Cactus on Yellow Wall

BOAZ-3

We now approach a further development in our story, -depicting Boaz as THE QUALIFIED
REDEEMER This new phase is introduced to us by what Naomi said to Ruth, when Ruth returned home
from her time of gleaning in the fields of Boaz. Ruth told her mother- in -law of her happy experiences
amongst the reapers and of the kindness of Boaz himself. It was at that point that Naomi said to Ruth,
"The man is near of kin unto us, one of our next kinsmen", or, as the margin renders it, "He is one that
hath the right to redeem" (Ruth 2:20). Now; to realise the significance of what Naomi said, we need to be
reminded of certain legal procedures, which operated within Israel at that time. We read about these
procedures in Leviticus 25, and they had to do, basically, with the retention of properties within the
families to which they had been originally allocated. We read "If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath
sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem (buy
back) that which his brother sold" (Lev.25: 25). Also, in verse 49, "Either his uncle, or his uncle's son,
may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him". All this throws light
on what Naomi had in mind when she said to Ruth, "He is near of kin to us". The inference was that Boaz
was legally qualified to act as their "redeemer", and secure to the family that which it seemed they must
lose. It is interesting to note that, in the Hebrew language, the single word "GAAL" signifies both a
relation (kinsman) (eg.Num.5:8) and a Redeemer (eg. Job 19:25). The reason is that God wanted to keep
before His human creatures the important fact that only a true "relation" of men could ever bring
"redemption" to men!

All this, of course, carries over to our need of "redemption", or, shall we say, our need of spiritual rescue
or release. Because we are sinners ("sold under sin" -Rom.7: 14), there is so much that has been lost by
us, and so much that needs to be restored to us. In fact, we ourselves are lost to our Original Divine
Owner, and we need to be "bought back". But who can do that for us? Only a "close relation" can qualify.
And, thank God, a Close Relation Indeed HAS DONE IT! -"The Man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim.2: 5).

Here, we would say, lies the importance of all those references to Christ as "Son of Man", -a title which
our Lord Jesus loved to use of Himself, as, for instance, in Luke 19: 10, "the Son of man is come to seek
and to save that which was lost". And, how meaningful that word in Hebrews, -''...as the children are
partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might
destroy...the devil, And deliver them who...were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (Heb.2: 14,15).
Wonderful it is indeed that our Almighty Lord Jesus, Son of God, should humble Himself to be "made in
the likeness of men", and all in order that He might be man's Qualified Redeemer (See Phil.2: 6-8). We
suggest that when Pilate exclaimed, "Behold THE MAN" (John 19:5), he was touching on one of the
greatest marvels and mysteries of the ages, -"God was manifest in the flesh" (1 Tim.3: 16), -in order to
redeem! If only Pilate himself had realised that truth!

We have to realise that neither angels nor archangels could ever have wrought redemption for us, -they
are not our "relatives". But Christ can, AND CHRIST HAS, in view of His embraced humanity.

We
could go further and say that, at Calvary, that Blessed One, in yet another sense, became our kinsman
indeed, for we read He was "made sin for us" (2 Cor.5:21). How we should thank God, then, for our
Complete "Relative - Redeemer", far greater than Boaz, Who, "by his own blood...obtained eternal
redemption for us" (Heb.9: 12).

THE PREACHING OF -THE CROSS
BAKHT SINGH

For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified (1Cor.2: 2).

The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ was taken to the Corinthians through Paul, with great power and
authority as we read in 1 Cor.2: 4,5. Yet the believers there remained babes for a long time. With a heavy
heart he wrote to them saying, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto
carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not
able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able" (1 Cor.3:1-2). He had to speak to them as little children and
could not teach them the deeper truths of salvation. Even though they heard the word with power and
authority, yet they remained babes in the spirit. As a result they not only had strife, confusion, contention
and divisions among them but sin also. Then came the wrong teaching and false doctrines. The main
reason for all that was, they had not experienced the power of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many of
us fail to grow spiritually because we do not understand the meaning of the cross of the Lord Jesus
Christ, and do not appropriate it in our lives.

Over the centuries, the cross is being used as a sign or a symbol. Many people bow before it or wear a
small cross in the neck or keep it in their homes. Some think of it by repeatedly saying, "He died, He
died". But there is no power in their lives. Apostle Paul says in 1 Cor.1: 18, "For the preaching of the
cross is to them that perish foolishness: but unto us which are saved it is the power of God". The power of
God comes into us in fullness and abundance by appropriating the power of the cross of Christ in us.
There is no other way, and no other plan by which that power will come into us. Some people try to get
that power by wrong means like dreams and visions. Apostle Paul saw many visions but he did not
depend on them for this power. According to Phil.3: 10, he longed to know the Lord Jesus Christ and the
power of His resurrection. He had the privilege of seeing not one but many visions and miracles in his
life. He even had the privilege of being caught up into third heaven and see many wonderful things (2
Cor.12: 2-5). He did not glory in those visions and miracles but longed to know how to identify with the
death of Christ and to enjoy the power of His resurrection.

Now the cross means, the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Many people think of
hardship as their cross. Any difficulty, any trial, any persecution or even an unhappy home, they call it
their cross. Some say their wife is their cross. But the cross means the death, burial and resurrection of
our Lord. He never died as a martyr or by force. He gave Himself willingly. He is not asking for any
sympathy or tears from us. Some people think that by shedding tears on Good Friday or by fasting for
three days, they show sympathy. But in John 1 a: 18 we read that He gave His life willingly. He died so
that we may receive into us this powerfully. That is why we should experience it in our lives. All of our
teaching and preaching should be centred on the cross of Christ. As we saw earlier, Paul saw the Lord
personally, did many miracles and great works, yet he did not glory in all that. He gloried in the cross of
the Lord Jesus Christ alone. "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Gal.6: 14). We have to learn that
by experience. The power and the secret of the cross is not one day's experience. It should be our daily
experience to claim the power of the cross by faith.
Christian life is a warfare, a life -long warfare (Eph.6: 12). Do not be satisfied because you got victory
over a few temptations. That is no proof that you will not face any more temptations or fall into sin. None
of us who overcame in the past can say, "I am safe". The devil makes us fall by simple things.

Unknowingly you may put your foot on a piece of soap, fall down and break your leg. It is not done
intentionally but a very small thing causes you to slip and fall and break the leg. Then you have to be in
bandage for some months. None " of us can say, "I will never fall". That is why the Lord Jesus Christ
says, "Watch". We may not know but it is possible to be overtaken in sin. The devil can come as an angel
of light, or as a roaring lion, a flood or as a grievous wolf. Whenever we are not watchful, the devil
comes in a subtle way to deceive us. That is why we have to learn the secret of getting victory by the
power of the cross. It is not attained in one day, but as we appropriate that power day by day we get
strength to defeat the devil.

Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.   Matthew 24: 42