“. . . Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.” (Ruth 3:9)
The short story of Ruth (only 4 Chapters) is a fascinating story of Naomi, a widow and her Moabitess daughter-in-law Ruth, who find themselves devastated by the curve balls of life. And, it is the story of Boaz, a relative who makes good on his promises and who finds himself becoming the guardian-redeemer of our heroine, Ruth. And, I might as well just say it. It’s a love story. I’m pretty sure you’re going to enjoy it.
But here’s what I don’t want you to miss in the story: Think of Boaz as foreshadowing the work of Jesus Christ, yet to come – many years later. Both act as Guardian-Redeemers for other family members. (You may recognize the Hebrew word for this term as it is translated: Kinsman-Redeemer or Family-Redeemer, etc. in different translations.) Now you may be asking yourself, “What is a Guardian-Redeemer, anyway?” Good Question. So here’s a try at it. The term is used thirteen times in the book of Ruth and is a legal term for one who has the obligation to redeem (by payment or purchase) a relative who has found themselves in quite serious difficulties or often bondage. You see, Jesus would years later become a guardian-redeemer for many who like Ruth, realize that they too are in dire straights and desperately need help.
Here’s some of what the author of the New Testament book of Hebrews had to say about the matter: “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people (2:14-15,17).” Jesus had previously stated his mission quite clearly, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28).” He truly has become our brother that he might pay the price to redeem us (become our Guardian-Redeemer) as family members who could not make it without his help.
Granted Pardon By The One Great Guardian-Redeemer,