The story of Ruth is a fascinating glimpse into the life of the Jewish people in the time of the judges. Through this book, we are introduced to the Kinsman-Redeemer, a title that has immediate impact on us who follow Jesus Christ.
Ruth, honorably giving up her livelihood and possibly even her life out of love for her mother-in-law Naomi (Mara), cannot free herself from the trouble God has put her in. As a widow, she had no way of gaining a livelihood besides marriage, and few would marry a widow, especially a Moabite widow. Her only other option was to rely on her in laws to support her, but since Naomi was also a widow with no means of supporting herself, they were doomed to rely on the generosity and mercy of others. This was no way to live.
But along comes Boaz. As the second-nearest relative, a kinsman, he was in a position to save them, to marry Ruth and provide an heir who would be her support in her old age. And so he did, honoring Ruth’s sacrifice for Naomi. He even went out of his way to entice the nearest relative to relinquish his claim of redemption.
Our sin has put us in an even more dangerous position than Ruth and Naomi’s. While they would lose their lives if not redeemed, we are in danger of the very flames of hell due to our sinful nature. It would take the redemption of our nearest kinsman to save us. And God, in His mercy, sent His son Jesus to be our brother (Heb 2:11) and nearest kinsman. Then it was up to Him to redeem us, and redeem us He did. By paying the price for our sin, He redeemed us and gave us a new life. This is the message of Easter, of the Cross and Resurrection, and of our faith.