Redeemed Versus Captivity

Redeeming was done several times in Israelís history and the idea of being redeemed was lost after slavery was abolished. Today redeeming is seen as making the final payment on layaway item and took possession of it. In addition, redeeming is the use of store coupons in lieu of money.  However the bible uses the idea of redemption to explain how God redeems mankind from slavery of sin.

The book of Ruth is a story that began with a famine as the reasons for Naomi and her husband to move to place where there was food. This story tells about a man and wife who took their two sons to Moab to begin their life over. In the course of time the harshness of the land caused the deaths of the father and the two sons leaving three widows to fend for their lives. The mother, Naomi decided to return to her homeland and to her relatives but asked her daughters in law to return to their families in hope that they would acquire a family of their own.

When you look at the things Naomi said family was important to her. She felt cursed because the family she had built was taken from her. However she had not realized that she had formed a strong relationship with a noble woman named Ruth, who had married her son. Ruth developed a love for Naomi that allowed her to forsake her family in Moab to make a covenant to cling to Naomi and her mother in lawís way of life with her God. Ruth promised to go wherever Naomi went and be her constant companion for the rest of her life.

As the story develops, Naomiís life demonstrated a continued concerned to see that Ruth had a family of her own. At the same time when Ruth and Naomi returned to Naomiís hometown they were in a financial crisis. Naomi was elderly and weak so Ruth went into the fields to glean by herself.  Every night when Ruth came home to share the gleanings, Naomi asked her about her day. One day Ruth told that she had gleaned in the fields of Boaz a relative of Naomi and that Boaz took notice of her and demanded that she only glean in his fields.

We can see Naomiís mind begin to click as she puts a plan in motion to give Ruth the security of a family. Naomi knew that Boaz was a close relative and stood in line as a kinsman redeemer. Should I not try to find a home for you, where you (Ruth) will be well provided for? Naomi advised Ruth to make herself attractive to Boaz and to lie at his feet when he fell asleep. Waking during the night Boaz realized that Ruth was at his feet. Boaz knew what to do when Ruth said spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.

Boaz was a kinsman-redeemer, but not the closest redeemer in Ruthís family. That day Boaz approached the elders of his village to consider the Hebrew law of concerning a widowís right to carry on the family name. He also placed Naomiís land for sale knowing that whoever acquired the land also acquired Ruth through marriage and would provide a family for her. After the nearest kinsman-redeemer waived his rights Boaz acquired Ruthís property, married Ruth and had children.  (See Deuteronomy 25:5-10 )

In the Old Testament redemption is seen as redeeming one from slavery, the return of family property, and to marry his brotherís widow to continue family lines. The deliverance from slavery in Egypt was such a story where God redeemed Israel from Pharaoh with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. (Exodus 6:6)

God delivered Israel from slavery as a picture of Godís plan to redeem man from the slavery of sin. Every picture of redeeming involves a cost to buy back or to restore freedom. We also see that Israel was a slave within a Egyptian system, who were compelled to do the will of his owner. The cost of redeeming Israel was born by Egyptís first born and to whomever chose not to place the blood of the Passover lamb on the doorposts of their home.

Within the blood of the Passover lamb is the key to redemption for manís salvation. Without the shedding of the Lambís blood there can be no forgiveness for sin. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God slain from the creation of the world. He came to fulfill the law and in fulfilling the law, he shed his blood as the Lamb of God for the sins of man.

Jesus Christ came into the world to reconcile man to God and to redeem mankind by giving his life as a ransom for many (Revelation 5:9.) Jesus taught that sinners were slaves to sin and were doing the same deeds their father, the devil had done. The Jews were proud of their ancestry, as they were descendants of Abraham. Paul reminded them that Abraham a son by a slave and was without inheritance rights when Sarahís son did.

Jesus Christ came to preach the good news to the poor. He was sent to proclaim freedom for the captives and set men free from the deeds of darkness. Those who chose to believe in the name of Jesus were given the right to become the sons of God. We are sons of the Most High we will inherit the kingdom of God because Jesus Christ paid the ransom price redeeming us from a life of sin.

Those still held in captivity to sin will not be rescued from the coming wrath of God. They did not allow God to set them free from the consequences of sin.  They failed to make a covenant of peace with God by remaining in captivity of sin.  They also ignored that Jesus Christ came to redeem them from the coming wrath of God.


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