Genesis 19 reveals the bawdy beginnings of the nation of Moab, “the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day” (Genesis 19:36-37). Later, attempting to curse Israel, “the king of Moab invited Balaam to curse you” (Joshua 24:9), the Moabites were themselves cursed by God, “No Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 23:3). Yet, God delights in redemption, and Ruth is a Moabite. Ruth displays her faithfulness in her most memorable words to her mother-in-law, Naomi, “For 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).
Central to this story is a person called a kinsman-redeemer. In ancient Israel, the brother of a man who dies childless would marry the widow left behind and father a son to carry on the dead man’s name and care for his family (Deuteronomy 25:5-9). The kinsman-redeemer in our story, however, refused to fulfill his role, because he did not want to put his own inheritance at risk. He wanted to keep it for himself.
Matthew 1 is “The List,” a record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. “The List” ends with Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus. From the book of Ruth are five people whose names are included in “The List,” Ruth, Boaz, Obed, Jesse, and David. One guy, however, did not make “The List.” The would-be kinsman-redeemer chose, rather, to cling to his wealth, and thus his wealth clung to him. We never even hear his name.
Our God, You are All in All. Your Name, “I Am That I Am,” proclaims who You are. You are Creator, the First and the Last. Simply put, there is nothing more important, more valuable than knowing You. You are most worthy of my attention and praise.
God, my desire is to stay focused on You, to hold loosely all things except You, to seek first Your Kingdom and Your righteousness, to leave my name in Your hands and to hold onto Your Name.