Journey Through Ruth, Part Four
Ever felt like your past defines you?
Ever felt like that one decision took you from being “good” to being “bad?”
Ever felt like there was no way God could use you?
Ever felt like that your family history has doomed you to a failed future?
If so, I come with good news . . .
“No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation.” (Deuteronomy 23:3)
Scripture clearly tells us no Moabite was to be included in the assembly of the Lord’s people. Knowing that Ruth was a Moabite and forbidden even to enter the assembly of the Lord, when I came to the end of her story, my heart almost exploded with thankfulness. The book of Ruth ends with a family tree. I honestly almost skipped over it, because–let’s get real–don’t we all always skip over the long list of names? But I sure am glad I didn’t…….
This is the family tree of Perez:
Perez had Hezron,
Hezron had Ram,
Ram had Amminadab,
Amminadab had Nahshon,
Nahshon had Salmon,
Salmon had Boaz,
Boaz had Obed,
Obed had Jesse,
and Jesse had David.
A Moabite woman. From the forbidden nation. The worst of the worst. The lowest of the low. The ones whose nation was formed out of sin. The woman who was always known for her family’s history. The one who never even had a chance to clear her name. The one born into shame. The one who never thought she had a shot…. The one who in the end became an ancestor of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is speaking over you right now, “I don’t care.”
He doesn’t care where you came from. He doesn’t care how many bad choices you have made.
Nothing you could have ever done or could ever do will ever take you out of the divine plan Jesus has had sketched out for your life all along.
It made no difference to Him that Ruth was a downcast, Moabite woman. He called her. He chose her. He used her.
Beloved, He calls you. He chooses you. He will use you.
God’s providence is hard to understand. Neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament promise that believers will escape affliction in this life. That makes the story twice as encouraging because it shows that God is willing and able even to turn His judgments into joys. If Ruth was brought into the family by sin, it is twice as astonishing that she is made the grandmother of David and an ancestor of Jesus Christ. Don’t ever think that the sin of your past means there is no hope for your future.
Although it’s often difficult to see, in everything He does God desires that His children will find joy in Himself. Who would have imagined that in the worst of all times—the period of the judges—God was quietly moving in the tragedies of a single family to prepare the way for the greatest King of Israel? If anything has landed in your lap that has convinced you that your future is hopeless; learn from Ruth that God is right now at work for you to give you a future and a hope. Just wait……
So as we come to an end of our studies of Ruth, I want to just end with a recap.
The story of Ruth is written so we might flourish with hope.
It’s a story that shows how God moves in a mysterious way. It’s for people who wonder where God is when one tragedy after another attacks their faith. It’s a story for people who wonder whether a life of integrity in tough times is worth it. It’s a story for the girl/woman trying to patiently wait for the man of her dreams. And it’s a story for people who can’t imagine that anything great could ever come of their ordinary lives of faith. It is a story written so that we might flourish with hope. It is a story written for me, and it is a story written for you.
Breathe it in and go live it out.
Things to think about:
- Have you ever doubted that God would use you because of something you have done? If so, what was it?
- Have you ever felt like your families reputation made you be looked down upon? (idk how to word that one hahaha)
- Do you believe that Jesus can use even the ugly parts of your life?
- What has been your biggest take away from this Ruth series?