(You might need to review the couple of verses leading up to this, because if you’re counting on me to guide you through this…I’ve been all over the place.)
“The LORD bless him!” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. “He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.” She added, “That man is our close relative; he is one of our guardian-redeemers.”
In other translations, “guardian-redeemer” is “kinsman-redeemer”.
Which is this Hebrew word: גָּאַל
If you can’t read that word, this translation might be a little easier: ga’al
According to my favorite book, The Complete Word Study Dictionary Old Testament, this is what that word means:
“A verb meaning to redeem or act as a kinsman redeemer. The word means to act as a redeemer for a deceased kinsman (Ruth 3:13); to redeem or buy back from bondage (Leviticus 25:48); to redeem or buy back a kinsman’s possessions (Leviticus 25:26); to avenge a kinsman’s murder (Numbers 35:19); to redeem an object through payment (Leviticus 27:13). Theologically, this word is used to convey God’s redemption of individuals from spiritual death and His redemption of the nation of Israel from Egyptian bondage and also from exile (see Exodus 6:6).” page 176.
Does that make your heart skip a beat? Does the gravity of “kinsman redeemer” sink in when you read that?
Boaz is the one who can redeem his deceased kinsman, Ruth’s husband. He is the one who can redeem and buy back from bondage, and buy back land and possessions. Boaz is the one the Lord has set up to redeem and restore what is broken and lost in Ruth’s life.
A beautiful picture of the Lord buying back all that is lost and broken in our lives.
Can you sense the redemption just dripping off the pages?
I think the beauty of this is that while you read plainly that things or lost objects are getting redeemed, the overarching theme I get is that while tangible needs are met in redemptive ways, heart needs are being met in even more redemptive ways.
If you’re not sensing that yet, hopefully you will soon.