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July 2018 Letter

Great-Grandmother to the King

 

Ruth of Moab, the subject of the biblical book that bears her name, is an inspiring example of God’s grace and mercy to His children. Although she was a Gentile, God made her the great-grandmother of King David (Ruth 4:17) and an ancestress of Jesus Himself (Matthew 1:5).

 

A famine in Israel led Elimelech and Naomi of Bethlehem to immigrate to the neighboring nation of Moab with their two sons. The sons married Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth, but after about ten years, Elimelech and his sons died (Ruth 1:1-5). Naomi then decided to return to Bethlehem and urged her daughters-in-law to return to their families in Moab. Orpah listened to Naomi’s advice, but Ruth refused, replying, “Where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16).

 

After Ruth arrived in Bethlehem, Boaz, a close relative of Elimelech, agreed to be Ruth’s “redeemer” (Ruth 3:7-13; 4:9-12). He took her as his wife, and Ruth gave birth to Obed, the grandfather of David (Ruth 4:13-17), thus preserving the messianic line. Ruth’s kindness and selfless loyalty toward Naomi and her faith in Naomi’s God have long endeared her to the faithful and contributed greatly to God’s praise for His merciful choice of one so unexpected.

 

Faithful God, You promised to preserve Your people and save Your inheritance, using unlikely and unexpected vessels in extending the genealogy that would bring about the birth of Your blessed Son. Give us the loyalty of Ruth and her trust in the one true God, that we, too, might honor You through our submission and respect and be counted among Your chosen people, by the grace of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and the Holy Spirit, who reign together with You, now and forever. Amen.

 

July Blessings!

 

Pastor David A. Feddern