March 9, 2014

Humble Ancestry – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“The neighbor women gave him a name, saying, ‘A son has been born to Naomi!’ So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David.” (Ruth 4:17)

A few of us, today, have the privilege of meeting and listening to a great-grand parent. The Bible indicates that before the flood, when life-spans were much longer, this would have been a normal experience. However, by David’s time, average ages had declined to about the same as today.

“As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years…” (Psalm 90:10)

We do not know for certain who the human author of the fascinating book of Ruth may have been, but it was likely written by a contemporary of David, able to carry the genealogy of Ruth’s descendants down to her great-grandson, David. It is quite possible that the story was told directly to David by Ruth herself, his great-grandmother.

Was David aware that his lineage would be crucial evidence to determine that Jesus was the Messiah? In any case, when David later became king, he must surely have been intrigued by the providential circumstances that had led to his anointing. He would have read Genesis 49:8-12 in which Israel had said that a member of the tribe of Judah would be the ruler of the children of Israel some day. He must also have marveled at the wonderful grace of God that brought his great-grandmother, a Moabitess, into his ancestry, despite the proscription in Deuteronomy 23:3, stipulating that Moabites should not “enter the assembly of the Lord.” (It appears that full proselytes were excepted, Exodus 12:48; Acts 2:10; 6:5, 13:43). Considering the great concern for genealogy among the Jews, David likely was aware that Nahshon, who was the grandfather of Ruth’s husband, Boaz, had been the chief captain of the tribe of Judah when Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt (Numbers 1:4-5, 7), but that he had apparently failed in that role and perished in the wilderness. His fellow tribesman Caleb, was permitted to enter the Promised Land (Numbers 14:22-24) but, Nahshon, rather than Caleb, became David’s ancestor.

David, like Ruth and like Nahshon, and like every one of us, has been brought into the great family of the King not because of our own merits but by His marvelous grace! We have been born again “not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13). “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,” (Titus 3:5).

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris



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