History Matters

One of the things I love the most about reading Scripture is when I can read the genealogies. They are in there for a reason. They show God cares about people. Not just nations, but specific folks. That’s a reminder to us that He cares about each one of us as an individual. Yes, Christ loves the Church, but He also loves me and you, too. And when we look at the genealogies, we can see God’s plan in action. That’s one of the things we talked about a bit with the youth on Sunday. We can see His plan of redemption from the very beginning of Genesis. And we can see that God had marked His Son out for those who were devoted to Him by what transpired in Luke 2. And as I think about all that, I keep coming back to this same portion of genealogy:

Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah. – Matthew 1:5-6, NASB

At first, this seems like a pretty dry portion of Scripture, but it’s not. We know that Scripture tells us that Jesus had to be descended from David. This is due to the promise God made to David. Matthew 1 details the line of Joseph, a line of kingly ascension. Luke 3 details the line of Mary, according to most scholars, and also shows an ascension from David. So both lines tell us Jesus had the credentials to be Messiah. So why do I focus on these two verses? First is a reminder that the beautiful story we find in the book of Ruth contributes to the line of our Savior. When Boaz, the Kinsman-Redeemer, married Ruth, he got more than a bride, a mother-in-law, and some land. He also got a place in the line to the One who would save His people from their sins. Boaz married a Moabitess, not even a Jew, and we will remember his name forever because of his integrity and kindness. But there’s more to it than that.

Boaz’s father was Salmon. Okay, we don’t know a lot about him. But look at who Boaz’s mom was. She was Rahab. The same Rahab of Jericho fame. She wasn’t a Jew, either. So if anybody could appreciate the trials of a foreigner within the family, it was Boaz. And that made him the perfect person to reach out to Ruth. It wasn’t by accident that Ruth attracted Boaz’s notice. And if you think about it, it wasn’t coincidence that the spies showed up at Rahab’s house in the first place. It was all part of a greater plan. Rahab was going to be in the line of the Savior. So was Ruth. And if you go back and research how the Moabites came about (Genesis 19:30-37), you really get a sense that God can make all things work towards His glory.

And when you look at these verses in the light of all of what I’ve indicated, suddenly they aren’t so dry any more. Rather, they are a reminder to us that history matters. We matter. Who are parents are/were matters. Our kids matter. God cares about us. He loves us. And He has a master plan. We can take comfort in that. And we can look forward to whatever His plan is for us. There will be times when He will pleasantly surprise us. We can look at Rahab, Boaz, and Ruth as proof of this. And there will be times of hardship. David’s running from Saul was a great example of this. But overall, God’s plan brings Him glory and should serve to draw us closer to Him. And as we walk in His plan, we become a part of the history of faith, too.

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