Now Boaz went up to the gate and sat down there, and behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spoke was passing by, so he said, “Turn aside, friend, and sit down here.” And he turned aside and sat down. Then he took ten men of the elders of the city and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down.
— Ruth 4:1-2
I like this picture. The Lord is in charge, and all must obey Him. Even a natural man full of ideology cannot argue in the Lord’s presence. Boaz then rehearses how Naomi has returned from the country of Moab without male heirs and is in danger of losing her portion of the land. Boaz presses the kinsman and says, “If you are going to redeem this land, redeem it, for you are the closer kinsman” (v. 4).
When we read this, we may get a little nervous, for what would happen to Ruth if this closer kinsman agrees to this? And that is what happens, for this kinsman seems happy to add this property to his own. Boaz reminds him that if he does this, however, he must also marry Ruth and through her raise up a son in her dead husband’s name so that his name and inheritance may not come to an end. Hearing this, the closer kinsman balks and is unwilling to fulfill his duty. At this point he surrenders the right to Boaz.
Tomorrow: “We’re Still Inclined to Our Religion”