Michael Youssef - Kinsman Redeemer
In the first message of chapter 1, we saw very clearly in the winter season of Naomi's life, she trusted in the living God. She experienced bitterness, but she never became bitter. Do you know the difference? And there's a world of difference between the two. I think we all experience bitterness, but the question is, do you become a bitter person? And the reason I know Naomi did not become bitter is because she prayed for her daughters-in-law. You see, you cannot, when you're a bitter person, you will not pray for others. "I got enough problems. I am so wrapped up in myself. I don't have any time to think of prayin' of somebody else".
That's a bitter person. Naomi experienced bitterness but she never became bitter because she knew that the winter season of her life, one day, will give way to the sunshine of his redemption. Glory to God. Naomi realized that the frost of pain would one day, one day give way to the warmth of God's deliverance. Naomi believed that the God who permitted her to experience the consequences of their family, a short-circuiting of God's plan and God's Word is the God of the second chances, and the hundreds and the thousands of chances. Then on chapter 2, we saw how Naomi's daughter-in-law Ruth, who worked for, actually less than minimum wage, I mean, she was below minimum wage. All of a sudden, she gets invited to have lunch at the executive suite with the CEO.
Now, beloved, listen to me. Fads have a way of fading away. Seen it. Seen it many times in my life. Trends have a way of trending away. Just be patient because the hand of the Lord stands forever. Then here in chapter 3, we begin to see the restoring hand of God. Don't you love that? We all love the restoring hand of God. Even though we may experience pain, suffering, but, oh, we rejoice in the restoring hand of God. And we begin to see here in chapter 3, the appointment with destiny, her appointment with destiny. Surely, you must know, and those of you who don't know, you need to know that God does everything by an appointment. Did you get that? What does that mean? It means that God will bring to pass all of his promises in your life. God, never one second late or one second early, he's always, always on time, except it's his time, not ours.
Question: What is an appointment? What's an appointment of God? Well, you know an appointment is a meeting that already been set up, right? That's an appointment. Okay, you made an appointment to see a doctor or to see a friend. It's already set up. And God always, always keeps his appointments. He never says, "Oh, sorry, I got tired. I'm sorry, I got waylaid and I forgot my appointment. I'm sorry, the traffic was really bad and I'm late. Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot all about it". Never, never, not our God. He always, always keeps his appointments. Even when the tempestuous wind is blowing in your face, God has already prepared a way of escape. Please hear me right. The day you said yes to Jesus, you received an appointment with destiny.
Let's repeat that: the day you said yes to Jesus, you received an appointment with destiny because God always keeps his appointments. Why Naomi was going through this incredible pain and loss and suffering, her husband and her two sons? While she was going through that, God was working things out for her appointment with destiny. When Naomi was going through the frosty winter, God was preparing the warmth of the sunshine. Your blessing may not come the way you expect it to come. Your blessing may not come through the individual or individuals or people that you thought will come through, but when God is in charge in your life, rest assured, he keeps his appointments. God synchronizes his answers to accomplish his purpose.
And that's very hard to accept. I know that. But just remember this: wherever you are, whatever circumstances you're going through right now, remember that God is synchronizing in order to accomplish his purpose. I wanna illustrate this. Many times, after a long flight home, you can't wait to get home. You can't wait to see your family, and all of a sudden, the air controller tells the pilot to wait in the air. What a... I know you pilots are laughing, but you understand, I don't know about you, but I find waiting in the air to be very disconcerting. What a strange place to wait... in the air? For goodness' sake.
But the important thing for me is to realize that the air controller has to synchronize, he has to synchronize the landing schedules, otherwise he's gonna have disasters on his hand. And so the captain announces, "We are going to assume a holding pattern". Hello. "We are gonna assume a holding pattern for further instructions". Listen to me, I know more about holding patterns than you will ever know. Some of us are in a holding pattern right now, and you're wondering, "When I'm gonna land"? But God is synchronizing the working and working things together for your appointment with destiny, for your appointment because he wants to take you home safely. He wants to take you all the way home safely. For what purpose? For what purpose?
