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With New Testament Eyes: 26 - The Kinsman Redeemer

By Henry Mahan


      A young minister was told by an elder of a Welsh chapel that he had preached a very poor sermon because Christ was not in his sermon. The young man replied, 'Christ was not in the text.' The wise old man said, 'Christ is in every text. In every text of scripture there is a road which leads to Jesus Christ and him crucified. Your business is to find that road and get on it.'

      All that most people know about the book of Ruth is what Ruth said to Naomi in Ruth 1:16-17, and they usually come away from that with high thoughts of Ruth and no thoughts of Christ. The real key to the book of Ruth is in the term kinsman redeemer found in Ruth 2:20, Ruth 3:9 & 12, and Ruth 4:14.

      The 'kinsman' is the one who has the right to redeem (Lev. 25:25).

      A man called Elimelech, of Bethlehem-Judah, because of a famine in the land, sold all that he had and with his wife and two sons left the land of Israel and moved to pagan Moab. Elimelech died in Moab; and his two sons married Moabite women, lived with them ten years, and then they both died. Naomi, now a very poor widow, determined to return to Judah and told her two daughters-in-law to remain in Moab with their people and their gods. Orpah kissed Naomi and departed, but Ruth clave unto her and Uttered those blessed words found in Ruth 1:16-17.

      1. Here is a picture of ruin by the fall (Ruth 1:19-21).

      When Naomi, now old, poor, and weary, came to Bethlehem, the people gathered about her and exclaimed, 'Is, this Naomi?' Is this the same Naomi who left Bethlehem a few years ago rich and prosperous with her family about her? She replied, 'Don't call me Naomi (sweet and pleasant); call me Mara (bitter), for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.' She went out full and came back empty, rich and came back poor, sweet and came back bitter.

      We look at Adam after the fall, when he sinned, sold out, and left the presence of God for his own way, and we say, 'Is this Adam? Are these poor, dying, corrupted creatures sons of Adam, created in the image of God?' (Rom. 5:12; Rom. 3:10- 19.) The king is now a beggar, the prince is now a pauper, and the-blessed are now cursed.

      2. Here is the unmerited, unsought love of Christ for sinners (Ruth 2:1-5, 16).

      Naomi and Ruth came to Bethlehem in the beginning of the barley harvest season. It was the custom to allow poor people and those without support to follow the reapers in the field and pick up what they had left. Ruth went out to glean in the fields; and by God's providence she gleaned in the field of Boaz, Naomi's near kinsman (2:1). Boaz took notice of Ruth, had compassion on her, instructed her to glean in his field, and told the reapers to let fall some 'handfuls of purpose' (2:16) for her.

      This world belongs to the Lord Jesus. It is his by design, by decree, and by death (Col. 1:16-17; John 3:35; Rom. 14:9; John 17:2). We live and glean in his field. The Lord Jesus in grace and love has taken notice of some of Adam's race. He knew us though we knew him not: He loved us though we did not love him; and by his handfuls of purpose, we have lived and prospered to this day. God takes care of his own even in their days of unbelief.

      3. Here is the kinsman redeemer (Ruth 2:18-20).

      Ruth returned home with a generous supply of grain. Naomi took note of the abundance and asked Ruth where she gleaned and who was so generous with her. When Naomi heard that Ruth's benefactor was Boaz, she exclaimed, 'Blessed be he of the Lord, who hath not left off his kindness.' Boaz is one who has the right to redeem, one kinsman-redeemer. If one has sold his inheritance and has a near kinsman, who is able and willing to stand for him and buy back all that he lost, it shall be done (Lev. 25:25).

      Christ Jesus, by God's covenant of mercy and divine grace, is our kinsman; for he became a man, numbered with the transgressors, bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh (John 1:14: Gal. 4:4-5). He willingly took upon himself to redeem all that we lost in Adam, and he is able to do so because, though a man, he is the strong and mighty God (Heb. 7:25; 2 Tim. 1:12; Jude 24-25). By his perfect obedience he has given us righteousness before the law; and by his death he has satisfied divine justice, enabling God to be both just and justifier of all who believe (Rom.3:25-26).

