Ruth 4: 3-6
The conversation between these men is amazing. The way Boaz handles himself in the situation and presents the facts really is so funny. He tells the men that Naomi is planning to sell her land, and as their customer said, it should be redeemed by the family. So the closest in line should buy her land to make sure what God has given the tribes would stay within the tribes. He tells the rightful redeemer this and the man responds that he would redeem the land and buy it.
This is where, if this were a movie, we’d break to commercials and intense dramatic music would play because that’s not what we wanted. We want Boaz to do it. He should get to be with Ruth, but this guy is clear and ready to buy this land.
Boaz comes back and tells the guy there is more. He had not mentioned Ruth in his comments (I think because he was so attracted to her that he thought this guy would jump on the deal). After the man has no financial objection, Boaz changes his strategy. The guy says he would redeem Naomi and Boaz responds by reminding him of ALL that comes with it. He must buy the land, but Naomi has a daughter in law, and he has to marry her and give her a son, and ultimately everything he just bought will go to that son, but he’s also going to get some of your stuff cause he’s your son.
The man immediately changes his tune when Boaz reminds him of all these responsibilities. Worried about his own children, his own inheritance, and I think probably his own wife, he decides not to buy in. His wife may have been thrilled about getting a new big piece of land but I doubt this guy would have a very strong marriage if he left to buy a field and came back with a field and a second wife.
Boaz sways the conversation and after presenting the facts and talking about it just right, the guys back away, giving Boaz the right to ask for Ruth to marry him. He sold him on the idea really. He spoke softly, used his words wisely, and was faithful in the way he went about it.
The most important thing to see in the little conversation is that sometimes it’s okay to convince someone to change their mind. We shouldn’t be manipulative, and we should lie, but shedding light on old or new facts really can be helpful. Boaz didn’t run in and say Ruth was ugly Naomi was crazy and would make a terrible mother in law, and the field was ruined. He simply reminded the man of what this choice would mean. He reminded him of the responsibilities that would come along with being the “redeemer.”
It’s not wrong to fight for what you want. It’s not wrong to debate and convince someone. It’s not “unspiritual” to try and sway someone to your side. Baoz wanted to marry Ruth and so when he thought that might not happen he reminded the man of what redeeming would really cost. It was a cost Boaz already claimed he would be ready to pay, but he asked the man, are you ready for that?
Is there something in your life you need to fight a little harder for? Maybe your marriage, maybe your career, maybe your kids, maybe your faith? What in your life have you backed away from when maybe God wanted you to press forward?