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March 23 Today’s Reading: — Ruth 4-1 Samuel 2
“I am thy near Kinsman.”
How sweet, how wonderfully sweet it is to hear our dear Savior, the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, say to our souls, “I am thy near Kinsman.” That is the message of the book of Ruth. Our Lord Jesus Christ, having assumed our humanity, became one of us that he might be made sin, pay the price of our ransom with his blood, and redeem our poor souls from all our loss and poverty by the sin and fall of our father, Adam.
The subject of this Book is redemption. The whole book is a picture of our redemption by Christ, our Kinsman-Redeemer. The kinsman is the one who has the right to redeem. The prophetic law of the kinsman given in Leviticus 25:25 was given to be a picture of Christ and was fulfilled by him. The word translated “kinsman” in Ruth 3:9, 12, 13, 4:1, 3, 6, 8, and 14 is translated “redeemer” in the margin of our Bible. And it is translated “Redeemer” elsewhere in the Word of God, as in Job 19:25, where Job says, “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” In Isaiah 45:6, this is the name by which our dear Savior identifies himself — “Redeemer.” Our father Adam sold us into bondage and sin; but Christ, our Kinsman-Redeemer, bought us and brought us into liberty, righteousness, and life (Romans 5:19).
The Book of Ruth is a beautiful picture of the work of our Lord Jesus Christ as our Kinsman-Redeemer. It shows us both our need of a Kinsman-Redeemer and the way we may obtain the blessings of redemption.
There are many things in the book of Ruth by which we see our Savior’s great work of redemption. We see God’s sovereign election and distinguishing grace in the choice of Ruth as the object of his mercy. His special providence is displayed in the “handfuls of purpose” Boaz commanded his servants to leave for Ruth. Certainly Ruth’s coming to Boaz in chapter three portrays true faith in Christ, bowing at his feet and surrendering all to him. In the fourth chapter, Boaz’s redemption of Ruth according to the law of God is a type of Christ Jesus, our Kinsman-Redeemer, redeeming us from the curse of the law. But none of this could be known without a special, effectual, irresistible call of grace.
“Ho, such an one” (Ruth 4:1). — How blessed we were when a general call in the gospel became a personal call to our souls! If we are called, how blessed we are because we have been called of God to life and faith in Christ! The general invitation is, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” The personal call is, “Ho, such an one!” Jesus calls his own sheep by name. How is this done? Any time the Lord speaks by the preaching of the gospel to their particular state and circumstances, he says, “Ho, such an one!”
When he says, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Faith answers, “That call is for me, for I am a sinner.” In the gospel we are told, “God commendeth his love to us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!” Faith replies, “That love must be for me, for I am both by nature and by practice a sinner before God.” We are told that Christ Jesus ascended up on high and received gifts for men, yea, for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among them. The believing sinner says, “I have been a rebel all my life. This gift must be for me.”
When the word of salvation is sent to the soul by the effectual power of God the Holy Spirit, the poor, needy, bankrupt sinner sees Christ as a suitable Redeemer for such a wretch and sees himself a sinner suitable for such a Kinsman-Redeemer! Then, as with Boaz’s kinsman, the call becomes personal, changing the appellation from everyone, to “such an one;” and the believing soul comes at the call, turns aside, and sits down, as the very one with whom the business at hand is to be transacted.
Faith is a precious gift of grace. It can never be satisfied until it possesses all that the soul needs; and that all is found in Christ, our mighty Boaz. Faith is a personal enjoyment of all grace and salvation in Christ. Salvation is proclaimed from heaven for sinners. God the Father gives it. God the Son purchased it. God the Spirit sends it to the heart with an, “Ho, such an one, turn aside, sit down here.” And God-given faith sits at the Savior’s feet, having Christ himself formed in the heart the hope of glory.