We wrap up our story of Ruth with an abbreviated version of the genealogy of David. This is also a snipped of Jesus’ genealogy as He follows king David.
God chose the tribe of Judah to bring His Son into the world. He also chose the tribe of Judah to be king over His people. Funny thing is though He chose Israel’s first king from the tribe of Benjamin. We will be diving deeper into those stories when they appear later in our reading. But I want to share something that clicked in my spirit really quick.
When God chose Saul to be king over Israel, he wasn’t chosen for his closeness to God. He was someone that was outstanding physically among the people. He stood head and shoulders above the rest of the people. He ‘looked’ like a king. And he acted like one in how he treated the people. They were there for his benefit.
When God chose David is was because of his heart. David didn’t ‘look’ the part of king. He was a ruddy young man. He would grow into the position through many years of leading people under the hand of God. He choices were most often governed by what God wanted and the protection of those following him. He benefitted the people. The outcasts came to him to find a worthy place.
I’m CERTAIN God knew that Saul’s line was NOT going to stay in leadership before He even called him. Was Saul a stop gap to get the people from their insistence on a king until David was ready? Was Saul used to give the people a bad example so they would be ready for a godly one? Why not hold out a little longer and start with David? Was this so that the people could see the kingdom pass from one family to another? They certainly did this after Solomon’s death. I’m just curious as to what lessons God intended with His choices.
ANYWAY, back to our reading. The writer of Ruth wants to emphasize David’s relationship to Judah. He is a direct descendant. In Jacob’s final blessings to his sons Judah is prophesied as ruler of his brothers.
“Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion’s cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he has washed his garments in wine and his vesture in the blood of grapes. His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk” (Genesis 49:8-12).
We see Boaz and Ruth’s son become part of that prophecy. Ruth is not from the tribe of Judah but Elimelech and Boaz were. Therefore their, and Naomi’s, son is of this tribe; the tribe who would rule over his brothers. I am a little curious though why we start with Perez and not Judah. That might be a question I add to my “bench question” list.
I wonder if Ruth was alive to tell her own story to the writer of this book. Probably not as that would make her QUITE old! It is not an impossibility that Obed was alive though. He could have told his mother’s story. I imagine him asking to be told the story many times throughout his life. I imagine Naomi told it REALLY well! Naomi would have made certain Ruth’s acts of love were give true weight. All his parents would have included how they KNEW God had great plans for him; if not him directly then his descendants.
We ALL have stories to tell; contributions to make. We may not even recognize the contributions we have made. I don’t imagine Ruth saw herself as a great woman of God. She probably did what came natural to her heart. Yet her words have been spoken throughout the ages. Her actions have touched the hearts of people around the world. No, her story is not bigger that Jesus’ but is a link to His own.
God used a young woman ready to abandon EVERYTHING & EVERYONE she ever knew because of her love for her mother-in-law. Not even a blood relative. But someone she cared for even above her own life. God adopted Her into HIS family. She was grafted in and became part of His story. And THAT is how my story goes with Him. I was adopted in and abandoned ALL this world has to be part of His story. To be HIS daughter. Beyond that ‘chapter’ in my story, I leave up to your imagination.
Father God, THANK YOU for making me part of Your story. I have no idea the tales that are or will be told about me through the ages. I seriously doubt any of my words will survive the test of time. I’m pretty sure my actions won’t be held up as an example over the ages. But if people remember me as Your child, that will be enough. I pray there is enough evidence in my life to cement that story.
I know I have a romanticized view of Ruth. I’m sure there were some days when she wasn’t cheerful and full of smiles. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that she even threw a spoon at Boaz when frustrated one day. I have no idea why that vision popped into my head. Maybe it was from You. Maybe not. Only You, Ruth and Boaz can answer that. I would like to spend time getting to know her full story. I wonder how far off my version is. Would she blush if she read her own story? I have a feeling she would.
Help me ‘write’ a story with my life that glorifies You. That will be enough for me.