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Linked to Royalty

Author: F. Duane Lindsey
Week of October 19, 2014
Ruth 4:18-21; 1 John 4:7-11

A genealogist in London, who noticed the large number of Americans trying to trace their British ancestors, said, “Often they’re elderly people without relations who want to recreate a sense of family feeling by learning about their forebears.”

Biblical genealogies also recreated a sense of family continuity over the generations. The genealogy found in Ruth 4:18-21 is more significant than an appendix tacked onto the end of the book. It forms a literary and historical bridge connecting Israel’s patriarchal past with her monarchical future. Moreover, it is a connecting link between Abraham, “God’s friend” (James 2:23), and David, “a man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14; Acts 13:22). The genealogy is a key to unlock the theological significance of God’s providential dealings in the story of Ruth—to provide a godly ancestry for David the king.

Thus the story of redemption in the Book of Ruth is a logical link between the Abrahamic Covenant, in which God promised to Abraham a land and a people, and the Davidic Covenant, in which God promised to David a dynastic succession or line of descendants that culminated in Jesus Christ, and an everlasting throne and kingdom.

The genealogy is selective, listing only ten generations in the period of about 800 years from Perez the son of Tamar (Gen. 38:27-30) to David. The inclusion of Boaz, the natural father of Obed, may seem peculiar since Obed was the legal son of Mahlon. Perhaps the narrator was stressing God’s grace to Boaz as well as to Ruth.

inclusion in the line to David meant inclusion in the line to Jesus Christ. How fitting that Boaz, the kinsman-redeemer of Naomi and Ruth, was reckoned in the line to the Kinsman-Redeemer of all mankind. More important than the feeling of belonging to a physical family is that of belonging to the family of God with other believers as our brothers and sisters.

For us: Let’s recognize that spiritual kinship because of what Christ has done for us.

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