Stewards: Ruth & Rahab- good stewards

By Charlie Osewalt | 15 August 2013

Stewards- Ruth & Rahab

Ruth and Rahab: redeemers redeemed.

A short study on kinsman redeemer:

“To recover ownership of by paying a specified sum; to set free; rescue or ransom. “

 

Boaz is the kinsman redeemer of Ruth. He chooses to marry a penniless widow, of a different culture and race. Ruth is a stranger in a strange land, the consummate outsider. By marrying Ruth he pays a debt that Ruth can not pay. Why does he marry her? Simply, Ruth’s character calls to him in a deep and expansive way.  A godly way. Let’s look.

First, Boaz responds to Ruth’s loving compassion for her mother-in-law, Naomi.

When Boaz first shows kindness to Ruth, she bows and asks “Why have I found such favour in your eyes that you notice me –a foreigner?”

Boaz then retells Ruth her own story of how she left all to help her mother-in-law who was old, alone and without money or hope. Boaz sees Ruth because of her compassion for another.

Ruth also sees the depth of Boaz’s character. She answers, his understanding story of her life with, “May I continue to find favour in your eyes…you have given me comfort and have spoken kindly to your servant…” Boaz is tender in kindness; only another tender soul can see and feel this comfort. He is tender.

Finally, Boaz marries Ruth because he sees her embryotic faith as an echo of someone who raised him, his mother Rahab. Boaz states his love for Ruth as her being kind and honouring him, “This kindness is greater than you showed earlier. You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor.”

Ruth has heard stories of Israel’s God, a kind God. Boaz is the living descendant of God’s kindness, Rahab. Boaz does not make Ruth feel poor as they marry her; to him Ruth is the rich one. And she is. Ruth is rich with the faithful kindness of a rescuing God.

From this tender, compassionate marriage comes a son, Obed. He fathered Jesse who fathered King David…whose line leads to the ultimate kinsman redeemer, Jesus.

Ruth and Rahab are kind stewards, rescuers of families.  Redemption is not throwing the past, the old, away. It is renewing the past with a new spirit and energy. Ruth and Rahab’s loving kindness echoes the spirit of the living God. Redemption.

Want to go deeper? You can download the PDF below for more:

Posted by Charlie Osewalt

Charles Osewalt is a husband, father of four children and former elder at Redeemer Church NYC. He has worked in schools for the last twenty years as principal in the Morrisanna section of the Bronx. He formerly worked as a content and curriculum specialist for Stewardship. He tweets at @charlesosewalt

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