Recently I had the opportunity to speak to a group of Army officers and noncommissioned officers. I asked the question, “How many of you grew up with a mom and a dad?” Almost all of them raised their hands. I then asked, “How many of your cadets (college students) come from homes with a mom and a dad?” The crowd guesstimated that about 50% came from two-parent homes. They underscored a point I hoped to make which is that today there is a huge need for mentors. Too many of those exiting high schools across our land have had insufficient parenting and manifest a great craving for meaningful relationships.
Ruth 2:20--Then Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the Lord, who has not forsaken his kindness to the living or the dead.” Naomi continued, “The man is a close relative. He is one of our family redeemers.”
There is a fascinating concept in the Old Testament called the kinsman redeemer. God established for the Israelites a plan that would perpetuate and protect a family’s name and heritage. If a woman’s husband died and she had no sons, it was the responsibility of the nearest relative, on the husband’s side, to marry the widow or her daughter to ensure through children her deceased husband’s name and land inheritance continued. When Naomi returned to Israel with her daughter-in-law Ruth, both were widows. But Ruth, through Naomi’s counsel, approached Boaz, a close relative of Naomi, and asked to come under his protection. As we discover in the book of Ruth, Boaz married Ruth and through her offspring came David and later Jesus.
Today’s New International Version translates, “family redeemers” as “family guardians.” Guardian conveys a protective quality that is inherent in redemption. Today we don’t have men marrying multiple women to perpetuate family lines. But wouldn’t it be fantastic if we spiritually delivered on a regular basis our extended family members? We could accomplish this through:
1. Prayer. I have the opportunity to pray for my two nieces who don’t have a father present in their everyday lives. I confess that I have not done a good job of this.
2. Mentoring. Even before Boaz married Ruth, he consistently gave her advice that led to her protection and prosperity.
3. Resourcing. As God provides for us, and as we listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, we ought to do all we can to help those in our family who are in need.
I can’t help but think of the many young men and women raised in single-parent households. I wonder how many of them have relatives in love with Jesus who have never considered becoming spiritual guardians—redeemers serious about ensuring the blessing of needy family members. What a difference we could make in society if we took on this privilege with joy and diligence!
I place no hope in my strength, nor in my works: but all my confidence is in God my protector, who never abandons those who have put all their hope and thought in him.—Francois Rabelais
©2010 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)