Studies in the Book of Ruth #9 (4:1-12)
Everything is “set up” now as we embark on Ruth 4. Ruth is WILLING to become Boaz’s wife, Boaz is WILLING to make the purchase for her to be his wife, and Naomi is in the background anxiously anticipating the continuation of her genealogical line. Christian, are you, like Ruth, WILLING to submit yourself to the Lord? He made the PAYMENT for your sins (Boaz is a type of Christ in making a payment in order to receive a bride) and is 100% WORTH serving!
I. AN ADVERTISMENT (v. 1-5)
While Boaz is ready and willing to make this purchase, there is a “nearer kinsman” that must be given the opportunity to make the purchase before Boaz. This takes place at “the gate” (v. 1), the place where business transactions took place in biblical times. There are ten elders of the city present (interesting since 10 is the number associated with the Gentiles and Ruth is a Gentile, though these men are Israelites) as witnesses (v. 4)
When given the opportunity to redeem the land which belonged to Elimelech (Ruth’s father-in-law who died), the nearer kinsman said, “I will redeem it” (v. 4). The only problem was that there was “a catch” in this business transaction and Boaz reveals it in verse 5: “What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess…”
II. A REFUSAL (v. 6-8)
This revelation from Boaz made the nearer kinsman change his mind. He said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance” (v. 6). Can you imagine what Boaz was thinking when he heard these words? Now that the nearer kinsman has refused to be the redeemer, Boaz now has the opportunity!
Verses 7-8 describe the details of such a transaction. This involved enacting the procedure found in Deuteronomy 25:5-10 and required the nearer kinsman to take off his shoe as a testimony.
III. A PURCHASE (v. 9-12)
Now that Boaz has the opportunity, he WILLINGLY purchases the land, along with Ruth. In doing so, he agrees to marry Ruth and raise up seed in the name of Elimelech. Remember that Elimelech means “My God is King” interestingly enough.
Do you know someone who made a PURCHASE on your behalf? It was the Lord Jesus Christ. Look what it cost Him!
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
1 Peter 1:18-19
 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Since Boaz made the PURCHASE, Ruth belonged to him. If you have received Jesus Christ as Saviour, understanding the PURCHASE He made on your behalf, you belong to Him!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Notice the acknowledgment of the family line that Ruth was joining by marrying Boaz. In verse 11, Rachel and Leah are mentioned. Remember that they were Jacob’s (name later changed to Israel) two wives. Also notice the last phrase in v. 11 – “and be famous in Bethlehem.” Wasn’t there someone born in Bethlehem some 1300 years after this event? Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ! Ruth ends up being in the genealogy of the Messiah! Finally, notice the mention of a specific tribe of Israel in verse 12 – Judah!
And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
What a story of how the Lord can turn DESOLATION into REDEMPTION! What Boaz did for Ruth is a wonderful picture of what Jesus Christ has done on behalf of sinners. The Lord Jesus Christ is still in the business of turning DESOLATION into REDEMPTION. Would you receive Him today?