Relationships – Are Conduits

Imagine this. Put yourself in these shoes and ask yourself, how would I have handled this or maybe this sounds like your life. Here goes.

You are living in an area and things dry up. A famine happens. So you pack up your wife and your two sons and you move to a new place. Things seem fine. Then the husband dies. I wonder how many people would get mad at God and quit on the Lord over this.

Now there is the wife and two sons. The two sons get married. There are no children born to these two sons. About 10 years later, the two sons die. Now you loose your spouse and your children, would you quit on God now?

By now you know who these people are, right? Imagine if Naomi would have just given up and quit. Believers face heartaches too. Imagine moving to a “better” area for a job or for promotions. Things seem to be going just fine for a few years. Then things start going wrong. Your circle of friends or family members start dying. Everything starts breaking down in your house. Someone runs into the back of your car and smashes in the rear end. What would you do?

Naomi said she went into Moab full. Another words, when you started out on your new move to a new location, you had everything. You were full. Your had your family, your things, your wealth and you had a plan.

But then, things changed. Over about five or ten years, your spouse dies. Family who came with you dies. Your children die or leave.  Everyone you left with, is gone. Then everything in your house starts breaking down over and over again. And then your church makes changes that you know you can not be a part of so now you have lost your family, lost your church, lost your friends and your house is eating away at your wealth. Or what wealth you have left. What would you do?

We read later that Naomi claimed God had dealt bitterly with her in Ruth 1:20-23. But we know God is love. Look at Job and everything he went through. Job lost his children, lost his wealth, lost his health.  What we might call hardships are often testings from God to see how we will respond or they are a way for God to move us into our destiny. But in spite of all the hardships she faced, Naomi ends up being the conduit for introducing two people. Naomi was the conduit for Ruth to meet Boaz.

I think Boaz was Naomi’s husband’s younger brother. Her brother in law. Just my guess. When Boaz was explaining to Ruth what needed to be done in Ruth 3:12 KJV “And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I.”

That tells me, based on the Old Testament law of the kinsman and the order of the kinsman redeemer, Naomi’s husband that died, Elimelech had brothers and one was Boaz and one between Boaz and Elimelech. The order of kinsman redeemer would be the next oldest after Elimelech. That is who Boaz meant when he told Ruth, “there is a kinsman nearer than I”.

So Boaz approaches his older brother in Ruth 4 and tells him about a parcel of land to redeem. The brother was all for buying back the land from Naomi but when Boaz reminded him of the  kinsman redeemer meaning he had to pay Ruth for the land too and he needed to be the kinsman redeemer. That is like seeing a house and land you want and you will buy it. But because a widow lives there with a daughter in law, you have to buy it from the widow and pay the daughter in law for it too. This is explained in the Old Testament and it is how God set up helping widows and helping the family of the dead. The money was then used to provide for their needs.

The brother did not want to redeem it from Naomi and Ruth and he was concerned with his own inheritance. I am not going into the kinsman redeemer teaching here.
Ruth 4:3-6 KJV  “And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech’s:
[4] And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it , redeem it : but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it .
[5] Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.
[6] And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it .”

You could say once Naomi stopped looking at her “misfortune” and started looking at how she could help Ruth, good things happened for Naomi. I tend to look at it more like even when you go through difficulties, let God still use you, direct you and just trust the Lord has a plan. Don’t quit, even when it seems unbearable, don’t get angry with the Lord, don’t murmur and complain and don’t speak against the Lord. Trust the Lord to work all things out for good. Until next time.

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