I love that song.
Our God is a way maker. He is here, working in this place.
And that’s what we’ve been talking about in this series—seeing how God is working in every detail of our lives.
I’m so glad you’re here with us today, both in the room and in our online campus.
Today is our final week in our series on the Book of Ruth called Harvesting a Life of Hope.
We don’t have time to recap the entire story so far, but I’ll hit the most important points as we go.
Over the course of this series, We’ve talked about how to see God’s silent fingerprints in our lives, how we can see where God is working, even when we can’t hear His voice—and how that helps us harvest a life of hope.
Week 1: We harvest a life of hope by evaluating ourselves and seeing God’s work in our crisis.
Week 2: We harvest a life of hope by recognizing and having gratitude for God’s many provisions.
Week 3: We harvest a life of expectant hope by living a life of bold submission.
And practicing each of those actually prepares our hearts for the ultimate way we harvest a life of hope:
We harvest a life of hope by knowing and experiencing the love of our Redeemer.
But that’s a strange word to us, isn’t it? Redeemer? Redemption.
We use it in the church, but What does it mean?
Well, when we last left our heroes, Ruth had proposed to Boaz as their Family (or Kinsman) Redeemer.
And not to ruin the big reveal, but as we walk through the end of their story, we’ll see that this role of the Kinsman Redeemer is actually a reflection of Jesus Christ.
The Hebrew word that’s used throughout this book for Redeemer is gâ˒al (Gaw-el).
Kinsman Redeemer (Hebrew: gâ˒al) n or v: To PURCHASE (or buy back), DELIVER, AVENGE, and RESTORE as a close FAMILY member.
-Christ has PURCHASED our freedom,
-He’s DELIVERED us from our sin,
-Will AVENGE every wrong, and
-He has RESTORED our relationship with God.
But He didn’t just wave His hand and rescue us as a distant God.
He wanted us to be adopted into His family—to give us the same inheritance as Christ.
So, Jesus was born as human being so He could rescue us as a Kinsman Redeemer.
When we hear the word Redeemer or redemption, I think we typically associate it with salvation—going to Heaven.
And that’s true, but redemption doesn’t just give us hope for eternity after we die. It gives us hope here, in this life, today.
So, how do we harvest a life of hope knowing Christ is our Kinsman Redeemer?
Let’s look at Ruth, Chapter 4.
(Turn or swipe there in your Bibles)
You’ll remember we left on a cliffhanger.
Boaz wants to marry Ruth, but there’s a problem. There’s another Kinsman Redeemer that’s more closely related to Naomi and Ruth.
So, Ruth goes home to wait with Naomi and Boaz goes into town to resolve the question. Who will get to marry Ruth?
Boaz went to the town gate and took a seat there. Just then the family redeemer he had mentioned came by, so Boaz called out to him, “Come over here and sit down, friend. I want to talk to you.” So they sat down together. Then Boaz called ten leaders from the town and asked them to sit as witnesses.
Ruth 4:1–2 (NLT)
The town gate represented the law to everyone in Israel.
They had these open rooms with benches near the entrance.
And that’s where all the prominent town leaders, usually the head of each family, would gather to settle all legal matters or disputes.
So that’s where Boaz goes to resolve this problem.
And once again, we see God’s silent Fingerprints at work here.
Remember when the author sort of winked at us when Ruth “just happened” into Boaz’s field on the day Boaz “just happened” to show up?
Well now, Boaz goes to address this issue and the other Kinsman Redeemer “just happens” to show up as Boaz arrives.
And Boaz says, “Come on over and sit down, friend”
But Boaz didn’t actually say “friend.”
He probably called him by name—but the author of this book uses a Rhyming taunt in Hebrew: It’s Paloni Almoni –which is basically means, Mr. So and So, and the phrase also indicates concealment.
So, the author is purposefully not telling us the other Kinsman Redeemer’s name.
We’ll see why in a moment.
So, what does Boaz say to the elders and Mr. So and So?
And Boaz said to the family redeemer, “You know Naomi, who came back from Moab. She is selling the land that belonged to our relative Elimelech. I thought I should speak to you about it so that you can redeem it if you wish. If you want the land, then buy it here in the presence of these witnesses. But if you don’t want it, let me know right away, because I am next in line to redeem it after you.” The man replied, “All right, I’ll redeem it.” (I will gâ˒al it)
Ruth 4:3–4 (NLT)
This looks like a great deal for Mr. So and So.
He knows Naomi isn’t going to produce an heir, so he thinks he can purchase the land and keep it for his own family.
He’ll become richer and all Elimelech’s land will go to this guy’s children.
So, he says. “Absolutely. It’s only the right thing to do as the Kinsman Redeemer.”
But look how clever, Boaz is. Verse 5:
Then Boaz told him, “Of course, your purchase of the land from Naomi also requires that you marry Ruth, the Moabite widow. That way she can have children who will carry on her husband’s name and keep the land in the family.” “Then I can’t redeem it,” the family redeemer replied, “because this might endanger my own estate. You redeem the land; I cannot do it.”
