The story of Ruth is moving. The young widow left her family, friends, home, country, and religion in fidelity to her mother-in-law, Naomi. Upon arrival in Bethlehem, Ruth immediately set out to support them both via the accepted custom of gleaning the fields. She found herself in the fields of a kind man, Boaz. Speaking of him, "Naomi said unto her daughter in law, Blessed be he of the LORD, who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. . . The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen" Ruth 2:20. The word "kinsman" is "goel" in Hebrew which is translated various ways – kinsman, redeemer, and avenger.
The law of Moses revealed various obligations of a near kinsman: to marry a brother's widow in order to have a son for his brother, to avenge the blood of a relative, to redeem a relative from slavery, and to buy back the property of a relative who had to sell due to poverty. Boaz lovingly fulfilled the obligations of a near kinsman with Ruth both in redeeming property and by marriage. "So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel" Ruth 4:13, 14. We also have not been left without our "Goel".
"God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" Genesis 1:27. They were perfectly happy and healthy children of God in their paradise home where they thrived with ready access to the Tree of Life. The sad fact is that God's children sold out to the slavery of sin. They lost their freedom and their beautiful garden home.
What Jesus accomplished at the cross was as our Kinsman Redeemer, our "Goel", the One in Whose image we were created. He redeemed us from the slavery of sin. "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life" Romans 5:10. He will avenge the blood of His children with the final destruction of Satan. And He will restore to us the paradise lost.
"To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" Revelation 2:7. Praise God for Christ, our Goel in Whom we have the certainty of His completed work!!
Kathryn Irizarry is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.