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Our Goel Lives!

Thursday, May 16, 2013 (3:03 am)

Job 19:25 For I know that my Redeemer (Goel) lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth;

As we continue our study in Ruth during this Shavout season, the theme of redemption is prevalent. We read that Boaz became Naomi and Ruth's "kinsman redeemer", or "goel" – from the Hebrew, "lig'ol", to redeem, receive or buy back. In the Torah, a provision had been made for the poor person who was forced to sell part of his property or even himself (into slavery). This man's nearest of kin could step in and "buy back" or "redeem" what his relative had been forced to sell. [Leviticus 25:25] A slave could be redeemed from his bondage by his "goel" who literally purchased his relative's freedom.

In the story of Ruth, we read that Boaz became Naomi and Ruth's "goel", their kinsman "redeemer". First, Boaz was qualified as kin to Naomi's deceased husband Elimelech [Ruth 2:1]. Secondly, he needed to be able to redeem by paying the price of redemption. [Ruth 4:2-3]. And finally, he was willing to redeem the land which had belonged to Elimelech.[Ruth 4:4].

Naomi's losses had been devastating in Moab. Her husband and two sons had passed away and she had returned to her ancestral homeland a desolate woman, with no inheritance. Her only solace was Ruth, whose love and loyalty were legendary. But Ruth's character of devotion apparently inspired Boaz to love her, and even to ignore her Moabite ancestry; for when Boaz decided to redeem Elimelech's property, he also agreed to marry Ruth. Naomi's life, her inheritance and her destiny were also redeemed in this sweeping transaction. She had returned to Israel in deep bitterness, yet through this beautiful and unexpected redemption her friends exclaim "Blessed be the LORD, which has not left thee this day without a 'goel'. [Ruth 4:14]

The marriage of Ruth and Boaz produced a son named Obed, and a grandson named Jesse, who was the father of King David; four generations of the lineage of Yeshua the Messiah. And through his redemption of Ruth and Naomi, Boaz became a picture of Yeshua (Jesus) our Kinsman-Redeemer, who redeemed us for Himself, out of desolation and slavery to sin, and made us His own beloved bride!

Isn't it amazing how a tiny slice of human history can be filled with such significance and typological meaning? Only God could invest a beautiful human love story with an eternal redemptive purpose. Can we do any less than to fall-or rather rise-hopelessly in love with such a Redeemer?!

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

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