16 February 2008

Our Loving Lord Jesus

In Him is Strength
By Mike Andrews

When a person thinks of the Lord Jesus Christ, one reflects on His goodness, compassion, longsuffering, and most of all His grace toward fallen mankind. Because of His willingness to seek the lost and go to the cross for people like me and the whole world, we can have a personal relationship with a holy God. Why? Because He cares and loves us very much "for God so loved the world he gave His only begotten Son..." (John 3:16). Throughout the Old Testament the Bible speaks of many examples of Christ types. There have been people such as Adam, His first created treasure "first Adam became a living being. The last Adam became a life giving spirit." (1 Cor 15:45); the Ark which was built by Noah "... God commanded him: and the LORD shut him in." (Gen 7:16); Melchizedek the high priest; and Joseph the persecuted brother just to mention a few. There is one person in particular that seems to stand out the most to me in the Old Testament, and this is Boaz - a man who's name means "in him is strength". He was a man who was strong, full of valor, compassionate, willing to provide for and protect his own. He was a person who sought the best interest of others.
The Bible speaks of him as the kinsman redeemer. In order to be a "kinsman redeemer", one must be of the same family or tribe or related by blood. "There was a relative of Naomi's husband, a man of great wealth, of the family of Elimelech. His name was Boaz'". (Ruth 2:1) What was Boaz redeeming? It was his relative Elimelech’s (and Naomi’s) estate. He was willing to redeem it for the purpose of keeping the land in the family and producing an heir according Old Testament Law (Lev 25). Boaz was a man who was blood related and because of his wealth, had the necessary resources to buy the land. "And he said, "I will redeem it." (Ruth 4:4) Naomi was faced with hopelessness until Boaz came. She was unable to have children due to her age, her husband and sons were deceased and her only daughter-in-law left was Ruth. Ruth, a Moabitess, was a woman who was devoted to her mother-in-law, even after losing her husband. "But Ruth said: "Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God." (Ruth 1:17) Ruth was a lost and broken Moabitess who was hated by many especially the nation Israel, because of a previous falling out with Balak (Num 22-25). Boaz, the kinsman redeemer, overlooked Naomi's problems and Ruth’s undesirable heritage, and sought to redeem the land and her for himself. "Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also buy it from Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to perpetuate the name of the dead through his inheritance." (Ruth 4:5) Boaz was a man who had the means to bring life back to this family. Ultimately, the heir conceived by Ruth would result in the line of David, the king of Israel. From the line of David we would see a woman named Mary who would give birth to our Kinsman Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. "Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David". (Luke 1:30-32)
The Lord Jesus is our kinsman redeemer - God, who came in the form of man, to redeem sinful man. A blood relative of the line of David. (Gal 4:4-5) "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons". He had the necessary resources - his very life. (1 Peter 1:19) "but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot". He had the willingness to buy us back with this life. (1John 3:16) "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren". When you think of Boaz, think of the redeeming grace the LORD Jesus bestows on us by His strength.

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