This whole kinsman redeemer thing is blowing my mind wide open! Unchallenged!
The book of Ruth is a foreshadowing of the Christ to come in that, Ruth comes from a defiled nation and we are a defiled nation. Boaz redeems her. Christ redeems us. Christ is our Redeemer and -as Spurgeon says- our glorious Boaz.
The thing that has me in awe right now is the idea of Boaz, an earthly redeemer and what that says about Christ. An earthly man can be an earthly redeemer (thus modeling Christ) to a woman who is fatherless, disabled, been raped, abused or defiled in some way, abandoned, a single mother or a widow. The idea of marriage being a picture of Christ and the church is so beautiful, and to think more on the depth of redemption that can come with it is staggering! Jesus alone can save as Redeemer, however an earthly man can model Christ to be an earthly redeemer. When a man sees something in a woman that is undesirable (we ALL have something) and chooses to love her anyway, he becomes an earthly redeemer.
The fore mentioned women have an opportunity to understand their savior and His redemption in a way that others cannot. These women undergo sufferings as well as being given a proverbial scarlet letter by society. To secular men, these women are prey. Another man has done the work of hurting her, taking her dignity and strength, leaving opportunity for other predators to move in, take what they want and leave.
To the religious man these women are trash. She didn't grow up in a Christian home: she isn't good enough for him. She was involved in some sort of sexual sin: she is defiled and not good enough for him. She doesn't have parents: she hasn't been taught in the ways of righteousness therefore not good enough for him. She is disabled: she isn't good enough for him. She has a child from another man: she isn't good enough for him.
Let me pause here and say that the religious man is missing a gem. James tells us that suffering is counted as joy. Psalm 32 and Romans 4:7 tell us that those whose transgressions are forgiven are blessed. From my own life let me make this observation: there is abundantly more joy in the life of someone who is aware of the depth of their sin and knows God's forgiveness. There is abundantly more joy in the life of someone who leans on Christ in the midst of suffering. The more repentant sin, the more forgiveness given. The more suffering, the more comfort given. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the more covered by grace -whether comfort in suffering or forgiveness in sin- the more sanctified, purified faith, thankful, and joyful the receiver. This could very well be the making of the woman talked about in Psalm 128:3 and Proverbs 12:4; 11:16 and 31. Put that in your pocket and I'll move on.
The wise, godly Christian brother redeemer is aware of her past and sees that Christ's blood is more than sufficient to cover and cleanse her, making her pure and holy. When a man becomes an earthly redeemer and marries a woman like this, he tells everyone around them, "It doesn't matter where she came from, what she has done or been involved with, she loves Jesus, He has saved her, He has cleansed her, He has redeemed her and I love her. I recognize God's work in her and now choose to be a part of redeeming her legacy." I venture to guess that redemption with joy will be a constant part of this couple's life. That is super cool... super-natural too. ;-)
In doing this, men are also acting like Christ. They are taking part as Boaz did:
Boaz was a near kinsman redeemer (a brother in Christ if you will).
Christ became flesh to identify with us and become our near kinsman.
Boaz was able to redeem Ruth.
Christ alone is able to redeem us.
Boaz was not obligated to redeem Ruth but he was willing - he loved her.
Christ is not obligated to redeem us but He is willing - He loves us.
Boaz payed the price of the land to redeem Ruth with his wealth.
Christ payed the price of our sin to redeem us with His life.
Boaz redeems Ruth as a gift.
Christ's redemption is a gift, we do nothing but accept it.
Boaz takes Ruth as his bride, he loves her and has an unbroken on going relationship with her. Christ takes the church, His beloved bride and has an unbroken continual relationship with her.
Boaz not only redeemed Ruth but he also redeemed the land.
Christ will return to redeem us and His earth.
My beloved sisters, if God was able and willing to redeem Ruth, He is willing and able to redeem you. In Matthew chapter one, the genealogy includes five women. First is Tamar, a widow who deceived her father-in-law by dressing as a prostitute to conceive with him (Gen 38). Second is Rahab who was a prostitute (Josh 2, 6). Third is Ruth, a widow and Moabite of whom were forbidden to enter the assembly of the Lord (Deut 23:3). Fourth we have Bathsheba who was an adulteress with King David (2 Sam 12). Lastly we have Mary, mother of Jesus who was thought to be defiled before marriage (Matt 1:18-20). These women were redeemed, either by their husbands or their children but ultimately by God Himself. I am not saying you need a husband and children to be redeemed, I am saying Christ redeems and God in His gracious love has given us an earthly picture of that redemption. In the book of Ruth we are given hope that God may be preparing a Boaz for us and He has already given us our glorious Boaz.