Walk in Another Man’s Shoes

June 12, 2010

This week’s Scripture: These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates.    (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

Take a moment and pray that the Lord will speak to you in this time of study.

Read again Ruth, Chapter 4.

We have seen the Old Testament setting for the Book of Ruth and God’s providence in preserving the historic line of redemption and the Messianic line of descendants from Abraham.  As with the rest of the Old Testament, the book of Ruth points us to the future events of the New Testament.

The story of Ruth takes place between the seasons of Passover and Pentecost. (Pentecost came at the end of the grain harvest season, fifty days after Passover.)  In the Hebrew Bible, Ruth is one of the Megilloth (Festival Scrolls) and is read during Pentecost.  Ruth was a Moabite and in accepting the God of Israel, she foreshadows the gentiles becoming a part of spiritual Israel, the church.  This became possible only after the Pentecost (Acts 2) that followed Christ’s ascension.

In this way we can see the complete role and function of the Kinsman Redeemer in our day and time. The salvation of Ruth, a gentile comes through her marriage to Boaz because of her relationship with Naomi (by marriage).

In ancient Israel, it was the custom for a family to take care of the debts of its members.  If one member of the family became poor and had to sell off part of his possessions, a kinsman could come and pay the price that was owed in order to redeem back that property. (Leviticus 25:23-27) Ruth and Naomi apparently had a piece of land which they would have to sell to survive. But there is more to the picture than a real estate transaction.  For a man to marry he had to pay a “Bride Price” for the privilege to marry.  So the purchase of the land also constituted a “Bride Price” for the marriage to Ruth to fulfill the obligation of the kinsman.

When the closest relative found out what was involved, he turned away.  The reason we are told is because he feared for his own inheritance. (Ruth 4:6)  He realized that it would cost him dearly because he would be obligated to raise up children by Ruth and this would result in a dividing of his own estate to support his new family.  He was not just gaining a financial investment in land but a financial obligation for a family.

As we look to the future then we can see more clearly how Christ is our kinsman redeemer.  Christ as the elder brother is the kinsman redeemer for his people.  He pays the indebtedness for sin that we have incurred before God.  He buys us out of indentured servitude to this sin by paying the price for our freedom.  And He pays the Bride Price for us.  He pays with His very life and thereby restores us to our inheritance in the Father’s kingdom.

What a marvelous story, a picture of Christ’s redemptive work for us on the cross. As with the other works of Scripture the book of Ruth points us to the love of God and the work of Christ on our behalf.

As we read this story on a personal level, we can also be reminded of the cost and commitment of marriage and of raising a family.  It involves personal sacrifice.  It involves commitment to God and his commandments for life.  If you are a single person considering marriage, you may want to ask yourself, “Do I walk in the shoes of the closest kinsman or in the shoes of Boaz? If it is the former, you may want to take them off and pass the opportunity by. (Ruth 4:7-10)

As you pray today consider your family. Do you love them as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for it?

Pastor Neil

Devotional studies this week are based on the sermon ” Downloading Faith” from the series “All God’s Children (Part 5)”  by  Patsor Nate Atwood.  If you would like to hear the sermon in its entirety, go to KPC.ORG/WATCH & LISTEN.

Serving together as a family is a great way to develop communication skills, relationships, and memories. Sign up for Summer Serve at kpc.org or for further information click here.

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