After Ruth approached Boaz on the threshing floor, he sent her home with grain and a promise to handle the matter of redeeming their land. Boaz kept his word and went to the city gate that very morning to settle it (all legal transactions were handled at the city gate). When the closer relative passed by he asked him to sit down. Boaz then got ten city elders to sit with them as witnesses. Boaz first offers the relative the opportunity to redeem Elimelech’s, Naomi’s husband, land. The relative pretty readily agrees, but then Boaz reminds him that the care of Naomi and marrying Ruth must be part of the deal. The relative then says he can’t redeem the land and gives over his rights to Boaz. The relative takes off his sandal and gives it to Boaz as a symbol to seal the deal. Boaz then confirms with the elders that they have witnessed this. The elders then agree and proclaim a blessing on his future marriage to Ruth.
There is a right way and a wrong way to do things. Boaz wanted to marry Ruth but he knew someone else had a higher claim. Rather than just doing what he wanted, he followed the rules and got what he wanted in the end. God gives us rules to make everything fair for everyone and when we follow them it pleases Him and protects everyone. We should always follow God’s laws over our own wants!!
Act out the exchange of the shoe to seal the deal. Talk about how silly this seems to us today and how we seal promises today. (Contracts)