Look at Ruth chapter 3, with me, please. Look at Ruth chapter 3, and you're gonna see with me the synchronizing of God's plan. Why? So that he may change Naomi's and Ruth's disappointments into hope, so that he may replace shattered dreams with a kinsman-redeemer, so that he may replace the years that have been eaten by the locusts with the years of blessings, so that he may give them one of the greatest blessing imaginable, and what a blessing this is. Let me tell you that the best matchmaker in the world could never have matched those two together. God is the best and the greatest matchmaker in the universe.
When you place your whole trust in him and when you walk and live with the evidence of placing your whole trust in him, not a little bit with him and a little bit somewhere else, but when you place, when you prove it in your life, in your walk, and you trust in him, he will match you with blessings. He will match you with people. He will match you with opportunities. He will match you with healings. He will match you with joy and peace unspeakable. And when Naomi discovered that the man, this man Boaz, the man who showed kindness to Ruth is a kinsman, she popped the champagne. Well, they didn't have champagne back then, well, but in reality, being rich and influential, it did not hurt, it did not hurt. Naomi immediately knew that this was going to be a match made in heaven, and literally, it was. Literally, it was.
Here is my personal view. Beyond marrying for money, Naomi knew that Boaz's character was implicitly to be trusted. She knew right away. Look at verses 2, 4, and 18. You'll see that very clearly. Naomi, who had been through so much pain, knew immediately that Ruth and Boaz are a real match. Her experience of pain and failure and compromise and short-circuiting of God's Word and God's plan helped her to recognize that these two lovebirds shared a common moral excellence, loyalty, and character. Here's something you need to know about the culture and the history of the day. I'm making an issue of this, and I'm gonna explain to you why. Very important. For Naomi to try to broker the marriage between Boaz and Ruth, for her to broker this marriage between her widowed daughter-in-law Ruth, was perfectly normal. That was the dumb thing at that time.
Back then, in those days, parents matched their children when they were young, and that is why if a girl would grow up and if she's 12 years old and somebody try, they said, "No, no, no, no, she's spoken for. She's spoken for," why? Because parents got together when the kids were young, and they talked about the kids' strength and weaknesses, and they matched them together. That's how it was. It's different from our day. You see, in that culture, they were not having datey-dates at the disco or go clubbing or have a passionate moment in the movies. They did not have a macho ride in his convertible. They had no opportunities to hold hands at the moonlight. There were no flexing of the biceps and impressing her by how much he can bench-press.
Mother Naomi knew these two had something far more in common than all the artificial and shallow things by which we measure today. Above all, she knew that God is at work. God is at work. Say it with me, "God is at work". Boaz and Ruth, excellent character, integrity, honesty, and loyalty. That is all she could see. Verses 3 and 4, this man, Boaz, is an older gentleman. Ruth is much younger woman. Boaz did not want to put Ruth on the spot by proposing marriage to her because he did not want to risk being rejected, and I'm gonna explain that to you in a minute. You see, the man's stature in society, the man's stature in the culture and in the town could never be turned down, so he did not want to put Ruth on the spot.
Look at verse 10, chapter 3, verse 10. That is why he said to her, "May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter. You have made this last kindness", what kindness? What kindness is he talking about? What kindness? Her kindness in saying to him, in effect, that's what she did. She was saying to him, "It's okay to propose to me". Hello. "It's okay to propose to me". That's really the cultural way of the day. "It's okay to propose to me". This is what it's all about. "May the Lord bless you, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether rich or poor".
Now, please hear me right. Hear me right on this one. It's very important that you understand. A man of Boaz's stature could not have been turned down by Ruth had he proposed to her. Had he proposed marriage to her and she turned him down, it would be a scandal, not just in Bethlehem, but in all of Israel, and that is why he was so thankful when Ruth made it clear that it is okay to propose to her, that she will accept his proposal. "It's okay. Proposed to me. It's all right".
