Ruth 4:6 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. 7 Now this was the manner in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning changing, for to confirm all things; a man plucked off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbour: and this was a testimony in Israel. 8 Therefore the kinsman said unto Boaz, Buy it for thee. So he drew off his shoe.
Most of us are used to business deals being settled either with a contract or a handshake. Never have we seen a man take off his shoe and hand it to another. Yet during the days of Israel, this was the way a contract was often confirmed, especially when it had to do with a piece of property. The giving of the shoe (sandal) signified that he was relinquishing any claims he might have over the property. Without his shoe, he could not legitimately walk upon the land.
Ruth 4:9 And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi. 10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. 11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: 12 And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman. 13 So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. 14 And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. 15 And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. 16 And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it… 21 … and Boaz begat Obed, 22 And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
“The LORD has not left thee this day without a kinsman.” Though Naomi was tempted to think that God had abandoned her, we see from this passage that He hadn’t. The Providence of God had not only prepared her a family that would care for her, but an ancestry that would become famous in Israel. We should take heart as we study the wonderful story of Ruth and remind ourselves that – “The LORD has not left thee…”