Yes, you are FREE!” ‘I can go wherever I want and do as I please.” “Exactly, You are FREE!”
“Mister, I don’t know who you are, but no one has ever shown such love and kindness to me. If I am free to do as I please, nothing would please me more than to go with you and serve you till the day I die.”
And that day she went home with Abraham Lincoln, not as his slave, but as his willing servant...
While this story may be true, my guess is that it is only an analogy. However, it very clearly and precisely illustrates the great doctrine of Redemption! It tells the story of our slavery to Satan and sin; the cruel intentions of the enemy of our soul; and the gracious purchase, at an incredible price, by Jesus Christ; not to make us His slave, but to set us free. How could we respond in any other way than to say, “If you love me that much, I’ll serve you forever!”
Our Redemption was purchased...
“Redeemed How I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb...”
4. Redemption was Permanent
4. Redemption was Permanent
v.10 goes on to say… “Moreover, Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of Mahlon, I have acquired as my wife, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance, that the name of the dead may not be cut off from among his brethren and from his position at the gate. You are witnesses this day.”…
There would be no fear of bill collectors showing up in the future. Boaz had settled Ruth’s debt once and for all. This was declared, accepted and witnessed in the eyes of the elders... Ruth could now marry Boaz without the fear of future despair. Her past would no longer be remembered.
For those of us that have placed our faith in Christ and accepted His free gift of Salvation… We are secure... The adversary may come and seek to discourage us, bringing up our past, but the account has been forever settled. Our sins have been buried in the sea of God’s forgetfulness, never to be remembered again! We don’t have to meet a certain standard in order to keep our Salvation. We can’t lose it because it is secure in the Lord’s hand. He has given it and no man can take it away!
This is exactly what we talked about two weeks ago in our Sunday evening service… and just to give you a tid bit of what we looked at, turn over to John 10… (Read vv. 28-30)… Notice that both the Father and the Son are firmly holding the believer…
Those who do not believe in Eternal Security would argue “Yes, no man can pluck them out of God’s hand, but Satan could… However, v.29 says "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all…” (Except Satan??)... Is Satan stronger than the grip of God the Father and the Son??... no! it says “and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”... Redemption was and still is Permanent!
“Redeemed, How I love to proclaim it,
Redeemed By the blood of the Lamb,
Redeemed through His infinite mercies,
His Child and forever I am...”
5. Redemption was Praised
5. Redemption was Praised
Back to Ruth 4… vv. 11-12 “And all the people who were at the gate, and the elders, said, “We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel; and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the LORD will give you from this young woman.”
Those who were present that day offered Boaz and Ruth the richest of blessing. They declared their desire for peace and abundance in their home. They were hoping that Boaz and Ruth would have a great number of offspring and overall... The whole town was pleased with what had taken place that day.
The mentioning of “the house of Perez”, who was the son of Judah and Tamar, would seem insignificant if you were to just read through this account. And, to be honest, until last Sunday, that was the mentality that I was in… Until someone pointed out the significance of it, and throughout my study this week, I realized just how Perez, Judah and Tamar fit in…
You see, I was going back to Leviticus and Deuteronomy to look at the law of a Levirate marriage, when in actuality, Perez is the child of the very first time this principle is mentioned in the Bible. You can find that account in Genesis 38… We won’t take the time to go there this morning as it is a lengthy passage and quite detailed in how the whole process went down...
But I will say this… Perez was the first born of twins by Tamar… And he became the main ancestor of the Ephrathites and Bethlehemites, which were two people groups that were blessed by God… The people were praising Boaz for redeeming Ruth and they were equally excited for Ruth and her new found Redemption.
Redemption brings rejoicing in heaven as well. Heaven rejoices when a lost sinner comes to know the Lord. Christ is speaking in Luke 15:10 and He said “...I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” The angels are aware of the price that was paid and the worthiness of the Lamb. The heavens desire us to prosper in our relationship with Christ... They want us to be fruitful and multiply for Him.
Have you been redeemed this morning?... Christ has paid the price for your sin, He has done His part in providing for our redemption… Have you done yours? Have you repented of your sin and accepted His free gift of Salvation?… Could you truly sing...
I’ve been Redeemed, by love divine,
Glory glory, Christ is mine,
All to Him, I now resign,
I have been redeemed! ...
It is my prayer that we can all confidently say “I have been redeemed!”