December 27, 2018
“For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” Hebrews 2:16.
The Old Testament book of Ruth is a love story. It’s also an Old Testament picture of a New Testament truth. Naomi had moved from Bethlehem to Moab with her husband and two sons. While in Moab Naomi’s husband died and so did her two sons, who had both married Moabite women. This left her alone, except for her two Moabite daughters-in-law. Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem and because they loved her, Orpah and Ruth, decided to go with her. Eventually Orpah turned back but Ruth continued on to Bethlehem. Naomi was in need of money because property she was entitled to had been sold. It wasn’t a permanent sale because according to Jewish law it would return to the original owner in a jubilee year, but it could also be redeemed by a near kinsman. Naomi needed a kinsman to redeem the property for her. Until that could happen Ruth went into the fields to glean grain which was left behind during harvest. This was a common practice that allowed the needy to have food. Ruth went to a field owned by Boaz, who saw Ruth and took a liking for her. When Naomi found out that Boaz made sure that Ruth was able to glean plenty of food, she came up with a plan. Boaz was a kinsman and was qualified to redeem the property her husband had sold. Boaz fell in love with Ruth and was willing to redeem the land, but there was a kinsman who was a closer relative who would have the right of redemption. Although he was a closer relative he wasn’t willing, so Boaz redeemed the property and married Ruth. Boaz and Ruth were the great-grandparents of King David. “And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.” Ruth 4:21-22. The book is only four chapters long but there are many deep studies that come from it. One is a picture of Jesus Christ, who is our Kinsman Redeemer.
What is a kinsman redeemer? When the Law was given to Moses there was one regarding redemption of property. “If thy brother be waxen poor and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold.” Leviticus 25:25. Not only was land governed by the law of redemption, but if a person owed a debt that he couldn’t repay then he would become a slave to the one he owed money to in order to pay off what he owed. The law assured that a slave would be well treated and slaves could also be redeemed by the next of kin. “After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: either his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself.” Leviticus 25:48-49. A kinsman redeemer had to be the next of kin or a close relative, he had to have the means to pay the price of redemption, and he had to be willing. As described in the Book of Ruth, Boaz was a qualified kinsman, he was able to pay the price of the redemption, and he was willing to do it. This is a picture of Jesus. Boaz is a picture-type of Jesus, Naomi is a picture-type of Israel, and Ruth is a picture-type of the Gentile bride.
Why do we need redemption? “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1. God has always existed and nothing we see existed before God created it. There was no big bang or billions of years of evolution. God spoke the sun, moon, and stars into being. He created fish, birds, animals, and finally He created man in His own image. Jesus is God and He is the Creator of everything. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3.We have no concept of what the world was like at the beginning, but God saw it as good. Then Satan showed up. He lied, Eve was deceived, and Adam chose disobedience. Sin and death entered God’s perfect creation. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” Romans 5:12. God is perfect and the ugliness of sin cannot stand in His presence. Because Adam had sinned there was division which no man could mend. Adam and Eve had attempted to cover their sin by works (covering their nakedness with fig leaves) but God gave them a different covering. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21. Blood sacrifice was the only way to temporarily cover sin. Many years later Jewish Law gave great detail about sacrificing animals as sin offerings. Only animals were to be sacrificed but their blood could never bring full redemption. “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Hebrews 10:4. Even though Adam’s sin brought separation it didn’t stop God from loving people and desiring that the division be repaired. God did have a plan for full redemption.
The first step was to call out Abraham to be the father of the nation of Israel. When that nation was ready He called Moses to lead them to the land God had given to them. Before they entered the Promise Land God gave them the Law to instruct them as to how they should live. They had been in slavery in Egypt for centuries and had been surrounded by that pagan culture. The land they were about to enter was also filled with pagans who sacrificed humans and worshipped idols. The Israelites needed to be separate from the idol worshipping Gentiles and learn to live by God’s standards. Make no mistake, Christians today also need to turn from the pagan practices that surround us. The Law was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai and the Jewish way of life was established. The rituals and sacrifices were works and nobody is saved by works, but it served as a teacher. “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” Galatians 3:24-25. The Law gave instruction about how to live to please God, but nobody could ever perfectly conform to the Law. In fact, the Law didn’t even come close to God’s standard of perfection because no human can reach God’s standards.
We need redemption. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23. We just can’t be perfect enough to be able to stand before our perfect God. That’s why Jesus chose to enter His creation. Jesus was fully God and fully human. This was accomplished when the human Mary, who was a virgin, was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. Because Mary was human, Jesus was qualified to be our Kinsman. Because God was the Father of the Child, Jesus’ blood was untainted by the sin that corrupts all of humanity. In this way Jesus met the requirements to be our Kinsman Redeemer. He willingly entered His creation, He was fully human so He was our kin, and He was able to pay the debt that we cannot pay for ourselves by shedding His pure blood as the once for all sacrifice for our sin. He did this because of the pure love He has for us.
The plan of redemption was conceived long ago. When Adam sinned that plan had already been decided upon. Long before the Law was given, Job proclaimed “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” Job19:25-27. The seed of Abraham was chosen bring the Redeemer into the world and the Law was given to show God’s standards. Even then God knew that they would reject their Messiah. Because they rejected Him salvation was made available to anyone who accepts His sacrifice. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28. Salvation is only through Jesus’ shed blood and it’s free for the asking.
Have you accepted His sacrifice? There’s no doubt that you’ve sinned, as have I. You can receive forgiveness for your sins and receive eternal life just by asking. First, admit you’re a sinner. Even though we justify our own sins by making excuses, there’s no excuse. We cannot be good enough by our own merit to stand before God. This may not matter to you now, but one day you will die. If you haven’t accepted Christ for salvation you won’t have a second chance. Your eternity will have been decided by your own choice. When you accept Christ, you must believe. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10, From the moment you honestly and truly believe then God no longer sees you through the ugliness of the sin in your life, but your sins have been forgiven because of faith in the shed blood of Jesus. That’s really all there is to it, but keep in mind that your confession of faith should bring a change in your life. A new believer can’t know every sin they’ve ever committed. They don’t really know what sin is. That’s where Bible study comes in. Scripture is for our edification. New believers need to be mentored by those who are mature Christians. Even mature Christians still sin and are still learning to follow Christ. We need to mold our life around Christ and not try to mold Him to us. All sin can be forgiven, but it needs to be confessed. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. There’s no sin you’ve committed that is so bad that it can’t be forgiven. Confess your sin, ask Him to forgive you, then turn away from that sin.
Jesus is the only way of salvation. Jesus is our Kinsman Redeemer.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at our Home Page under the Newsletter Archive tab.
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