Devotion: Ruth 4:17-22There are rare moments in our lives when the curtain seems to be pulled back and we get a glimpse at what God was up to all along. In Scripture these moments are more common and we have one for our passage this week:
"And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.The Book of Ruth up to this point has been the story of Elimelech's family, specifically focusing on Naomi and her Moabite daughter-in-law Ruth. We have traveled with them back to Bethlehem and have seen how God miraculously provided for them. The ultimate provision, restated in 4:17, is that God provided a son for a Naomi, an heir for the family of Elimelech who was also the son of Ruth and Boaz. In this way Elimelech's line would not be forgotten, but even more, the man named literally, "My God is King," would see his own line produce King David the Great and, in God's own time, King Jesus the Risen.
Now these are the generations of Perez: Perez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Ram, Ram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon, Salmon fathered Boaz, Boaz fathered Obed, Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David" -Ruth 4:17-22 ESV
In the midst of the story of two women trying to survive in a world that seems to be stacked against them we can lose sight of what God is doing. Even as Boaz and Ruth have both shown typologically to play roles as a redeemer, God is the ultimate redeemer of the story. God orchestrates Ruth's arrival in the field of Boaz when he would notice her. God sends food to Naomi to sustain her. God works through Naomi to send her to Boaz on the threshing floor and God chooses Boaz, not the other unnamed relative, to be the kinsman-redeemer for the line of Elimelech. God has been moving the whole time and bringing matters to the conclusion of the book, the coming of David.
God's movement to bring about King David is not say that God only cares about Ruth and Naomi for the children they would produce, that is, that the women and even Boaz are merely means to an end. God cares deeply for these three, so much so that he includes them in the grand story of redemption that he has been telling all along.
In our own lives we can miss what God is doing. We can be caught up in the details of daily existence with its worries and anxieties. We can be focused on the grind of life. Even our reading of God's Word and prayer can become just another part of the routine. Still I hope that from time-to-time we get a glimpse of the grand story of redemption and how God has included us in that story. We need to see that we belong to the redemption story of Jesus and that our place in that story that is still being told, is not insignificant. Our salvation was won for us on the cross of Jesus Christ. The death of Jesus was a invaluable price for our redemption. God has included us in the story of redemption by paying this price and giving to us the faith we need to enter into the story. He has done this by orchestrating in little and big ways our salvation. Every Christian has a testimony to tell about how God has brought about that salvation and that story is worth telling as it points to the big story of God's salvation of sinners through faith in Jesus Christ by grace.
The Book of Ruth seems to be the story of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz, but in the end it is the story of God's great salvation.
Billy Graham died today at the age of 99. He was a true evangelist for Christ. In honor of this man who now rests in the arms of the Savior here are two versions of "Just As I Am." The top is from the Queen of Gospel herself, Mahalia Jackson. The bottom is Aaron Shust and is officially from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Let us give thanks for his life and come to Jesus for comfort and hope.
News for You:
- You may have noticed that we just finished Ruth. Next up for our devotions will be Jonah.
- The Maundy Thursday service will be March 29 at 7 p.m. at CPC. This will be a service of the Word, Prayer and Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
- CPC will be hosting the Community Good Friday service this year on March 30 at 7 p.m. Come worship with sisters and brothers from around our valley.
- We are still on the hunt for a part-time youth director. If you or someone you know is interested, contact the church office.
- The Session of CPC will be meeting this Sunday, Feb. 25, at noon.