Do you ever wonder who would take care of you if you lost everything you owned? Depending upon your situation, you may or may not have ever had this thought.
But, in the early days of Israel, widows and orphans lived with this dread every day.
That’s why I’m so impressed with Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi. As you’ve read in earlier passages, they lost everything; everything that is except their faith in God.
So, let’s take a look at how Naomi convinced her daughter-in-law to seek out a kinsman redeemer to take care of her.
What is a Kinsman Redeemer? Naomi Chooses Boaz to Take Care of Ruth
Even Wiki didn’t show a search result for the term, “kinsman redeemer” but I believe we can discover the meaning simply.
Hierarchy of the Kinsman Redeemer
Basically, when a woman’s husband died, she was left with very little means of support. The death left her few choices..
- She could beg in the streets
- Turn to prostitution
- Or, find a kinsman redeemer to step in and marry her.
Normally, the kinsman redeemer was a brother of the deceased husband. If he had no brothers, the next nearest kin was eligible.
But, the qualified relative didn’t have to take on this duty. He could refuse as we’ll see when we later read chapter 4 of Ruth.
Also, you can read more about this law in Deuteronomy 25:5-10.
I found this chapter so interesting, I’m posting all of chapter 3 below. I believe you’ll want to read it all too!
Ruth’s Kinsman Redeemer Boaz – Ruth 3:1-18
Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you?
Now is not Boaz our kinsman, with whose maids you were?
Behold, he winnows barley at the threshing floor tonight.
Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.
It shall be when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies, and you shall go and uncover his feet and lie down; then he will tell you what you shall do.”
She said to her, “All that you say I will do.”
So she went down to the threshing floor and did according to all that her mother-in-law had commanded her.
When Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain; and she came secretly, and uncovered his feet and lay down.
It happened in the middle of the night that the man was startled and bent forward; and behold, a woman was lying at his feet.
He said, “Who are you?”
And she answered, “I am Ruth your maid.
So spread your covering over your maid, for you are a close relative.”
Then he said, “May you be blessed of the Lord, my daughter.
You have shown your last kindness to be better than the first by not going after young men, whether poor or rich.
Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.
Now it is true I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I.
Remain this night, and when morning comes, if he will redeem you, good; let him redeem you.
But if he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the Lord lives. Lie down until morning.”
So she lay at his feet until morning and rose before one could recognize another; and he said, “Let it not be known that the woman came to the threshing floor.”
Again he said, “Give me the cloak that is on you and hold it.”
So she held it, and he measured six measures of barley and laid it on her.
Then she went into the city. When she came to her mother-in-law, she said, “ How did it go, my daughter?”
And she told her all that the man had done for her.
She said, “These six measures of barley he gave to me, for he said, ‘Do not go to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’”
Then she said, “Wait, my daughter, until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today.” ~ Ruth 3 NASB
Boaz is Believable – Are We?
One reason Naomi was so certain Boaz would follow through was that he had a reputation for doing what he said.
When Boaz told Ruth “If he does not wish to redeem you, then I will redeem you, as the Lord lives.”, Naomi knew he would find a solution.
Do We Keep Our Word?
Don’t know if this is the case today but, I once knew of an old attorney’s trick to make sure witnesses would show up for court. It goes something like:
Lawyer: Can you be here at 3PM on Monday?
Witness: I should be able to make it.
Lawyer: Do I have your word on it?
This is the catcher! Most people will not give their word unless they plan to follow through.
But, people like Boaz kept their word in every circumstance. This made him a pillar of the community and worthy of Naomi’s trust.
Now, I’m thinking, do I always keep my word? I certainly try and hope you do too.
As people of Christ, others look at us in a different light. Let’s try to show others they can put their trust in Christians.
Our Kinsman Redeemer?
Ruth, as did others in the Bible, believed a kinsman redeemer would take the place of her provider.
But, what about our kinsman redeemer? Do we have one? Certainly!
Our kinsman redeemer is Jesus Christ. We owed a debt we could not pay. So, He went to the cross, died, and rose on the third day to redeem us of our sin.
Boaz didn’t have to die. Jesus did. This shows the everlasting love He has for us – even though we don’t deserve it.
So, let’s take a moment and thank God for taking care of us now; and for eternity.
If you would like to discover the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to go here.