GOD'S NAME - REDEEMER  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Exodus 6:6 NIV84
“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.

Mark 10:45 NIV84
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


Concise Oxford English Dictionary


■ noun

1 a person who redeems someone or something.

2 (the Redeemer) Christ.

The Lexham Bible Dictionary

REDEEMER (גאל, g'l). One who pays a price on behalf of an impoverished relative, in order to effect the release of the relative or his/her property (Lev 25:25–54). The New Testament uses this term in reference to Jesus, whose death comes to represent both payment for sin and freedom for the believer.

Leviticus 25:25–54 NIV84
“ ‘If one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells some of his property, his nearest relative is to come and redeem what his countryman has sold. If, however, a man has no one to redeem it for him but he himself prospers and acquires sufficient means to redeem it, he is to determine the value for the years since he sold it and refund the balance to the man to whom he sold it; he can then go back to his own property. But if he does not acquire the means to repay him, what he sold will remain in the possession of the buyer until the Year of Jubilee. It will be returned in the Jubilee, and he can then go back to his property. “ ‘If a man sells a house in a walled city, he retains the right of redemption a full year after its sale. During that time he may redeem it. If it is not redeemed before a full year has passed, the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to the buyer and his descendants. It is not to be returned in the Jubilee. But houses in villages without walls around them are to be considered as open country. They can be redeemed, and they are to be returned in the Jubilee. “ ‘The Levites always have the right to redeem their houses in the Levitical towns, which they possess. So the property of the Levites is redeemable—that is, a house sold in any town they hold—and is to be returned in the Jubilee, because the houses in the towns of the Levites are their property among the Israelites. But the pastureland belonging to their towns must not be sold; it is their permanent possession. “ ‘If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you. Do not take interest of any kind from him, but fear your God, so that your countryman may continue to live among you. You must not lend him money at interest or sell him food at a profit. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God. “ ‘If one of your countrymen becomes poor among you and sells himself to you, do not make him work as a slave. He is to be treated as a hired worker or a temporary resident among you; he is to work for you until the Year of Jubilee. Then he and his children are to be released, and he will go back to his own clan and to the property of his forefathers. Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves. Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God. “ ‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly. “ ‘If an alien or a temporary resident among you becomes rich and one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells himself to the alien living among you or to a member of the alien’s clan, he retains the right of redemption after he has sold himself. One of his relatives may redeem him: An uncle or a cousin or any blood relative in his clan may redeem him. Or if he prospers, he may redeem himself. He and his buyer are to count the time from the year he sold himself up to the Year of Jubilee. The price for his release is to be based on the rate paid to a hired man for that number of years. If many years remain, he must pay for his redemption a larger share of the price paid for him. If only a few years remain until the Year of Jubilee, he is to compute that and pay for his redemption accordingly. He is to be treated as a man hired from year to year; you must see to it that his owner does not rule over him ruthlessly. “ ‘Even if he is not redeemed in any of these ways, he and his children are to be released in the Year of Jubilee,

The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary

REDEEMER (Heb. gō˒ēl, the “nearest kinsman”). According to the custom of retribution, it fell to the nearest kinsman to avenge the blood of a slain relative; to protect the life and property of a relative. This obligation was called by the Israelites redeeming, and the man who was bound to fulfill it a redeemer. The law and duty of the redeemer are assumed by Moses as a matter of tradition and brought under theocratic principle. Redeemers are reckoned full brothers, next to them the father’s brothers, then full cousins, finally the other blood relatives of the clan (Lev. 25:48–49). Since the Hebrews were an agricultural people, the chief function of the redeemer (gō˒ēl) was to “redeem” the land that had been sold by a brother in distress. When the nation came into bondage it needed a redeemer through the “redemption” of the lands to be secured, and they looked to Jehovah to become their gō˒ēl. Thus the Exile gave a force and a meaning to the term more striking than it could have had before. Of thirty-three passages in the OT in which gō˒ēl is applied to God, nineteen occur in Isaiah, and in that part of the complication that deals with conditions existing in the Babylonian Exile (Isa. 48:20; 52:9; 62:12; Ps. 107:2). In spiritualizing the term gō˒ēl, Isaiah (Isa. 49:26; cf. Ps. 19:14) places it on a par with “savior.” See Kinsman; Redemption.

Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible

Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible Redeemer, Redemption

Redeemer, Redemption. English words derived from a Latin root meaning “to buy back,” thus meaning the liberation of any possession, object, or person, usually by payment of a ransom. In Greek the root word means “to loose” and so to free. The term is used of freeing from chains, slavery, or prison. In the theological context, the term “redemption” indicates a freeing from the slavery of sin, the ransom or price paid for freedom. This thought is indicated in the Gospels, which speak of Christ who came “to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:28; Mk 10:45).

