podcast

#485 – Advent: A Flawed Family Tree and a Faithful God (Ruth 4:13–17)

Pray The Word
Ruth
4
13–17
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So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. 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.
(Ruth 4:13–17)

I love the book of Ruth. This story is awesome in so many different ways, and this conclusion is one of the ways. It’s a powerful story of God’s provision for Naomi: this widow who loses her husband and her sons and brings Ruth into her life, which she doesn’t even see necessarily as the blessing that she is. But God’s design in using Ruth, this Moabite woman, to bring about not just blessing for Naomi and her family, but in a far greater way—so the way this book ends, the fact that Obed is born to Boaz and Ruth, and Obed would become the father of Jesse, who would become the father of David. It doesn’t even say this until the end of the book, but you realize, “Whoa, this is the story not just of God’s provision for Naomi, and Ruth, and Boaz, this is God’s provision for His people. This is the grandfather of King David. This is how King David’s granddad was born.”

In this story, oh, there’s so much we could talk about in this story, but I just want you to think about the family tree at work here. This is the family tree of King David, who will lead to King Jesus, and this whole Bible book named “Ruth” is about a Moabite woman. The Moabites were a cursed people dating way back. Moabites had seduced Israelite men into sexual immorality, and a curse had been pronounced upon them. So Moabites were not the ideal people in Israelite eyes, and this is part of why Naomi, when she comes back to Bethlehem, and she has a Moabite daughter-in-law, it’s almost like she’s ashamed. But God takes this Moabite woman and her faith in Naomi’s God and uses this to bring about the lineage of King David and ultimately King Jesus.

You might think “Well, what in the world is a Moabite woman doing in that family line?” but that’s kind of the point. What in the world is your name doing in that family line? Or my name? It comes from Jesus. How are we a part of this family tree? The beauty is, God is bringing the nations to His family. It’s not just Israelites; it’s the nations. This is an unexpected, diverse, universal, in that sense, family tree. Not in the universal sense of everyone who was ever born is a part of this family tree because the way into this family is through belief in Jesus, through trust in Jesus, attachment to Jesus, affection for Jesus. So the great news of the gospel and Jesus’ coming is that salvation is available to anyone, anywhere, in any nation, who trusts in Jesus. So there are no limits when it comes to who Jesus loves and who can be a part of this kingdom.

I think about praying today for the Berber in Algeria—Berber people, two-and-a-half million in Algeria, very few, if any, believers at all. Yet God wants Berbers from Algeria in his family. Jesus died (Revelation 5) to bring Berbers from Algeria into His family. So be awed by the fact that you and I are part of this family tree. Be awed by all the nations that are part of this family tree, and live in your life, in your family, and in your church, to be a part of this spread of this family tree to the nations. God, we praise You. We praise You for Ruth, the Moabite, for Your grace in her, for the role she played in bringing about King David and ultimately King Jesus. We praise You for this family made up of the nations of the unlikeliest, and we put ourselves there.

Thank You. Thank You. Thank You for saving us from our sins. Thank You for, in an unlikely way, bringing a sinner like me, and others who are listening to this, into Your family that we might be a part of the family line of Jesus Christ. All glory be to Your name, oh God, for the privilege of being sons and daughters of Yours. And we do, we pray for the spread of this family tree to all the nations. God, we pray for the spread of this family tree among the Berber in Algeria. Please, oh God, please bring many Berbers in Algeria to know, and trust, and believe, and receive your grace in Jesus. We pray for that, for the spread of the gospel to all the nations. We pray that You would use our lives, and our families, and our churches toward that end. God help us to live with urgency for the expansion of this family tree until every nation, tribe, and tongue has heard, and received, and believed, and become a part of Your family. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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