Redemption. At the heart of the word is the idea of paying a price to release something or someone from slavery. The people of Israel understood this concept when they remember the Lord delivering them from the Egyptian stronghold. The Exodus is a vivid reminder to every Jew that they have been released from captivity. It is recorded in Deuteronomy 24:18, “You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and that the Lord your God redeemed you from there.”
Things did not change in the New Testament. Under the thumb on Roman rule, the people of Israel were looking for their Messiah to come and deliver them from their bondage. They anticipated the day when their Redeemer would come to restore them to their rightful place among the nations. These are physical reminders of a spiritual bondage that we all face. Each of us is a slave, but we have a Redeemer who has come to set us free.
Within the pages of the Old Testament we find a small book which illustrates redemption through a person. The book is Ruth. The person is Boaz. In Ruth 3 Naomi encourages Ruth to go to the threshing floor, wait until Boaz has eaten and drunk, and slip next to his feet when he has laid down to sleep. When Boaz has fallen to sleep, she uncovers his feet and lies down next to his feet. Notice the interchange between Ruth and Boaz in verse 9. “Who are you?” Ruth replies, “I am Ruth your maid, so spread your skirt over your maid, for you are a close relative.” Don’t miss the beautiful image here. There is nothing immoral or dishonest going on here. Ruth is making a suggestion to Boaz. She is saying, “I am available to be your wife.”
Any Jew would have vomited at the thought of marriage with a Moabite. How dare she propose such a thing? Moabites were from an incestual relationship. They were no friends of the Jews. In fact they were not allowed to enter in the temple of God to the tenth generation. However, here find Ruth the Moabitess asking to become a member of God’s covenantal family. How? Faith. She demonstrated her faith in the God of Israel when she told Naomi “your God will be my God.” Through her faith, she is not looked at as a Moabite but as a child of God. It amazes me that God has chosen to allow us to enter into a covenant with Him through His Son Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.