Matthew 20:28

Matthew 20:28 NIV84
just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:45 NIV84
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised


The main OT terms associated with redemption include Heb. gāʾal (“redeem,” “act as kinsman), pāḏâ (“buy [off], ransom,” “redeem”), and their cognates. Both terms occur frequently; hence, the evidence bearing upon their meaning is copious.

“Release by the payment of a price” or “Buy Back”

Although both verbs may be used in the sense of deliverance without any necessary reference to the mode (cf. for gāʾal, Gen. 48:16; for pāḏhâ, 1 K. 1:29; Isa. 29:22), yet each, pervasively, has the differentiated meaning “release by the payment of a price” or “buy back”. In Exodus and Leviticus this meaning becomes patent.

Genesis 48:16

Genesis 48:16 NIV84
the Angel who has delivered me from all harm —may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly upon the earth.”

1 Kings 1:29

1 Kings 1:29 NIV84
The king then took an oath: “As surely as the Lord lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble,

Isaiah 29:22

Isaiah 29:22 NIV84
Therefore this is what the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, says to the house of Jacob: “No longer will Jacob be ashamed; no longer will their faces grow pale.

Redemption pertaining to the sanctifying of the firstborn males of humans and animals.

One aspect of redemption pertained to the sanctifying of the firstborn males of humans and animals (Ex. 13:2, 12; 22:29f.; cf. Lk. 2:23).

Exodus 13:2

Exodus 13:2 NIV84
“Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal.”

Exodus 13:12

Exodus 13:12 NIV84
you are to give over to the Lord the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the Lord.
, 12

Exodus 22:29f

Exodus 22:29f NIV84
“Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. “You must give me the firstborn of your sons. Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.

Luke 2:23

Ex 22:29
Luke 2:23 NIV84
(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”),

Redemption pertaining to special provisions for the redemption of land or property.

Another aspect of redemption pertained to special provisions for the redemption of land or other property.

Provisions for the redemption of a dwelling.

There were also provisions for the redemption of a dwelling.

Redemption in reference to the salvation wrought by God for his people

In the OT the concept of redemption occurs frequently in reference to the salvation wrought by God for His people.

But “redemption” is not merely deliverance; it also reflects on the mode of deliverance.

The stress frequently falls upon the power exerted by God in accomplishing deliverance and on the gratitude and devotion consequently owed by Israel (cf. Ex. 6:6f.; 10:1f.; 13:3, 14f.; 19:4–6; 20:22; Dt. 5:6).

Exodus 6:6f NIV84
“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.

Exodus 10:1f

Exodus 10:1f NIV84
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord.”

Exodus 13:3-14f

Exodus 13:3–14f NIV84
Then Moses said to the people, “Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the Lord brought you out of it with a mighty hand. Eat nothing containing yeast. Today, in the month of Abib, you are leaving. When the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Jebusites—the land he swore to your forefathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey—you are to observe this ceremony in this month: For seven days eat bread made without yeast and on the seventh day hold a festival to the Lord. Eat unleavened bread during those seven days; nothing with yeast in it is to be seen among you, nor shall any yeast be seen anywhere within your borders. On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of the Lord is to be on your lips. For the Lord brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand. You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time year after year. “After the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites and gives it to you, as he promised on oath to you and your forefathers, you are to give over to the Lord the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the Lord. Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons. “In days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord killed every firstborn in Egypt, both man and animal. This is why I sacrifice to the Lord the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.’

Exodus 19:4-6

Ex 13:
Exodus 19:4–6 NIV84
‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

Exodus 20:22

Exodus 20:22 NIV84
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven:
Ex 20:22

Deuteronomy 5:6

Deuteronomy 5:6 NIV84
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Salvation of the Lord, when conceived of as redemption, is release from bondage by ransom

Thus the salvation of the Lord, when conceived of as redemption, is release from bondage by ransom and reflects not merely upon the result but also upon the mode by which the deliverance is wrought.

As observed above, the intermediary who secures the redemption is called the gōʾēl. This title is frequently ascribed to the Lord in the OT, especially in Isaiah (cf. Job 19:25; Ps. 19:14 [MT 15]; Isa. 41:14; 43:14; 44:6, 24; 47:4; 48:17; 49:7, 26; 54:5, 8; 60:16; 63:16; Jer. 50:34).

