November 01, 2021

Family Connections

Ruth 4:18-22

Perez was the father of Hezron . . . Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David.

—  Ruth 4:18-22

The first mention of David in the Bible comes in the book of Ruth. David’s story was part of God’s much bigger story. Through the lives of David and many others, God was shaping and molding a people for himself. God called men and ­women into a relationship of grace, responsibility, and adventure.

The story of Ruth included disappointment, death, and dis­couragement. But as God worked in the lives of Ruth and Boaz, encouragement, joy, and hope began to shine through. Ruth and Boaz became ancestors of David.

Family connections anchored David’s life, making his family story an important part of his identity. As Eugene Peterson noted, “The genealogy shows that the story of Ruth and Boaz wasn’t simply a small love story into which they had acci­dentally fallen; rather it was a sprawling love story of epic proportions. For through the union of Ruth and Boaz came David” (Conversations).

Genealogies show us, in part, how God works in the world. Jesse told his children the stories of Perez, Hezron, Ram . . . Ruth and Boaz, and Obed as reminders of God’s faithfulness throughout the generations. And the thread of those stories went farther back to a couple named Abraham and Sarah, whom God had called into a relationship with himself (Genesis 12). This was part of the inheritance David had even before he was born.

Lord and God, thank you for your faithfulness and for calling me into a relationship with you as part of your story of life for us all. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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