~ If this is the first time you’re reading about the journey, welcome aboard! Grab your basket! We’re taking a stroll through the great field of God’s Word, gathering grains of inspiration and seeing the remarkable parallel between the Christian life and the ancient, Hebrew twelve steps of betrothal.
The dowry or the price of the bride is the second step in the betrothal tradition. The dowry, which in Hebrew is mohar, had to be paid in order for betrothal to take place. The bridegroom paid the bride’s father the mohar, an agreed upon amount of money.
***Here are this month’s kernels of truth:
* Did you know you were bought? “You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own],” (1 Cor. 6:20 Amp) because “[you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:19a Amp)
Jesus paid the Father’s price for His Bride, having “given Himself a ransom on behalf of all.” (1 Tim. 2:6 RGT) The Greek word for “ransom” is used only this once and means the redemption price of a slave or captive or that which is offered in exchange for another.
* Did you know you have a Kinsman-Redeemer? You were redeemed by the Lord, for “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Eph. 1:7 NKJV)
What is the purpose of a kinsman-redeemer? According to the law of kinship, or Levirate marriage, the next nearest, living, blood relative, was obligated to preserve the life, property, and integrity of the family name by marrying his relative’s widow and producing offspring that the family’s name not be blotted out, to represent a family member’s interests at the gate at the seat of authority, to stand in one’s stead, to redeem from bondage or slavery, and all duties and fulfillment of needs fell to him.
If we miss the meaning of kinsman-redeemer in the Bible, we miss a fundamental principle: God’s redeeming grace.
The tender and affectionate story of Ruth and Boaz depicts this redemption as an earthly representation of the heavenly relationship between God and His people.
Filled with great allegoric meaning, the whole book of Ruth supplies an abundant field of spiritual grains just waiting to be gleaned. Planted thousands of years ago and lying dormant in the soil of time, this book’s historical illustrations awaited the proper harvest time to reveal Christ’s redemption of His Bride, as His mohar.
At a time of famine, Elimelech took his family, his wife Naomi and their two sons Mahlon and Chilion to live in Moab. While there, Mahlon married Ruth and Chilion married Orpah. Within ten years, Elimelech and both sons died.
Hearing that the LORD had visited His people in her homeland again by giving them bread, Naomi decided to return home. Joining her were Ruth and Orpah, up to a point. While Orpah departed for her homeland, Ruth stayed with Naomi.
Through a series of divine events, Ruth met her kinsman-redeemer. His name was Boaz, and, as a near kin, he was obligated to redeem.
Ruth’s heritage, her alien birth as a Gentile, afforded her no earthly rights and barred her from claims to any portion, but God provided for her, grafting her into the family. Her redemption came through her betrothal to her kinsman-redeemer.
Before our spiritual rebirth, we were of alien birth, having no heavenly rights, but through God’s provision of a Kinsman-Redeemer, we were grafted into His family.
How beautifully this exemplifies Christ’s sacrifice and great love for an unworthy people, grafting us in through the Jews and betrothing us to Himself. Christ became our Kinsman-Redeemer, for He “redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.” (Gal. 3:13 NKJV)
The Greek meaning of the word used here for “redeem,” describes beautifully what Christ did for us. It means to ransom, to rescue one from loss to improve opportunity, to purchase one for his freedom from another’s power by paying a price to recover him, or to buy up for one’s self or own use. Isn’t that beautiful?