Job 19:25

Job 19:25 NIV84
I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

Psalm 19:14

Psalm 19:14 NIV84
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Isaiah 41:14

Isaiah 41:14 NIV84
Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
Matthew 15 NIV84
Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ he is not to ‘honor his father’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: “ ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’” Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’ ” Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’ ” Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.” His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?” “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.” He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was four thousand, besides women and children. After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.
PS 19:14

Isaiah 43:14

Isaiah 43:14 NIV84
This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sake I will send to Babylon and bring down as fugitives all the Babylonians, in the ships in which they took pride.

Isaiah 44:6

Isaiah 44:6 NIV84
“This is what the Lord says— Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.

Isaiah 44:24

Isaiah 44:24 NIV84
“This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,

Isaiah 47:4

Isaiah 47:4 NIV84
Our Redeemer—the Lord Almighty is his name— is the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 48:17

Is 44:44
Isaiah 48:17 NIV84
This is what the Lord says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.

Isaiah 49:7

Isaiah 49:7 NIV84
This is what the Lord says— the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel— to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: “Kings will see you and rise up, princes will see and bow down, because of the Lord, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”

Isaiah 49:26

Isaiah 49:26 NIV84
I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Isaiah 54:5

Isaiah 54:5 NIV84
For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.

Isaiah 54:8

Isaiah 54:8 NIV84
In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer.

Isaiah 60:16

Isaiah 60:16 NIV84
You will drink the milk of nations and be nursed at royal breasts. Then you will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

Isaiah 63:16

Isaiah 63:16 NIV84
But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; you, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.

Jeremiah 50:34

Jeremiah 50:34 NIV84
Yet their Redeemer is strong; the Lord Almighty is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that he may bring rest to their land, but unrest to those who live in Babylon.

Messianic Prophecy - a Redeemer will come to Zion

Messianic prophecy takes the form of the promise that a Redeemer will come to Zion (Isa. 59:20; cf. Rom. 11:26); thus the coming salvation mentioned repeatedly in redemptive terms, is conjoined with the coming of One whose specific role is that of Redeemer.

Isaiah 59:20

Isaiah 59:20 NIV84
“The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the Lord.

Romans 11:26

Romans 11:26 NIV84
And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.


The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised

The NT terms related to redemption include Gk. lýtron, “price of release, ransom,” (Mt. 20:28; Mk. 10:45), lytróō, “set free, redeem,” “free by paying a ransom,” (Lk. 24:21; Tit. 2:14; 1 Pet. 1:18), lýtrōsis, “ransoming, releasing, redemption,” (Lk. 1:68; 2:38; He. 9:12), lytrōté̄s, “redeemer,” (Acts 7:35), apolýtrōsis, “release, redemption,” “state of being redeemed,” (Lk. 21:28; Rom. 3:24; 8:23; 1 Cor. 1:30; Eph. 1:7, 14; 4:30; Col. 1:14; He. 9:15; 11:35), exagorázō, “buy, buy up, redeem,” (Gal. 3:13; 4:5), agorázō, “buy, purchase,” (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23; 2 Pet. 2:1; Rev. 5:9; 14:3f.). The central notion of ransom is apparent in lýtron and its derivatives, and that of purchase in agorázō and exagorázō.

The NT language of redemption, with few exceptions (cf. Acts 7:35; Eph. 5:16; Col. 4:5), refers to the salvific work of Christ and to its effect for humanity.

Acts 7:35 NIV84
“This is the same Moses whom they had rejected with the words, ‘Who made you ruler and judge?’ He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush.
Ephesians 5:16 NIV84
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Colossians 4:5 NIV84
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.

Three Facts concerning NT redemption.

The word of Our Lord places beyond question three facts: (1) the work He came to accomplish was one of ransom, (2) the giving of His life was the ransom price, and (3) the ransom was substitutionary in character.

We cannot be surprised, therefore, to find one of them, echoing His very words, describing His work as a giving of Himself as a ransom (ἀντιλύτρον) for all (1 Tim. 2:6)” (Biblical Doctrines [1929], p. 361).

1 Timothy 2:6 NIV84
who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.

Tit. 2:14 similarly represents Christ’s self-giving as having the twofold design of ransom from all iniquity and the sanctification of the ransomed possession.

Titus 2:14 NIV84
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Peter, with perhaps clearer allusion to the specific character of redemption as ransom by price, writes, “You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Pet. 1:18f.).

1 Peter 1:18 NIV84
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers,

Redemptive Price - the Blood of Christ

The redemptive price here is plainly the blood of Christ. When Paul spoke of redemption through Jesus’ blood (Eph. 1:7), the same concept was without doubt in his mind.

Ephesians 1:7 NIV84
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

Justification (Accounting the guilty just before God) through the Redemption

When he spoke of being “justified … through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24) and then specified the propitiation in Jesus’ blood (v 25), the associations of ransom must be regarded as defining the contemplated redemption.

