17 So Ruth gathered grain in the field until evening. She beat out what she had gathered, and it was about twenty-six quarts of barley. 18 She picked up the grain and went into the town, where her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She brought out what she had left over from her meal and gave it to her. 19 Her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you gather barley today, and where did you work? May the Lord bless the man who noticed you.” Ruth told her mother-in-law whom she had worked with and said, “The name of the man I worked with today is Boaz.” 20 Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May the Lord bless him because he has not abandoned his kindness to the living or the dead.” Naomi continued, “The man is a close relative. He is one of our family redeemers.”
It’s good to have family. When we are going through a rough time (job loss, illness, marital problems, problems with our kids, etc.), it is especially good to have family members who will walk through the difficult times with us.
In this section of the Book of Ruth, we read about a man named Boaz who becomes the family redeemer for Ruth. This refers to a legal practice in the Old Testament law where a Jewish man would look after the well-being of his female relatives when they became widowed. As we will read in chapter 4, there were other male relatives who could have performed this role and taken care of Ruth, but they were preoccupied with their own desires and unwilling to make the sacrifices it took. But Boaz made the sacrifice and rescued Ruth from likely starvation and death. He was her family redeemer.
In the New Testament, Christ is often regarded as an example of a kinsman-redeemer because, as our brother, He rescues us from the devastation of our sins. In Hebrews 2:11-12, the writer talks about how believers are brothers and sisters with Christ. We are part of a spiritual family, even if we don’t share a blood relationship.
You don’t have to go it alone. Even if your natural family is broken, or too busy with their own problems, you don’t have to go through life alone. Because of Christ, we have many “family redeemers” who will be there for us. We call it the church.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Do you need a family redeemer today? If you are walking through your problems all alone, it is your own fault. Talk to the people around you at church. Join a small group Bible study and share your burdens with other believers. If you have trusted in Christ as your savior, you are part of a family, and there’s no reason to go through life alone.
- Do you need to be the family redeemer for a brother or sister in Christ? Church is not a spectator sport where we just sit in a pew and watch the show. The church is a family, and there is a role for you to play in helping someone out. Join a small group Bible study. Volunteer to serve in some ministry. Get out of your self and your own problems and get involved with those around you. You’ll be amazed at how God can use you if you will just let Him.
Pray for family relationships for our global workers living overseas. Pray for healthy conflict conversations, restoration, and growing faith among immediate family. Pray for relationships with extended family far away in both distance and culture.