While selling real estate, I learned something very quickly. People often say not to mix business with emotion; however, there are few things more emotional than buying and selling a home. There would often be minor details about a specific property, which, in the big picture, made the property less valuable to my clients. It was an active choice, and sometimes a hard one, to inform my clients of such details. By doing so, however, I was able to participate in their joy when they found the right home.
- When have you had to make a hard choice to provide for the greater good of others?
READ THE WORD: RUTH 4:1-6 (ESV)
1 Now Boaz had gone up to the gate and sat down there. And behold, the redeemer, of whom Boaz had spoken, came by. So Boaz said, “Turn aside, friend; sit down here.” And he turned aside and sat down. 2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down.3 Then he said to the redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is selling the parcel of land that belonged to our relative Elimelech. 4 So I thought I would tell you of it and say, ‘Buy it in the presence of those sitting here and in the presence of the elders of my people.’ If you will redeem it, redeem it. But if you will not, tell me, that I may know, for there is no one besides you to redeem it, and I come after you.” And he said, “I will redeem it.” 5 Then Boaz said, “The day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead, in order to perpetuate the name of the dead in his inheritance.” 6 Then the redeemer said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I impair my own inheritance. Take my right of redemption yourself, for I cannot redeem it.”
- Who did Boaz meet with (vss. 1-2)? Why was it important for Boaz to speak with the nearest relative of Naomi’s deceased husband in front of witnesses?
- What, specifically, was Boaz hoping to accomplish by meeting with these people (vss. 3-5)? Why do you suppose Boaz asked the redeemer to redeem Naomi’s property before mentioning that, by doing so, he also must take Ruth as a wife?
- Why did the nearest relative ultimately decline Boaz’s offer (vs. 6)?
- What does the redeemer’s refusal—and Boaz’s pursuit of the matter and willingness to redeem—communicate about each of these men’s character, loyalty to their family, and loyalty to God?
- What are some areas of your life where God is seeking your obedience? What costs are you willing to incur in order to participate in God’s ultimate plan of redemption?
RESPOND TO GOD
The redeemer very quickly found value in Naomi’s land; yet, with Ruth in the equation, the land was no longer of value to him. Redeeming Ruth was a costly choice that the redeemer opted out of for selfish reasons. But out of obedience to God and his plan of redemption, Boaz chose to purchase the property and take Ruth as a wife. God’s ultimate plan is to redeem, and we always have the choice to willingly participate in what he’s doing. But when the cost is seemingly too great, our selfishness can exclude us from the joy and blessing found in our participation.
- Ask God to open your eyes to areas where you have been disobedient out of selfishness.
- Pray for God’s direction in how you can participate in his plan of redemption.