“The Missing Sandal”

Therefore the close relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself.” So he took off his sandal. (Ruth 4:8)

The Israelites had an ancient law intended to make sure that a family’s bloodline continued. If a husband died before his wife had any kids, then the closest relative was obligated to marry the widow and keep the family name going.  If he refused to fulfil his obligation to his dead relative, a sandal came off, the wife would spit in his face, and he would be known as the guy who lost his sandal.

The whole point was to continue the lineage and heritage of a family.  When Ruth’s husband died, his family had an obligation to continue his family name.  There was a relative who was qualified to do this honor, but when asked, he refused.  He lost his sandal and Boaz was able to step up and fulfill that role.  We think about the story of Ruth and Boaz as a love story, but it was also a story about continuing the family name.  Boaz would be known as the ancestor of King David and Jesus Christ, all because he stepped up and did what was right.

Beloved, we all have an obligation to continue the heritage of the family of God.  Sharing your faith with others may seem scary, but it’s how God’s family continues. It’s a good work that produces amazing results.  Don’t lose your courage.  Don’t lose your sandal.