The Kinsman Redeemer
Leviticus 25:25 Ruth 1-4
Several types are given in the Book of Ruth.
Naomi left the land and went out to exile picturing Israel’s departure from God.
Ruth pictures the Gentile bride of Christ.
Boaz is a picture of Christ, the Kinsman Redeemer;
The brother of Boaz is a picture of the law that cannot redeem
The “kinsman redeemer” is a Goel. The word means to redeem, receive or buy back. Provision was made in the Law of Moses for the poor person who was forced to sell part of his property or himself into slavery. His nearest of kin could step in and “buy back” what his relative was forced to sell (Leviticus 25:48f).
The kinsman redeemer was a rich benefactor, or person who frees the debtor by paying the ransom price. “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; cf. Ruth 4:4, 6). The nearest of kin had the responsibility of redeeming his kinsman’s lost opportunities. If a person was forced into slavery, his redeemer purchased his freedom. When debt threatened to overwhelm him, the kinsman stepped in to redeem his homestead and let the family live. If a family member died without an heir the kinsman gave his name by marrying the widow and rearing a son to hand down his name (Deuteronomy 25:5; Genesis 38:8; Ruth 3-4). When death came at the hands of another man the redeemer acted as the avenger of blood and pursued the killer (Numbers 35:12-34; Deuteronomy 19:1-3). Goel was used of things consecrated to God (Leviticus 27:13–31), of God as redeeming man (Exodus 6:6; Isaiah 43:1; 44:22; 48:20; 49:7), and those redeemed by God (Isaiah 35:9; 51:10; Job 19:25). The right of redemption and the office belonged to the nearest kinsman (Leviticus 25:25; Ruth 3:12; 4:1, 6, 8, etc.).
God is the great Kinsman of His people. When their liberty was lost in Egypt, He rescued them from bondage. “I am the LORD . . . I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments” (Exodus 6:6). The ancient patriarch Job complained that no one came to redeem him! His faith is seen reaching out and proclaiming that Yahweh will provide His Goel (Kinsman redeemer)! “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.” (Job 19:25). Job’s hope looked to the coming Messiah. He affirmed his faith that his redeemer will come to the earth.
One of the most beautiful passages where the word Goel is found is in the life of Naomi in the book of Ruth. The book of Ruth is a story about Naomi’s Goel. Naomi (Pleasant One), a picture of Israel, had wondered away from Bethlehem (house of bread). She was the poorest person in Israel, but her kinsman was the richest man in Israel. Because of the death of her husband, Elimelich (God is my king), and two sons Mahlon (sick) and Chilion (pining), she and her daughter-in-laws lost all income and their homestead. Naomi was living in a foreign land and sensed the loss of her homeland and relatives. She became bitter. The secret of all her daughter-in-law Ruth had was in union with Boaz (In him is strength). The nearer kinsman, a picture of the law) had the first right to the property and Boaz came next after him. If Ruth’s closer relative would not redeem or purchase it, Boaz was prepared to do so. The man who was nearest of kin agreed to redeem the piece of land until he found out there was a young widow involved. He graciously backed out because it would mar his own inheritance (Ruth 4:6)!
That left Boaz as the rightful nearest of kin who had the privilege of redeeming her land and her with it. The Moabitess and the Jew became one. Boaz was nearest of kin to her deceased husband (Ruth 2:1). He was able to redeem by paying the price of redemption (2:1), and he was willing to redeem the land (4:4). That is what makes this epic so beautiful.
Four things were required in order for a kinsman to redeem:
He must be near of kin. (Leviticus 25:48; 25:25 Ruth 3:12–13)
He must be able to redeem (Ruth 4:4–6).
He must be willing to redeem (Ruth 4:6ff)
Redemption was completed when the price was completely paid (Leviticus 25:27; Ruth 4:7-11). Jesus Christ is my Goel.
Jesus is your nearest kinsman through the incarnation.
“For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3). In His incarnation, He was like us in every way except that He never sinned. “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:17). In order to identify Himself with us He “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:7-8). “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15).
Jesus has the power to redeem you.
“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). He assumed our debt and paid it with His life. (Cf. Hebrews 1:2–3).
Jesus is willing to redeem you.
Jesus Christ “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:14; cf. 1 John 1:7; 2:2; Hebrews 10:12; 4:16; 2:17). Jesus said, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45). Jesus is referring to His voluntary, sacrificial, vicarious, and obedient payment to effect the release of slaves or captives from bondage. “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10:17-18).
Jesus has paid the price in full but you must receive your redemption.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). The invitation is still open. Jesus is the sinner’s nearest kinsman. It is your responsibility to lie at the feet of your Goel, and say, “spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman” (cf. Ruth 3:9). “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12).
There are some things of which I am absolutely sure. Our redemption is precious. Our salvation has been purchased at a great and personal cost because the Lord Jesus gave Himself for our sins in order to deliver us from them. Our forgiveness is based on the ransom price of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” (Ephesians 1:7). The redemption work of Jesus Christ delivers believers from the slavery to sin. The means of redemption is the substitutionary death of Christ as a sacrifice for our sin. It is “through His blood” which is the ransom payment (cf. Eph. 2:13; 1 Peter 1:18-19). Only the death of Christ completely satisfied God’s justice (Rom. 3:24-25). Go back to ancient Israel in the time of the Judges. Can’t you see Naomi holding her grandson in her arms? Her neighbors said, “A son has been born to Naomi!” They named him Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of King David (4:17), of the lineage of the Messiah, Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5). God had redeemed her. The words of Naomi’s friends are a fitting reminder of God’s grace in our lives. “And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel.” (Ruth 4:14). Do you need help in believing on Jesus Christ as your kinsman redeemer?
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