A Baby with a Future
Holy Spirit, Spirit of Wisdom, You inspire me with the words I should speak. I praise Your name.
Read Ruth 4:13-22
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful …” (Isa. 9:6). As Naomi held Obed, she had no idea what famous and influential descendants would follow.
The Lord enabled Ruth to conceive, and our story ends with Obed in Naomi’s arms, her own kinsman redeemer, who would carry her son’s name and sustain her in old age (15). The women round off the story with a moving tribute to Ruth: “your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons” (15).
There is, of course, no promise of a life free from trouble and tragedy. They had already experienced the years in Moab and the insecurities of their return. The people of God were 400 years in Egypt before being rescued, and 70 years in exile before their return, but this baby’s line would include King David and, in due time, the Savior of the world. The challenge for them, as for us, is to trust that the Sovereign Lord is working out his purposes, even in hard times. Ruth, the Moabite, is named at the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel in Jesus’ genealogy, along with Bathsheba the Hittite and Rahab the Canaanite. God was at work, even in the time of the Judges, bringing about his purpose for all the peoples of the world. One link in the Bible’s story is the town of Bethlehem, from the birth of Benjamin (Gen. 35:16-19) through Judges, Ruth, the birth of Obed, to Micah’s prophecy (Mic. 5:2), and the birth of Jesus.
Today, as then, the issues faced are common ones: widowhood, childlessness, poverty, prejudice against ethnic minorities, and vulnerability in some of the world’s male-dominated cultures. The call to commitment, integrity, kindness and trust in the Lord in the workplace, in the home and in exile is the powerful message of Ruth’s story. The story also teaches us that the Lord can use the loving interventions of others to turn despair into hope for those whose path is bitter.
What have been the challenges for you in this story? Pray for the gift of lovingkindness and for greater trust in God’s loving providence.
Father God, my prayer is that I may follow You wholeheartedly. I need integrity and commitment to demonstrate Your values in my home, workplace, and relationships.
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