All Ruth had done was follow her mother-in-law's advice. Remember, she was a Moabite. She's not an Israeli. She's not Jewish. She's a Moabite, was so she was doing what her mother-in-law told her to, the custom of the day. She was following Naomi's wisdom. She was following Naomi's understanding of what the Jewish tradition is all about. She trusted Naomi's advice implicitly. Who is this kinsman-redeemer? There are two chapters I'm gonna tell you about today in the Bible. Please read them when you go home, Deuteronomy 25 and Leviticus 25. You see, in Deuteronomy 25, God is the one who communicated to Moses these instructions, and that is, when a man dies, his brother takes his wife as his own.
This was done for several reasons. God wants to preserve his own people, the Israelites. He wants to preserve them as a nation. Secondly, he wanted to save a widow from public humiliation. And, thirdly, he wanted to basically raise up the offspring of his brother. But that's not all. In Leviticus 25, it tells us that the nearest of kin is to redeem not only the property because, as you remember, God divided the Promised Land, depending on clans and depending on tribes, and so he is not only to redeem the land but redeem the person. Therefore, the kinsman-redeemer acts to set free the member of the family. Why? Because most often, back then, if there is no family support and a husband dies and a woman is suffering from financial hardship, she ends up going into slavery.
In other words, the kinsman-redeemer acts as a trustee. The law of God made these provisions as to remind them of their collective responsibilities to each other because, among the people of God, the responsibility toward each other stems from, flow out of the covenant relationship that they have with Yahweh. This law intended to be a reminder for all of them that they do not own anything. God does. They are mere managers of God's properties. They are entrusted by God with his resources. Everything they had belonged to God, and they must use it for his glory. Beloved, when God redeemed Israel out of the slavery of Egypt, it's his way of saying, "You belong to me. You belong to me. You belong Yahweh". And now he tells them, "You are responsible to redeem each other".
One of the greatest characteristics of our kinsman-redeemer God is that he redeems us from the penalty of sin. He redeems us from Satan's oppression. He redeems us from the mastery of sin. He redeems us from the slavery of sin. He paid a precious price to redeem us, to take us from Satan's ownership to his ownership. He did not just pay a small amount of money. He paid his blood. Boaz and Ruth later had a child, and he, Obed, became the grandfather of King David, who is the prefiguring of our kinsman-redeemer, the Son of David, the Lord Jesus Christ. Well, so far, so good. Verses 12 and 13, we find an unexpected problem arises and put a spin in the works. Boaz, a man of honor, integrity, was flattered that Ruth said, "It's okay to propose to me," but nonetheless, somebody else had more rights.
Someone else in the family is more of a kin to Naomi's family than he is, and so Boaz resolves the problem with honesty, legally, and with grace. Beloved, grace is what characterized Boaz, and it is grace is what characterizes our kinsman-redeemer. Grace is what motivate him to redeem us. Grace makes provision for those who have been redeemed. Grace is so rich in resources and blessings. While Boaz was a fine kinsman-redeemer, was as fine as you find on the earth, but he has nothing on our kinsman-redeemer. He has nothing, for our kinsman-redeemer brings us forgiveness.
Our kinsman-redeemer calls us his children. Our kinsman-redeemer enters with us into our seasons of pain. Our kinsman-redeemer provides for us our safety. Our kinsman-redeemer walks with us in our fiery furnace. Our kinsman-redeemer never leaves us nor forsakes us. Our kinsman-redeemer keeps us secure in the hollow of his hands. Our kinsman-redeemer acts like a fortress and a tower of strength. Our kinsman-redeemer never slumber nor sleep. Our kinsman-redeemer rides the cloud for our help. Our kinsman-redeemer has his everlasting arms underneath, and you could never go for a free fall.
He is our shield. He is our shield, our defense, our protector, our provider. He's our stronghold. Ultimately, our kinsman-redeemer will welcome us at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Our kinsman-redeemer is the bridegroom for his bride, the church, and he has pledged and promised that he will present us to his Father on that great day, without blemish or spot. Glory to God. Glory to God. He doesn't start something, never finishes it. "He who began a good work in you is able to bring it to", where? "To completion". If you're going through a season of doubt, if you're going through a season of puzzlement, if you're going through a season of pain, you can today say:
Lord Jesus, you're the kinsman-redeemer of the best of the best. Forgive me for doubting you. Forgive me for not trusting you. Forgive me of wondering where you are. You are right there.