Wait! Boaz has explained the situation to the relative that is closer than he is. There is land to acquire. The relative says, “Sure! I’ll buy the land.” Then Boaz shares, “But wait, there’s more.” Read Ruth 4:5-6.
Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from the hand of Naomi, you must also acquire Ruth the Moabitess, the widow of the deceased, in order to raise up the name of the deceased on his inheritance.” The closest relative said, “I cannot redeem it for myself, because I would jeopardize my own inheritance. Redeem it for yourself; you may have my right of redemption, for I cannot redeem it. “
RUTH 4:5-6 NASB
There’s a wife involved with this purchase. As is custom, when the men of a family die, the close relative is to buy the land and then take the childless widow as his wife. Then the son from that marriage will inherit all the land that originally belonged to the man who passed away. This way, a family’s inheritance remains intact.
When the relative found out there was a widow involved and not just land, he realized that there was more responsibility to this deal than he wanted to take on. So, he backed out. There was nothing in it for him anymore. He was more concerned with his own personal holdings and wealth than in doing what was right for the family.
What about us? Are we willing to do what is right, even if there is nothing in it for us? Or are we just looking for the angle to ensure that we get the best deal possible for ourselves?