Ruth 4:17-22 Boaz the Father of Obed

Ruth 4:17-22 NLTse The neighbor women said, “Now at last Naomi has a son again!” And they named him Obed. He became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David. (18) This is the gen

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ealogical record of their ancestor Perez: Perez was the father of Hezron. (19) Hezron was the father of Ram. Ram was the father of Amminadab. (20) Amminadab was the father of Nahshon. Nahshon was the father of Salmon. (21) Salmon was the father of Boaz. Boaz was the father of Obed. (22) Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David.

As we already know, words are repeated to draw our attention. Did you ever notice how names are repeated in certain genealogical orders recorded in the Bible? This prophecy about Jesus takes us to the first chapter of Matthew.

Matthew 1:3-6 NLTse Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (whose mother was Tamar). Perez was the father of Hezron. Hezron was the father of Ram. (4) Ram was the father of Amminadab. Amminadab was the father of Nahshon. Nahshon was the father of Salmon. (5) Salmon was the father of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab). Boaz was the father of Obed (whose mother was Ruth). Obed was the father of Jesse. (6) Jesse was the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah).

Why was it important to record Jesus’ family line? When we look back on Jesus’ genealogy, there are few names we recognize. It seems all of these people had their ups and downs. None of them was perfect. What important roles and lessons did some of these people teach us? At times it seems

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like God recorded their history for us to learn from. Are we learning, or do we accept their problems and short comings as human nature that will never change?

Look at Judah. Why was he chosen as one Jacob’s son to carry on the line to Christ? Judah had a sorted background to say the least. When we look at how he contributed to the line leading to Jesus, we see one of the strangest stories in the Bible.

Tamar was aware that Shelah had grown up, but no arrangements had been made for her to come and marry him. So she changed out of her widow’s clothing and covered herself with a veil to disguise herself. Then she sat beside the road at the entrance to the village of Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. Judah noticed her and thought she was a prostitute, since she had covered her face. So he stopped and propositioned her. “Let me have sex with you,” he said, not realizing that she was his own daughter-in-law. “How much will you pay to have sex with me?” Tamar asked. (Genesis 38:14-16 NLTse).

One day Judah decided to go into town to find a local prostitute, who turned out to be his son’s widow. To be fair, Judah had no way of knowing. It seems both parties put their interests ahead of everything. For some reason that doesn’t seem much different than any couple having sex outside marriage. The same principles, heartaches, disappointments, and misunderstanding apply no matter what the excuse.

About three months later, Judah was told, “Tamar, your daughter-in-law, has acted like a prostitute. And now, because of this, she’s pregnant.” “Bring her out, and let her be burned!” Judah demanded. But as they were taking her out to kill her, she sent this message to her father-in-law: “The man who owns these things made me pregnant. Look closely. Whose seal and cord and walking stick are these?” Judah recognized them immediately and said, “She is more righteous than I am, because I didn’t arrange for her to marry my son Shelah.” And Judah never slept with Tamar again. When the time came for Tamar to give birth, it was discovered that she was carrying twins. While she was in labor, one of the babies reached out his hand. The midwife grabbed it and tied a scarlet string around the child’s wrist, announcing, “This one came out first.” But then he pulled back his hand, and out came his brother! “What!” the midwife exclaimed. “How did you break out first?” So he was named Perez. Then the baby with the scarlet string on his wrist was born, and he was named Zerah. (Genesis 38:24-30 NLTse).

Its rather difficult to hide a baby. Even in large, loose fitting garments they wore in those days. It seems they had a less than civilized way to deal with unmarried pregnant women. They also seemed to have a double standard. When Judah was told Tamar acted like a prostitute, he demanded she be burnt. Judah must have forgotten about his encounter with a prostitute a few months ago. Tamar didn’t forget. She took out the personal items Judah felt behind to prove who the father was. Eventually Tamar had twins. We see another twist in fate. First one baby comes out. The nurse identifies the first with a red thread. He goes back in. I wonder if he knew what this world was like and decided to hang onto a secure environment for a while longer. Then the unexpected happened. Perez was born first. Although Zerah out his hand out first, Perez was the first to draw breath. Is there a spiritual lesson?

