Ruth 4:3 – 6 “Then he said to the kinsman-redeemer, ‘Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our brother Elimelech. I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line.’ ‘I will redeem it,’ he said. Then Boaz said, ‘On the day you buy the land from Naomi and from Ruth the Moabitess, you acquire the dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead man’s property.’ At this, the kinsman-redeemer said, ‘Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.”
This unknown kinsman was very interested in Naomi’s land. Notice that he was ready to jump at the chance to purchase it! His head was probably spinning at all the possibilities . . . he could plant some extra crops, make some extra money . . . and since Naomi had no heirs, the land would stay in his family even at the year of jubilee, when all land was returned to the original owner. He was the closest relative. He had a legal right to the land.
But notice how quickly he backed down when he learned he had to marry Ruth, as well. In Hebrew culture, it was very important to keep one’s bloodline pure. He didn’t want to pollute his bloodline by marrying a Moabitess. It would complicate things. And so he said, “Never mind.”
This kinsman-redeemer represents the one way we can get to heaven without Christ. There is a way, you know. Now, I can hear many of you screaming heresy, even as I type. But the truth is, there is a way to get to heaven without Christ, and that is the law. IF we can live perfectly under God’s laws, IF we can live spotless, sinless lives, IF we can remain totally unpolluted by this world and by Satan’s schemes, then God will welcome us into His heaven.
But there’s the catch. That little word, “IF”. The Bible tells us that ALL of us have sinned. Not one of us can be redeemed by the law, because we have all broken God’s laws many times over. We have all had impure thoughts, said unkind things, we have all been disobedient to God. It is our very nature to sin, to rebel against God. And so, though we technically COULD be redeemed by the law, none of us will be. We have all been polluted.
Boaz, on the other hand, represents grace. He loved Ruth. He didn’t care that she wasn’t Jewish. He didn’t care that he would “pollute” his bloodline by marrying her. He just loved her, and he wanted to redeem her, and so he did. And Ruth, the Moabitess, was a great-great (many greats) grandmother to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It was as if God wanted to prove a point by bringing this sweet Gentile woman into His family. His grace is sufficient for all of us. Where the law fails, grace succeeds.
Friends, listen closely. Satan is still trying, to this day, to convince people that they have to be perfect. He wants us to believe that if we mess up, then we will never be good enough for God, so why bother? He wants us to believe that being perfectly obedient to God’s laws is the only way to heaven.
But God knows every detail of our lives! He knows we have been polluted by sin, and He loves us anyway! He has redeemed us, simply because He is in love with us! He proved that love by sending His Son to pay the price for our sin. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He just wants us to love Him back. And the way that we prove our love to Him is by living according to His laws – not out of obligation, but out of gratitude!
Have you been struggling to be good enough for God? Forget that. It will never happen. Instead, just focus on the love relationship that God wants to have with you. Live your life to please the One who loves you more than anything. Live your life to say “thank You” to Him. When you mess up, say, “I’m sorry,” and then get back on track. When you do this, your relationship with your Redeemer will turn into a beautiful, unending love story.
Dear Father, Thank You for Your grace, which covers all my inadequacies. I want to live my life as one big “thank You” for Your love.