Ruth 4:5–6 (NLT)
Boaz is revealing this guy’s true motives.
Why didn’t Boaz bring this up in the beginning?
His legal approach is very clever.
See, in this case, the Kinsman Redeemer wouldn’t be legally obligated to marry Ruth.
So, Boaz is laying out the case for the law and then introducing compassion into the law.
He’s making a moral stand to go beyond what the law requires.
And notice how Boaz refers to Ruth as “the Moabite.” That’s interesting because he’s never referred to her that way before…
In fact, in Chapter 2 he dismisses the fact that she’s a foreigner.
Boaz is gently exposing this guy’s motives, but also his prejudice.
And why doesn’t Boaz have the same prejudice everyone else in Israel has?
I think it’s because of something about Boaz we don’t find out until the book of Matthew.
Boaz’s mother was Rahab, another Gentile who embraced the God of Israel.
So, God was working before Boaz was even born to prepare his heart for this moment. That’s God’s fingerprints.
When you build real relationships with people who are different from you, it breaks down prejudices and replaces it with compassion.
And Boaz had those relationships his whole life.
Don’t miss this:
The law alone couldn’t save Ruth.
But fulfilling that law
(because the law does need to be fulfilled—completely and perfectly) with sacrifice and compassion could.
And the law can’t redeem us either. But…
We can harvest a life of hope because our redeemer…
- Perfected the LAW in compassion.
We are hopeless under the law, but it must be fulfilled perfectly.
So Christ lived a perfect life on our behalf to fulfill the law.
The Law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent His own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
Romans 8:3 (NLT)
Let’s see what happens next. Verse 7 in our text:
Now in those days it was the custom in Israel for anyone transferring a right of purchase to remove his sandal and hand it to the other party. This publicly validated the transaction. So the other family redeemer drew off his sandal as he said to Boaz, “You buy the land.”
Ruth 4:7–8 (NLT)
That’s weird, right?
Some believe this custom was tied to the way they measured land ownership.
They would survey a property by the distance a man could walk in an hour or a day.
So, by giving up the sandal, it’s like surrendering your right to walk or survey the property.
And this guy got off kind of easy. Because when this custom is laid out in Deuteronomy 25:9, it says the widow had the right to rip the sandal off his foot in front of the elders and spit in his face. That was the law! This was a huge disgrace.
So now we see why Mr. So and So’s name isn’t listed.
In his selfishness to advance his own name, his name has been blotted out.
We have limited time, so I’ll let you draw your own application from that.
This man wanted the title of Kinsman Redeemer without the sacrifice.
But as we just read in Romans 8 a moment ago, our Kinsman Redeemer sacrificed everything.
We can harvest a life of hope because our redeemer…
- Paid a great PRICE.
You cannot redeem something without purchasing it.
Galatians 3:13 says:
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”
Galatians 3:13 (NIV)
The NLT says, When He was hung on the cross, He took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing.
Redemption isn’t just an act of compassion, it’s an act of sacrifice.
And Christ paid an incredible price to purchase our freedom.
What the law could not do,
what the selfishness of mankind could not do, love could.
And we see that (on an earthly level) from Boaz as well. Verse 9:
Then Boaz said to the elders and to the crowd standing around, “You are witnesses that today I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion, and Mahlon. And with the land I have acquired Ruth, the Moabite widow of Mahlon, to be my wife. This way she can have a son to carry on the family name of her dead husband and to inherit the family property here in his hometown. You are all witnesses today.”
Ruth 4:9–10 (NLT)
Boaz was willing to sacrifice what the others were not, to restore Ruth and Naomi.
(And even to restore the name of those they had lost.)
And now, they have a future.
We can harvest a life of hope because our redeemer…
- Provides a FUTURE.
Everyone knows Romans 8:28, right?
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.
Romans 8:28 (NLT)
In the beginning of this book Naomi had no hope.
She couldn’t see God working.
-they’d run from God, practiced idolatry,
-And until they encountered their redeemer, they had no hope for a future.
But when you encounter your Redeemer,
when you experience His compassion and
begin to grasp the price He paid to restore you, you can begin to trust His plan for your future.
The reason we don’t have hope in our lives is because we exchange our Redeemer’s promises for human uncertainty.
Let’s keep reading:
Then the elders and all the people standing in the gate replied, “We are witnesses! May the Lord make this woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, from whom all the nation of Israel descended! May you prosper in Ephrathah [which is another name for Bethlehem] and be famous in Bethlehem. And may the Lord give you descendants by this young woman who will be like those of our ancestor Perez, the son of Tamar and Judah.”
Ruth 4:11–12 (NLT)
So, the town leaders approve the wedding, and everyone rejoices!
Ruth is saved.
Naomi is saved.
And Boaz is a hero with a new future for his own family before Him!
And the elders offer Boaz and Ruth a blessing in the line of Perez.