Rom 3:24
Romans 3:24 NIV84
and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Propitiation (Appeasing) in Jesus Blood

Romans 3:25 NIV84
God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—


Redeeming sinners is the sum and substance of the Messiah’s work, and appropriately “Redeemer” is one of His important titles. The Old Testament uses a couple of different words to refer to God’s redeeming His people, neither of which is limited to God’s activity in “salvation” redemption. One of the words (padah) often focuses directly on the Lord’s rescuing and delivering His people. It is the word David used when he praised the Lord after receiving the covenant promise: “What one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself … thy people, which thou redeemest to thee from Egypt …” (2 Samuel 7:23). The other word (ga’al) is what we want to define here; it is the root on which this title of Messiah is formed. In fact, the title “Redeemer” is just a participle of the verb. I have tried to avoid throwing around a lot of Hebrew words, but I think you may be familiar with this one. Though not transliterated precisely, I will use the word Goel to refer to this title.

The Goel is like the term “Messiah” itself in that it does not refer uniquely to the Lord Jesus. As there were lesser messiahs that pointed to the greater Messiah, so were there lesser goels that pointed to the Ideal. Understanding the word generally will help us understand its specific application to Christ. This is the word that frequently specifies the “kinsman redeemer,” and that is good because it highlights the distinctive and specifying component in this word’s meaning. This word assumes a relationship between the redeemer and the redeemed. The word assumes that the goel will perform the appropriate action to alleviate the need of those with whom he has a relationship. In fact, the goel is under obligation because of the relationship to do whatever is necessary to do. It is the goel that the Authorized Version translates as the “avenger” of blood (e.g., Joshua 20:9), whose obligation it was to execute the death penalty on one who had murdered a relative. Boaz, as the “near kinsman” (goel), did what was necessary to purchase property in behalf of Naomi and even went beyond the call of duty in marrying Ruth. The point is that whether paying a debt, freeing from slavery, reclaiming property for the family inheritance, or avenging a death, the goel did whatever was necessary to meet the need of his relatives.

All of this reaches its zenith when applied to the Messiah. Christ is for His people the Ideal Goel; He never fails to fulfill His obligation—we may say covenant duty—in behalf of those with whom He is related by virtue of that covenant. This is the information that you need to plug into those texts that refer to God as the Redeemer. I would suggest that the implications of goel are relevant in those texts that apply the term generally to God, and that even in those general statements the specific reference may be to the Messiah as the Agent of the Godhead who performs the necessary acts. So when David desires that the meditation of his heart be acceptable in the sight of the Lord, his Strength and Redeemer, we are warranted in seeing Christ (Psalm 19:14). He is certainly not excluded. Other passages are more explicitly messianic. When Isaiah declares that “the Redeemer shall come to Zion,” the reference is uniquely to Christ (Isaiah 59:20). Paul verifies that when he uses this verse in Romans 11:26–27 in referring to Israel’s future acceptance of Christ. Isaiah 59 describes the heinous sins that separate man from God. What man needs is someone to take care of the sin problem. In answer to man’s desperate need comes the Goel, who is the means by which men turn from transgressions. It is interesting that Paul, with his inspired theological insight, links the Deliverer’s turning away ungodliness to the covenant promise to take away sin. The apostle shows how it all fits together. Man needs to be delivered from sin; Christ delivers from sin; He does so on the basis of a covenant relationship. That is Goel work.

One final text will illustrate the beauty of this title of Christ. In the throes of his immense suffering, Job declared, “I know that my redeemer liveth” (Job 19:25). In addition to the physical and emotional torment that Job experienced, he endured the pain of a tarnished testimony and reputation. His friends assumed that he was guilty of sin and so accused him over and over again. Job himself had no clue as to why all of this misfortune had fallen his way. Although Job often and understandably despaired in his situation, he had faith that somehow, some way, some time vindication would come. In this high-water expression of that faith, he confesses that even if the vindication would not come until after his death, it would certainly come. His confidence was founded on his Goel, with whom he had a relationship and who was obligated to come to his defense. That Job knew this coming Redeemer was Christ is suggested by his earlier confession that his Witness was in heaven (Job 16:19). Although Job does not call this Advocate the Messiah, what Job expected that Advocate to do is exactly what Christ does for His people. Vindication is what Job needed; vindication is what his Goel would give him. The point I want us to see from this is that Christ’s being our Kinsman Redeemer is not limited to His redeeming us from sin. That is a wonderful part of it, but that He is our Redeemer means that He will always without fail be there for us. He does not save us to leave us. Whatever our need or crisis, the fact that we have a saving and personal relationship with Jesus Christ guarantees that He will meet our every need. “Redeemer” is a great name for our Savior.

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