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Monday, May 16, 2011

Kinsman-Redeemer: Restorer of Broken Things

My example in last week's "Weekly Snippet" was about Ruth and a man named Boaz, her kinsman-redeemer under ancient Israeli law.  I spent some time thinking about that this weekend, and how it symbolically represents Jesus' relationship with believers.  Just as Boaz restored the fortunes of Naomi and Ruth from a doomed state of poverty and almost certain starvation, Christ restored the fortunes of those who choose to follow Him, from a state of destruction and certain death to that of joy and "every good thing."

"Restorer of Fortunes"--Photo Taken Weeks After a Hailstorm
I am not saying that after Ruth married Boaz, or after an individual has accepted Christ, that the rest of the story is effortless, or that trouble never came again.  Ruth and Boaz still faced challenges, like getting the crops in on time, or caring for a sick baby.  Eventually, Ruth may have found herself a widow again (Scripture does indicate that she was young, and Boaz was much older).  In the case of Christians, we are promised persecution from people who hate Jesus, and on top of that, we have the regular trials of this life to daily wrestle with.  It can be discouraging.

In either case, though, something changed between the moment the Kinsman-Redeemer stepped in and the years to follow--both parties (Ruth and Christians) had a future to hope for, and a present that was filled with a special joy that sprang from restoration.

The Kinsman-Redeemer doesn't zap us back to the time before the brokenness came into our lives, but if we trust in Him, He builds something from the broken pieces that we never dreamed we'd see.  It is not just a restoration of what was lost; it's a new and miraculous gift.

Today, are you in the midst of a disaster, and you don't know how it could ever work out right?  I want to encourage you to hold tight to the promise that God not just can, but most certainly will restore your life.  The restoration may not be what you imagined, but I can tell you, it will be better than what you could have hoped for.  Those who wait on the Lord will be rewarded.
Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame.  Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.  You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. (Isaiah 54: 4-6 NIV 2011)

That's a promise!