When we look back along Jesus’ genealogical line we see only a few firstborn sons God chose. Abraham’s first son was with an Egyptian slave. Jacob was Isaac’s second son, also a twin. Judah was not Jacob’s firstborn. David was Jesse’s youngest son. God rarely chose the eldest son. What lesson do we get from Perez? The spiritual lesson is found in one sentence. The midwife grabbed it and tied a scarlet string around the child’s wrist, announcing, “This one came out first.” God is telling us we should not rely on what people say or do. We have to always focus on God’s plan of salvation. Look at how many times people tried to help God with His plan when they didn’t understand it. Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar. (Genesis 16:1 NLTse). Later it was Rebekah trying to help God’s plan. Thinking God’s blessing came through Isaac’s voice, she hatched a plan to ensure his blessing would fall on Jacob. Of course Rebekah opened a can or worms with problems she had no idea she would face.

Boaz also adds a strange twist to the story. Not only did he have to go through an uncertain process to win Ruth’s hand in marriage, Boaz married a foreign woman. “The two sons married Moabite women. One married a woman named Orpah, and the other a woman named Ruth.” (Ruth 1:4 NLTse). Boaz fell in love and married a Moabite woman. Why? God wanted the world to see Jesus’ perfection did not reply on pure Jewish blood or a spotless genealogical.

Another familiar name is David. People are familiar with some of his stories. One story we’ve heard since we were children is how David defeated Goliath. David faced a giant with only a few stones. It took only one stone to topple the giant. The stone always reminds me of when Jesus renamed Simon. Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. (Matthew 16:17-18 NLTse). Some times I wander how it may have turned out if David had a better understanding of God and went to Goliath with the same understanding Peter had when he preached. I wander if the proud giant would have seen the light.

It must have been a difficult life for Goliath. People must have feared him from the time he was a boy. Others must have made fun of him based on his size. He didn’t have a friend until some one saw a way to use his strength and size to their advantage. They taught Goliath to hate and trained him to be a warrior. That is all he ever knew in life. What may have happened if David met Goliath when he was mature enough to explain how God wanted to call him back? Instead David looked at the giant and treated him in much the same manner the rest of the world did. Instead of listening to God, or praying about the situation David listened the his older brothers and other Israelites. “Have you seen the giant?” the men asked. “He comes out each day to defy Israel. The king has offered a huge reward to anyone who kills him. He will give that man one of his daughters for a wife, and the man’s entire family will be exempted from paying taxes!” (1 Samuel 17:25 NLTse).

As David grew, so did his confidence and of course, how he relied on himself. One day he sees a beautiful woman. David already had a number of wives and prostitutes. Would one more matter? What harm could one more woman cause? Lust clouded his mind. He sent someone to find out who she was, and he was told, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” (2 Samuel 11:3 NLTse). Nothing curved the lust of Israel’s king. Not duty to country, God, or a friend. This time adultery led to murder. So the next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and gave it to Uriah to deliver. The letter instructed Joab, “Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so that he will be killed.” (2 Samuel 11:14-15 NLTse). It’s such an important lesson God took another life so we could see the pattern. Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the LORD by doing this, your child will die.” (2 Samuel 12:14 NLTse). God took the life of David and Bathsheba’s son.

God’s plan of salvation takes a stranger turn when David’s second son through Bathsheba becomes king, and another in the long line to His Son, the Messiah. Why did God record the errors of such a dysfunctional family? To teach us lessons and reveal details about His plan of salvation. God’s plan of salvation is not based on anyone living a perfect life. God’s plan is not based on how good people are, or what their capabilities are. God’s plan is based on Jesus’ perfect life and sacrifice.

Judah should never have fooled around with a prostitute and committed adultery, but he did. Still God used Judah’s mistake and made it fit His plan of salvation. David should have never committed adultery and killed Bathsheba’s husband. Once again God used errors to teach a lesson in His plan of salvation. Jesus died to forgive those sins. But do we look at these examples in the Bible and say, “if it was alright with David, it must be alright to sin?” Look at the price David paid. He lost a son.

I’ve seen people using these examples to justify adultery. They see someone toss away marriage vows to follow their lusts just like David did. Family and friends support them saying, “they have freedom of choice. God wants them to be happy.” Did God want David to he happy at the expense of Uriah’s life and the death of his son? Still people look at these as examples and use them to encourage others when they commit adultery. Family and friends flock together to provide aid and answers by misinterpreting scripture without prayer or guidance from God’s Spirit. It’s human nature justifying and guiding human nature. Creating standards based on their comfort level.

Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation–the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ–for this will bring much glory and praise to God. (Philippians 2:12-15, 1:9-11 NLTse).

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