7 In earlier times in Israel, there was a certain practice. It was used when family land was bought back and changed owners. The practice made the sale final. One person would take his sandal off and give it to the other. That was how people in Israel showed that a business matter had been settled. 8 So the family protector said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself.” And he took his sandal off. 9 Then Boaz spoke to the elders and all of the people. He said, “Today you are witnesses. You have seen that I have bought land from Naomi. I have bought all of the property that had belonged to Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon. 10 “I’ve also taken Ruth, who is from Moab, to become my wife. She is Mahlon’s widow. I’ve decided to get married to her so the dead man’s name will stay with his property. Now his name won’t disappear from his family line. It won’t disappear from the town records. Today you are witnesses!” 11 Then the elders and all who were at the gate spoke. They said, “We are witnesses. The woman is coming into your home. May the Lord make her to be like Rachel and Leah. Together they built up the nation of Israel. May you be an important person in Ephrathah. May you be famous in Bethlehem. 12 The Lord will give you children through this young woman. May your family be like the family of Perez. He was the son Tamar had by Judah.”
I love Boaz. He’s such a compassionate, honourable man.
He probably could have simply married Ruth, but he takes an enormous risk in offering both Naomi’s property and Ruth to the closer relative. Fulfilling both the spirit and the letter of the law, down to every detail of witnesses and sandals was important to him. In the process he not only redeems Ruth, he also redeems her inheritance and the promise for Ruth and her children.
He’s another of those people that God puts throughout the Old Testament who are pictures of Jesus: Jesus who fulfilled both the spirit and every letter of the law; Jesus who paid an enormous price to redeem me, to bring me back into my rightful family (with God as father); and Jesus who redeemed my inheritance and promise and future.
I love Jesus too. I love that he redeemed me in just the right way. There is no legal loop hole that I can fall through.
Written by David Cornell