I have been translating Ruth this week in preparation for a test. This means spending a lot of time looking at the book. Although numerous sections of the book deserve to be spotlighted, I want to spend some time on the genealogy. Yes, a genealogy that section you normally skip.
In the case of Ruth the placement of the genealogy at the end of the book gives it a place of prominence. As this book is read out loud to the congregation this is the last words they will hear. So why is it there and what does it teach us?
To me the inclusion of the genealogy is really a summation of one of the major themes of the book. This theme is God’s ensuring that His plan comes to fruition. You see God promised Abraham that through his seed all nations would be blessed. This means that God has a special commitment to the offspring of Abraham. As Christians we know that the “seed” that would bless all nations is Christ. To the original Jewish audience Ruth’s connection to the great king David would be significant.
As you are reading Ruth the providence of God is seen. He is taking care of Ruth. He is providing for her in numerous ways. He is involving her in His plan of redemption. He brought her out of Moab. He provided her with a redeemer (marriage to Boaz) and from her comes David. Throughout her life you can see the hand of God ensuring that His promises will come true.
So what does this teach us? It reminds us that God is working out His will in this world. When God promises we can be assured it will happen. Ruth reminds us that God is involved in the life of His people to ensure His will is accomplished. It also reminds us that nothing can thwart God’s ultimate plan for humanity. What God promises will come true! If you don’t believe that reread Ruth, while keeping the promise to Abraham in mind.
Thank you for your Scripture, which bears witness to your goodness. Thank you for your faithfulness. Lord, we ask that you help us to remember that you are faithful. May that faithfulness lead us to serve you more diligently.
Through Your Son,
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