Do You Know What You Might Be Forfeiting?

Although it is true that I am a guardian-redeemer of our family, there is another who is more closely related than I.   . . . But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it.
. . . Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat down there just as the guardian-redeemer he had mentioned came along. 
. . . Then he said to the guardian-redeemer, "Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our relative Elimelek.  . . . If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line." "I will redeem it," he said.
Then Boaz said, "On the day you buy the land from Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the dead man's widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property."  At this, the guardian-redeemer said, "Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it."  Ruth 3:12-4:1-6.

The guardian-redeemer was unwilling to buy the property from Naomi because it would have compelled him to acquire the hand of Ruth in marriage as well. This was the law given by God to the Israelites: "If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband's brother shall take her and marry her . . . The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name shall not be blotted out from Israel," ( Deuteronomy 25:5-6). With such an arrangement, Ruth's firstborn son would keep the name of her dead husband (Mahlon) and retain ownership of the family inheritance. In effect, marrying Ruth would benefit a dead person's estate.

The guardian-redeemer forfeited the right to marry Ruth for the sake of keeping his material possessions. But did he really know what he was forfeiting by choosing his estate over marriage to Ruth? In tracing the genealogy of Jesus, the Bible records in Matthew 1:5, "Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. Ruth had been preselected by God to be in the family tree of Jesus! The guardian-redeemer forfeited a divine opportunity for the sake of material things.

It is important that we reflect carefully over the choices we make. Life is not all about the security of our estate and how much money we have stashed away. Sometimes our blessings come as a result of how much we are willing to forfeit materially for the sake of God's kingdom agenda. God has a way of testing our hearts with material things.

Many times, we are tempted to choose material things over incredible divine blessings and opportunities often disguised as things that will jeopardize our well-laid plans. Like the rich young ruler, our countenance changes when Jesus gives us the choice between our possessions and pleasing Him. May God grant us the discernment to choose His Kingdom agenda over everything else. So, do you know what you could be forfeiting by the choices you make? 

Prayer: Father, please help me to understand that life is not constituted by the abundance of my possessions, but rather by making choices that further your kingdom. Amen.