January 21, 2017


Ruth 3:7-13

As surely as the Lord lives, I will do it.

—  Ruth 3:13

The word redeem means “to buy back.” For Boaz this meant using his money to buy back a relative’s land, and having a child with Ruth to preserve the family name of that relative.

Like Ruth, Boaz is a person of noble character. As Ruth clung to Naomi out of respect for her mother-in-law and for the Lord, Boaz clung to the Word of God, recognizing that all honor and praise belong to the Lord. Like one who meditates on the Word of God, he was “like a tree planted by streams of water” (Psalm 1:3). Well-rooted and -watered, that tree would not wither. From what we have seen of Boaz, we note that his words and deeds are so well-rooted and -watered that by the time Ruth speaks to him at the threshing floor, he will become the redeemer Naomi and Ruth need.

Boaz could have passed up this opportunity, for there was another redeemer. But he didn’t. He went out of his way to make his intentions clear with a vow: “As surely as the Lord lives, I will do it.” Someone who loves the Word of God does not make a vow lightly (Deuteronomy 23:21-23).

The God of heaven and earth promised to send us “one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26)—Jesus Christ, the Word of God himself. And God has kept his promise. Through Jesus we are redeemed from the debt of sin, if we believe in him as our Savior. Do you?

For the costly price of our redemption through Christ’s sacrifice, we thank you, Lord. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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