That’s significant because Perez is a symbol of the tribe of Judah,
But also because his mother, Tamar, was ANOTHER Gentile who was redeemed by a Kinsman Redeemer and the God of Israel, just like Ruth.
And look at the blessing and future God provides:
So Boaz took Ruth into his home, and she became his wife. When he slept with her, the Lord enabled her to become pregnant, and she gave birth to a son.
Ruth 4:13 (NLT)
This verse is very important. God “enabled her” to become pregnant.
Throughout this series we’ve been talking about God’s quiet fingerprints in our lives
how we can see God silently working when we can’t hear His voice.
But don’t miss when He’s overtly working in your life either.
We saw God’s fingerprints in nearly every verse of this book, but there are two direct, overt actions by God that bookend Naomi and Ruth’s redemption.
Do you remember what the first one was?
It was in chapter one when we learned that God gave Israel good crops again.
And He used that direct action to call them home.
And now God takes another direct action by enabling Ruth to become pregnant.
Remember, Ruth had been married to Mahlon for 10 years and they were never able to have a baby.
The birth of this son was miraculous. And everyone in town knew it was from God.
Then the women of the town said to Naomi, “Praise the Lord, who has now provided a redeemer for your family! May this child be famous in Israel. May he restore your youth and care for you in your old age. For he is the son of your daughter-in-law who loves you and has been better to you than seven sons!” Naomi took the baby and cuddled him to her breast. And she cared for him as if he were her own. The neighbor women said, “Now at last Naomi has a son again!” And they named him Obed. …
Ruth 4:14–17a (NLT)
The name Obed is shortened form of Obadiah, which means, “Servant of the Lord.”
And now their future is secure, both into their old age and into the next generation.
And if that were the end of the story… it would be amazing!
--Look how God transformed their lives.
--Look how He restored them.
--Look how His compassion arranged every moment of their story for their rescue.
--Look how He provided for their future.
If we closed the book right here, we could walk away saying the God of Israel is an amazing God.
But our God doesn’t stop at amazing.
Because He doesn’t just provide a future in our lives. He proclaims a purpose in our lives.
We can harvest a life of hope because our redeemer…
- Proclaims a PURPOSE.
The final verses in Ruth:
… [Obed] became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David.
This is the genealogical record of their ancestor Perez:
Perez was the father of Hezron.
Hezron was the father of Ram.
Ram was the father of Amminadab.
Amminadab was the father of Nahshon.
Nahshon was the father of Salmon.
Salmon was the father of Boaz.
Boaz was the father of Obed.
Obed was the father of Jesse.
Jesse was the father of David.
Ruth 4:17b–22 (NLT)
And when the Jews read those words, they know that God hasn’t just changed the lives of one family.
Because they know there’s a promise coming… There’s a promise coming through the line of David.
They know God didn’t just send a redeemer to Ruth, there’s a redeemer coming for them.
And we know who that redeemer is, don’t we?
Because we see this Genealogy again… in the book of Matthew.
But this same genealogy in Matthew doesn’t start with the words,
This is the genealogical record of their ancestor Perez It says:
This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham… Matthew 1:1 (NLT)
Do you see it?
--Go back and read the Book of Ruth again and every time you see God’s fingerprints in this story,
--every time you see God arranging every detail for Ruth’s rescue,
--know He was also arranging those details for yours.
Every miraculous intervention in this book leads straight to your rescue.
Because our redemption—our salvation is directly tied to what God did in the lives Naomi, and Boaz, and Ruth.
Whose redemption might God be planning through what He does in your life?
--God’s purpose is bigger than what we’re capable of seeing.
--Generations can be transformed by the work He does in a single life.
--Every fingerprint of God creates a ripple effect in this broken world.
Are you willing to live a life of hope, expecting God to do incredible things?
Because God’s purpose for your life is greater than you can imagine.
And He’s been preparing for you to come home for years before this story was written.
I want to end this series with a moment of reflection.
What is God saying to you?
Whether you’re here in the room or in our Online Campus,
Let’s put down our distractions and use this song as a time of prayer.
Yes, you can stand, you can sing, and lift your hands—but what might be even better, at least to start, is to close your eyes and ask God to show you who He is and what He’s been trying to say to you over this series.
And let’s worship Him.
--Because the same God who hung the stars in place,
--The God that commands the armies of heaven,
--And conquered death,
--This God with the power to create the universe…
Is the same God that reaches down to a single broken life…
And sacrificed everything to give you hope.
-In your darkest days of grief, God was working.
-In your moments of doubt, God was working.
-When people rejected you, God was working.
-And before you were born, God was working to restore you.
God wants you to have a life of hope—not just for what He’ll do in your own life,
But hope for what He’ll do through your life.
Our purpose in Christ is bigger than what we see in this moment.
Our purpose in Christ is bigger than our time here on Earth.
And we have hope because we have a Redeemer who lives.
A Redeemer who purchased our freedom and gives us a purpose greater than ourselves.
Don’t run from what He wants to do in your life.
Ask Him to show you how He’s working right now.