FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 3/10/2013
Sunday, March 10, 2013
RUTH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 3/10/2013
REDEEMED! HOW I LOVE TO PROCLAIM IT! Lesson 13a
The little book of Ruth begins with a series of tragedies. In Chapter one, there is a Famine, there is a backslidden Family, there are three Funerals, there is great Fear and there is a Final goodbye. We are introduced in chapter 1 to a young widow named Ruth. She is from the land of Moab. Therefore, she is a woman under a curse, (Deut. 23:3). She was no doubt born into idolatry. Yet, by the providence of God, she marries into a family of Israelites. These people, though they are backslidden, introduce young Ruth to Jehovah. Ruth, after the death of her husband, follows her mother-in-law Naomi back to the land of Israel. There, they proceed to try and make a living as best as they can, (Ruth 2:2).
This first portion of Ruth is a sad spectacle. It presents in graphic detail just what happens in lives that are lived outside the will of God! Thankfully, God had plans to help Naomi and Ruth!
Because their husbands were dead, these women had no way of reclaiming the family land. You see, when the children of Israel went in and possessed Canaan, the land was divided up among the 12 tribes. Within these allotments, the land was divided up by families. No man was allowed to sell his land outside his tribe. In the case of financial difficulty, a man might be forced to mortgage his land. In this case, he lost all rights to the land until it had been redeemed by paying off the mortgage, or until the Year of Jubilee, when all debts were cancelled anyway. Apparently, this is what had happened to the land that belonged to Elimelech. As women, Naomi and Ruth had no way of getting back the land that had belonged to their husbands. Thankfully, where man fails, God prevails! Even though these women were helpless, God had already made provision for them.
Here is where the law of the Kinsman-Redeemer comes into play. The Kinsman-Redeemer was a relative who protected the needy members of his family. There were three things that the Kinsman-Redeemer could redeem, or buy back.
A relative sold into slavery – (Lev. 25:47-49).
Preserve the lineage of the family by marrying the widow of a deceased relative and providing an heir to the family possessions, ( Deut. 25:5-6). Children produced from such a union were considered to be the offspring of the deceased man. Land that had been sold outside the family – (Lev. 25:25).
It is against this backdrop of tragedy and trials that we are introduced to a man named Boaz. He is a near kinsman to Naomi's dead husband. In this short, but powerful book, we get to watch as the Kinsman-Redeemer works on behalf of these two poor widows. He willingly exercises the rights and duties of the Kinsman-Redeemer. He makes the difference in their lives and presents for us a thrilling picture of a great Kinsman-Redeemer, the Lord Jesus. In order for a person to be a Kinsman-Redeemer, he had to have three qualifications:
He had to be a near relative.
He had to be willing to redeem.
He had to be able to redeem.
Boaz fulfilled all of these requirements. And, as we shall see, so did the Lord Jesus, our heavenly Redeemer!
Let's focus in a few of the events of this wonderful little book as we think on the idea of “Redeemed! How I Love To Proclaim It”!
V. 4 BOAZ HAD THE RIGHT TO REDEEM
His Right As A Member Of The Family - (His Right By Lineage) - This Kinsman-Redeemer had to be of near kin unto the needy relative. Boaz fulfilled this obligation, (Ruth 2:1; 2:20; 4:4). Since he was a near kinsman, Boaz had every right to intervene for these women.
Jesus, our Kinsman-Redeemer, possesses this right on behalf of the sinner. Why? Because He is near of kin unto us. 2,000 years ago, in the same little town of Bethlehem, Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, spoke His goodbyes to the Father in Heaven and came to this world, not to live as a God among men, but to be born as a man, (John 1:1; 14; Phil. 2:5-8). As a member of the human family, Jesus has the right to be our Redeemer!
There was one of nearer kin than Boaz, (Ruth 4:3-6). However, he refused to do his duty as a redeemer because he did not want to marry Ruth! He knew she was a cursed woman from a cursed people. He knew she had absolutely nothing to offer him. After all, she was poor! This man had the right, but he could not do the job!
So it is with humanity. There are other things around us that promise redemption. Things like the Law and religion, but these things can never deliver! They are powerless to help to the powerless! When the Law sees the sinner, it merely amplifies our inadequacies. When Religion sees the sinner it merely looks at us for what we can give to it. Neither can redeem!
Boaz, on the other hand, knew who Ruth was, (Ruth 2:6). He knew her past. He knew her condition. He knew what she had to offer. He knew about the curse that was on her people. However, he didn't care! You see, unlike the other kinsman, Boaz was like Ruth! Look back at his lineage, (Ruth 4:21; Matt. 1:5). When you look at this, it becomes clear that Boaz wasn't concerned about marring his inheritance, his own mother was a woman of unclean birth. His mother was Rahab the harlot, (Joshua 2)!
So it is with our Redeeming Savior! His own mother was a common sinner like us! Therefore, He has compassion on the lost. The Law makes demands that we can never meet. Religion promises that which it cannot deliver. Jesus, on the other hand, provides what we need, freely and fully!
His Right As A Man Of Faith - (His Right By Law) - Another Reason Boaz did what he did was because the Law of God demanded it. It appears, from reading this book, that Boaz was a godly man. His desire was to carry out the will of God. He was a man of faith.
Again, in this, He pictures the Lord Jesus Who came to this earth willingly to take the place of sinners on the cross. Did He have to? NO! But, in the counsel halls of glory, before the mud seals of this world were ever fashioned, the Godhead knew there would come a day when the world would need a redeemer. When the call was made "Who will go for us?" Jesus Christ responded with, "Here am I, send Me!" This is bared out by (Rev. 13:8), which tells us that Jesus was already dead in the mind of God before the foundation of the world.
You see, the Law demanded death for sin, (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 6:23). Jesus went to the cross for us so that He might discharge the Law of God. He had the right to die in our place because He is family and because He fulfilled the requirements of the Law! He became God’s “Propitiation” and our Redeemer and Savior.
Revelation 2:25 (New King James Version (NKJV)
25 But hold fast what you have till I come.
“REDEEMED” By: Fanny J. Crosby (1882)
Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child and forever I am.
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
His child and forever I am.
Redeemed, and so happy in Jesus,
No language my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell.
I think of my blessèd Redeemer,
I think of Him all the day long:
I sing, for I cannot be silent;
His love is the theme of my song.
I know there’s a crown that is waiting,
In yonder bright mansion for me,
And soon, with the spirits made perfect,
At home with the Lord I shall be.
Father, Most High God! Jesus, Redeemer and Savior! You see our hearts; You know us; and You hear our prayers; yet, You love us and willingly redeemed us. How blessed we are! How grateful we are that when Your see us , You see the righteousness of Christ in us and not the sinner that we are, before we received Jesus as our Redeemer and Savior. Thank You for hearing our prayers, for sending Jesus, The Word, and for seeing and knowing our need for a Savior. Our hearts cry out to You with thanksgiving, for where man has failed, our God has prevailed. These things we pray in Jesus’ blessed name as we approached Your throne of grace. Amen!
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