2. Redeemer – Isaiah 44:24

Isa 44:24  Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb:

  • The best way to understand “redeemer” is the book of Ruth: 20+ times in this little book.
  • Powerless, weak, vulnerable: Ruth 3x “vulnerable shame”: woman, widow, outsider. No man to vouch for her/protect her/fight for her in the public/legal arena.
  • Happy ending is Boaz who acts to “spread his wings over her” to bring her under his name, protection, family honour.

One [female] relative of mine was divorced. My paternal uncle took her to wife because she was dul. My uncle was compelled to marry her, because she was dul. In order for her not to remain stranded, we have taken her. Because she was akraba (relative) and soy (our lineage), soyumuzu kurtardı (he saved our lineage).

Siyah’s choice of language here is unequivocal. His uncle was under compulsion, he had no choice. The family name needed saving.

To my request for clarification, “what you are saying is that marriage is a way of rescuing from shame?” Gri interjected, “Absolutely. Evlenerek utançtan kurtarılır.” This statement, in the form of an aphorism, is translated, “Salvation from shame is through marriage.” Gri was summing up after several similar anecdotes. The group nodded their agreement.

Frankiel notes; “Ruth needed a redeemer, for she was left alone, adrift in society and separated from her homeland and her family.” Goel, such a significant word for Ruth studies, is explained by MacArthur;

The goel was a relative who came to the rescue… He was the official guardian of the family’s honour. 

So when God acts as Redeemer for the human race, he is declaring:

  • I am kin to you. I am unable to watch you suffer. I am compelled to take initiative to redeem you.
  • I am prepared for it to cost me dearly in order to do this.
  • Edward 8 th and the American woman (Wallis Simpson).

Why is this important?

  • Incredibly powerful set of tools for communicating the gospel amongst honour-based communities.
  • Many people will have a similar set of issues in their own family, so can come with incredible resonance and also non-foreignness.
  • Implications for Christian mission are significant – what does it look like to remove shame?