Kinsman Redeemer

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

Ruth 3:12-13 (NIV)
Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I. Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to do his duty as your guardian-redeemer, good; let him redeem you. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning.”

Ruth 3:12-13(MSG)
You’re right, I am a close relative to you, but there is one even closer than I am. So stay the rest of the night. In the morning, if he wants to exercise his customary rights and responsibilities as the closest covenant redeemer, he’ll have his chance; but if he isn’t interested, as God lives, I’ll do it. Now go back to sleep until morning.”
“It is true that I am your close relative and redeemer; however, there is a relative closer [to you] than I. Spend the night [here], and in the morning if he will redeem you, fine; let him do it. But if he does not wish to redeem you, then, as the Lord lives, I will redeem you. Lie down until the morning.” -AMPLIFIED

Boaz has heard Ruth’s proposal and now he takes the time to reassure her. He tells her that he is not the closest relative who can be the kinsman redeemer. There is, in fact, another who is closer, but the next day Boaz promises that he will go to that relative and see if he is interested in doing his duty as the kinsman redeemer.

We then find Boaz using some very strong words to encourage Ruth. He says, “But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it.” This is a solemn promise of commitment, a binding oath for any Jew.

Now we really need to understand what being a kinsman redeemer entails. If an Israelite came to the place in their life where they were in financial trouble and had to lease out their family’s land, their legacy and heritage, or worse, had to sell their family members as indentured servants; we find that God had made provision for these times.

The Hebrew term of a kinsman redeemer was “Goel” and translates to this, “to redeem”. The kinsman-redeemer was one who was designated to deliver, rescue, redeem, property or a person. This kinsman who redeemed or vindicated a relative is illustrated most distinctly in the book of Ruth.

The Voice Translation’s footnote for our text brings some deeper understanding for us. “This system reflects God’s relationship with Israel; God continually saves His people from subservience to other nations. Since both Naomi and Ruth are widows without male sons, they are left in poverty. Naomi will have to lease out her husband’s land to support them, and she may eventually have to sell herself and Ruth just to stay fed. By redeeming Elimelech’s land, marrying Ruth, and eventually giving her a son, Boaz keeps the family intact as it would have been had Elimelech or either of his sons survived.”

Yahweh, “I AM”, WAS Israel’s Redeemer. He was the One who had not only freed them from Egypt, but the One who had protected them from the surrounding nations; defending them and looking after them continuously along the way to their Promised Land. God calls Himself Israel’s Redeemer in Isaiah’s prophecies time and time again. “This is what the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit (benefit), Who leads you in the way that you should go.” -Isaiah 48:17 (AMP)

In the New Testament Jesus is looked upon as the Kinsman Redeemer. In fact, the love story of Ruth and Boaz is a foreshadowing of Jesus’s love story for all of mankind and His willingness to be our Kinsman Redeemer.

“In the New Testament, Christ is often regarded as an example of a kinsman-redeemer because, as our brother (Hebrews 2:11), He also redeems us because of our great need, one that only He can satisfy. In Ruth 3:9, we see a beautiful and poignant picture of the needy supplicant, unable to rescue herself, requesting of the kinsman-redeemer that he cover her with his protection, redeem her, and make her his wife. In the same way, the Lord Jesus Christ bought us for Himself, out of the curse, out of our destitution; made us His own beloved bride; and blessed us for all generations. He is the true kinsman-redeemer of all who call on Him in faith.” -K. Lawson Younger Jr. “Judges and Ruth: NIV Application Commentary”

Turning back to Boaz and Ruth, we find after Boaz reassures Ruth that he encourages her to lie down and go back to sleep until morning. He was at peace with his decision and he wanted Ruth to be at peace with it too. Boaz was leaving the outcome of the matter in God’s hands; the best place that it could be. There was nothing else that they could do about the matter in the middle of the night; and worrying about it would not resolve anything. Best leave it all in the hands of God and rest in His decisions.

All Ruth can do at this time is lay back down and try to rest. She has made her proposal, according to Naomi’s plan. She has done all that she can do; now she has to wait and see how things will work out. (I am sure we have all been in this situation before!)Now she patiently waits and trusts that God will bring about His good will in His good time.

My Prayer:
My Kinsman Redeemer, my Lord and Savior, thank you for seeing my dire situation and coming to my rescue. You have redeemed me from the grips of sin and paid the debt that I could never pay; You have made our love story possible. You as the Groom and your children as the Bride. Thank you for always being there for me and loving me, Lord. Your love is amazing and I am looking forward to our Wedding Day!


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