Scripture: Ruth 4:1-8.
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We approach the climax of the book as we commence our study of the last chapter.
Boaz has promised to undertake for Ruth and fulfill the duty of a kinsman redeemer toward her but there is one that was a closer relative of her late husband than was Boaz. He must be seen first and asked if he will act as kinsman redeemer. Boaz acted immediately. It shows that he valued Ruth, indeed, loved her. He saw in her that of which the wise man in Proverbs 31:10 speaks. “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.”
Please remember that we are considering this passage typically and seeing in Ruth the believer seeking to enter into the full experience of that redemption which is ours in Christ. Paul’s words in Eph 1:18 indicates just what we speak of. “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” The word to know includes the meaning to perceive with the senses. It means to experience the riches of Christ. That is what we seek when we pray for the infilling of the Holy Ghost. It is to know the fulness of Christ. But before we can enter upon such an experience there is a need to deal with one who has a claim over us. That situation is pictured for us in this passage.
I. THE IDENTITY OF THE NEARER KINSMAN.
Who is this “nearer kinsman” who stands between Ruth and Boaz union? I believe it to be the flesh, the old nature within us.
1. The flesh is our first nature. It has and does lay claim to us and stands in the way of our fruitful union with Christ. “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would,” Galatians 5:17. Boaz had a will to take Ruth as his wife but this man stood between him and her. So is it with the flesh. It stands between us and a fruitful, fuller and happy union with Christ. Rom 7:23-24.
2. The flesh desires interests contrary to our wellbeing. The man was selfish, verses 4-6. He would redeem the land for it would profit him but not Ruth for she would not serve his purpose. Flesh does not serve our best interests. Rom 8:6-8.