1Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat there. When the kinsman-redeemer he had mentioned came along, Boaz said, "Come over here, my friend, and sit down." So he went over and sat down.
2Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, "Sit here," and they did so. 3Then he said to the kinsman-redeemer, "Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our brother Elimelech. 4I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line."
"I will redeem it," he said.
5Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the land from Naomi and from Ruth the Moabitess, you acquire the dead man's widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property."
6At this, the kinsman-redeemer said, "Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it."
7(Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.)
8So the kinsman-redeemer said to Boaz, "Buy it yourself." And he removed his sandal.
9Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, "Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon. 10I have also acquired Ruth the Moabitess, Mahlon's widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from the town records. Today you are witnesses!" (NIV)
We move into the final act of Ruth. Boaz is seeking to be the rightful person to marry Ruth. In this scene, we again see that Boaz, like Ruth is acting in a righteous way, but he also has a plan in mind so that he might achieve his goal. Like Ruth, when she went to Boaz in the night, had a plan. The image brings to mind Jesus’ word to his disciples when he sent them out. In Matthew 10:16, we find this advice from Jesus: “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
Boaz new what he wanted and he knew the customs of the people. While some write that it is hard to follow Boaz’s logic when looking at the rest of the law in Leviticus and other places, we do know that each town’s customs might have varied just a bit as to how they lived that law out.
What we do know, is that Boaz came with an answer to the hope he had. And we see that he did not have to put his relative down to make his point. Understanding Scripture is very critical to us being able to share the Gospel to the fullest. We don’t have to be great theologians, but we do have to a basic understanding and that can come from a daily habit of reading and contemplating on Scripture. We live in times where Scripture is available to us in so many ways.
What I love about the story of Ruth and Boaz is that it demonstrates that righteousness is more important than living like others think we should. It is okay to have some irregular behavior. This was who Christ was, he was very righteous, but irregular in his behavior as compared to the Pharisees and Priests of his time. Jesus reminded us to seek God’s righteousness first and everything else will be taken care of.
How do you stay in Scripture? What is your understanding of being righteous? Do you feel at times you have an irregular behavior compared to others?
God loves each of us, quirks and all. Seek his ways and tune out the noise.
Blessings and Peace