Select Page

We can be pretty good at making excuses. I am saying we so I won’t need to feel the discomfort of saying me 🙂

Truth be known, there are times I say, “I can’t….” when I should say, “I won’t”. It might be inconvenient, or mean sacrifice or …. I am being selfish {{ouch}}.

Continuing on in the story of Ruth, I find Boaz wanting to do the honorable thing, which is to purchase the land belonging to Naomi and marry the widowed daughter-in-law, Ruth. But he was not the next in line of kin to do so. He goes to the town square to approach the family redeemer. He informs him the land is up for sale to which the man quickly replies, “All right. I’ll redeem it.” (Ruth 4:4, NIV)

Then Boaz drops the catch ….

“Of course, your purchase of the land from Naomi also requires that you marry Ruth, the Moabite widow. That way she can have children who will carry on her husband’s name and keep the land in the family.” (Ruth 4:5, NIV).

Say, what?

The man must have sputtered and become uncomfortable, wondering how he was going to get himself out of the fine mess he’d just gotten himself into. Any enthusiasm he felt was dampened by this added information. So he replies …

“Then I can’t redeem it,” the family redeemer replied, “because this might endanger my own estate.” (Verse 6)

To purchase the land and marry Ruth, might also mean having children together. They would then become the sole heirs to the property he purchased, omitting other children out of that portion of the inheritance. And I understand all of that reasoning.

Yet I began to see something else in this story ….

There is a difference between “I can’t” and “I won’t.

We need to be mindful of this difference in our lives. We can make excuses with the best of them to avoid doing something we may not want to. It may even appear to be a valid excuse.

The man at the gate, the family redeemer, was trying to save face, or his reputation, by saying he could not do it. The reality was …. he did not want to. It involved a risk he was not willing to take.

And I have been just like that same man at times in my life.

May we be more mindful to take care of our responsibilities and not make excuses. May we learn to recognize the difference between those things we can’t do and the things we won’t because we do not want to do them. May we learn when we are to take the risk that God places before us.

The family redeemer remained nameless because he refused to take the risk.

Boaz went on to produce the family line to Israel’s greatest king, David…

which went on to produce the lineage of Jesus Christ.

All because he chose to say, “I will”.

Today I am joining with … Soli Deo Gloria and Testimony Tues. and Playdates With God and Unite and Titus 2 Tues. and Tell Me a Story and Teaching What Is Good .