Boaz’s eyes gleamed as the closer kinsman took off his sandal and handed it to him. Like a prized trophy, Boaz held the shoe high in magnificent triumph. It marked the completion of all his efforts, his sweat, his prayers. With joy he proclaimed, “You are my witnesses that today I have bought the land of Elimelech that the name of the dead should not perish. I have also purchased Ruth the Moabitess as my wife and find her to be a woman of impeccable virtue. Her value is more costly than rubies. She has placed her trust in the God of Israel and shown extraordinary kindness to Naomi.”
Looking pointedly at his rival, Boaz was careful to pronounce his loyalty to Ruth due to his annoyance of the relative’s earlier remarks. He wanted all to know just how splendid his new bride was. His inheritance would only be enhanced—not shamed—not corrupted—not marred!
And the kinsman said , I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it.
Ruth 4:6 (KJV)
In the original text the word for mar is shachath which means, corrupt, destroy, ruin, utterly waste. This was the fear of the other kinsman and he disdained Ruth and her tainted ancestry. He only saw—Moab. He couldn’t get beyond that fact. The interpretation of Shachath brings the kinsman’s attitude into an entirely new light. We see a man so insecure with his reputation that he would fight tooth and nail to maintain it. He only saw corruption. He only saw shame.
The good news
In Isaiah 52:14 (KJV), we read that the face of Jesus was so marred by those who crucified Him that He was unrecognizable.
The word marred in this text is a root from shachath meaning disfigured, corrupted. I sobbed when I saw the correlation between what Jesus Christ did for us and what the nearer kinsman would not do for Ruth. Jesus laid down his life, his reputation and counted it as nothing—for you—for me. When Jesus Christ was crucified He did it willingly. Our sins became His thus he was marred more than any other man.
A victorious Boaz held the shoe above his head—he had won his bride! This is a perfect picture of Jesus Christ. He bought you too but with the precious blood of his own life.
Boaz’s mission was accomplished. It was a sweet feeling. But now, He was anxious to find Ruth—to embrace his bride. She was waiting. She would want to know and so—he ran.
There is a King of glory who champions you today. He laid down His life for you—willingly. He was marred for you—calling it a privilege. Unashamedly He proclaims you are His. Jesus longs to embrace you, longs for your company and longs to hear the most intimate details of your life. He calls you to victoy, He calls you to peace—He calls you His own.