      4. Humility, acceptance, and redemption.

      Read in Ruth 3:1-7 how Ruth humbled herself at the feet of Boaz, seeking his mercy, as we lie at the feet of Christ, for he owes us nothing. Read in Ruth 3:10-11 how Boaz accepted her whom he already loved, even as we are accepted in the Beloved upon evidence of humility and faith. Read how Boaz married Ruth and all of his wealth and name became hers, even as we are married to Christ and are joint-heirs with him because we are his and wear his name. The pagan girl became the wife of Boaz, the great-grandmother of King David, and stood in the lineage of Christ--all of grace!

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See Also:
   Foreward & Acknowledgements
   1 - The Fall
   2 - Abel's Offering
   3 - The Ark Of Noah
   4 - Sarah and Hagar; Law and Grace
   5 - The Lord Will Provide
   6 - A Bride for the Heir
   7 - Bethel - The House of God
   8 - Peniel - The Face of God
   9 - Joseph Opens the Storehouses
   10 - Joseph and His Brothers
   11 - Shiloh
   12 - The Passover
   13 - The Manna
   14 - Water from the rock
   15 - The Blood Before the Lord
   16 - The Ram of Consecration
   17 - The Day of Atonement
   18 - Caleb - The Faithful Dog
   19 - The High Priest Intercedes
   20 - The Brazen Serpent
   21 - A Prophet Like Moses
   22 - The Cities of Refuge
   23 - Joshua
   24 - The Scarlet Line in the Window
   25 - The birth of Samson
   26 - The Kinsman Redeemer
   27 - The Song of Hannah
   28 - Give us a King
   29 - Saul's Great Sin
   30 - David and Mephibosheth
   31 - Why God Permitted David to Fall
   32 - Comfort from God's Covenant
   33 - I Will Not Offer to God that which Cost me Nothing
   34 - The Queen of Sheba Comes to Solomon
   35 - Three Examples of Faith
   36 - Where is the Lord God of Elijah?
   37 - Empty Vessels Filled
   38 - Naaman, the Leper
   39 - Open his Eyes that He may See
   40 - Four Lepers Teach us a Lesson
   41 - Nehushtan--A Piece of Brass
   42 - Bringing Back the Ark
   43 - Uzziah's Great Transgression
   44 - Four Things Learned in Trouble
   45 - How Can Man be Just With God?
   46 - Three Vital Questions
   47 - I Know that my Redeemer Liveth
   48 - Now Mine Eye Seeth Thee
   49 - The Psalm of Messiah the King
   50 - God's two great books
   51 - The Psalm of the Cross
   52 - The Lord is my Shepherd
   53 - True God - True Israel - True Redeemer
   54 - Eight Great Precepts
   55 - My Hope is in Thee
   56 - Many, O Lord, Are Thy Wonderful Works
   57 - A Song of Love
   58 - The Sinner's Prayer
   59 - My Rock and my Salvation
   60 - Our Lord's Sufferings for Our Sins
   61 - Mercy and Truth are Met Together
   62 - The Victory of the Messiah
   63 - Bless the Lord, O my Soul
   64 - Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So
   65 - The King-Priest
   66 - The Chief Cornerstone
   67 - The Observer and the Observed
   68 - Praise the Lord O my Soul
   69 - Wisdom in Christ
   70 - The Conclusion of the Whole Matter
   71 - Remember Now Thy Creator
   72 - My Beloved is Mine and I am His
   73 - What is Thy Beloved more than Another Beloved?
   74 - The Lord Our Righteousness
   75 - The Believers Hope
   76 - From Nothing to Everything
   77 - Lost, Driven Away, Broken, Sick
   78 - Can These Bones Live?
   79 - Four Things God Taught Nebuchadnezzar
   80 - Thy God Will Deliver Thee
   81 - Hosea--Type of Christ
   82 - A Famine to be Feared
   83 - Salvation is of the Lord
   84 - A Fountain Opened for Mourners
   85 - The Messenger of the Covenant


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