Friday, December 17, 2010

Ruth: Young widow becomes the third woman named in the lineage of Jesus Christ

Life in Bethlehem was difficult for the foreign-born widow. Ruth’s future was dim. Wake up every morning, go into the field, glean whatever you can from what’s left behind. Deal with the ridicule, the stares, the teasing and snide remarks, all for a handful of grain. Barely enough so a young widow and her mother-in-law won’t starve.

Go to bed, bone-tired. Get up early and do it all over again.

Today. Next year. Every year, until you are too old to do it. But God had another plan.

The Hebrew people might not have been inclined to embrace a foreigner, but Boaz was no run-of-the-mill Hebrew man.

He was wealthy. He owned a number of fields. He was well-liked in the community, a leader. A man of status, with people and harvest crews under him.

And he was the son of a foreigner. His mother? Rahab, the Canaanite woman from Jericho.

And perhaps God chose Boaz to join the line. . . because he would have a soft spot in his heart for a foreign-born woman. A woman like his own mother.

One day, while in the field, Boaz asks about the woman who gleans with the other women.

That’s Ruth, my lord. Naomi’s daughter-in-law. She is here every day. Sun up, sun down. She comes behind us like the other gleaners, to gather what we leave, and to take it back to Naomi.

She does that for Naomi?

Every day.

Very good. Let her glean. Oh, and leave a little extra behind for her. And tell the men to leave her alone. They mess with her; they deal with me. Make sure they understand.

Yes, Sir.

Eventually, Boaz and Ruth marry and have a son. They name him Obed.

And Obed has a son, and names him Jesse.

And Jesse has a son, and names him David.

And David has a son. . . and so on . . . and so on . . . until--

Son of David, born in the City of Bethlehem, a savior, who is Christ the Lord.


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