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December 6, 2009

Devotional Reading : 2 Samuel 7:8-17
Background Scripture: Ruth 4:13-17; Matthew 1:1-17
Print: Ruth 4:13-17; Matthew 1:1-6

Key Verse: “The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, ‘A son has been born to Naomi.’ They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.” Ruth 4:17...

Upon the completion of this lesson, students will understand that:
1. The Birth of Jesus Christ was not a last-minute decision; it had been planned for many centuries before it occurred...

2. Jesus’ bloodline is of such that all races and classes of people can identify with Him...


Many religious groups will label today the second Sunday of Advent. The time is near for that “visit” by the Savior. Religious leaders were expecting a Messiah, but not in the manner in which He came. This preconceived notion of the Master’s appearance and mission caused church leaders of Jesus’ day to dismiss Him as the divine Promise. But indeed, He was our salvation – in the form of a poor, helpless infant. As our minds race ahead to Christmas Day, let us be ever mindful of how it all began, and how both the Old and New Testaments stand in complete agreement...


God often does things in a way such that man cannot take credit. Throughout the stories of the patriarchs in Genesis, God time and again furthered His mission by causing barren and/or aged women to bear children. Had it been any other way, the humans involved may well have attempted to take credit for what was to come...

Today’s lesson is another example of this concept. In order for Jesus’ bloodline to be what it came to be, it was necessary for a Moabite woman to marry a Jew (And of course this in itself would seem to fly in the face of the Law of Moses; cf. Deuteronomy 23:3). But not just any Jew: Boaz. This miracle called for a famine in Judah , followed by the deaths of two young husbands. That was followed by a decision of Ruth the Moabitess to accept both the Jews’ land and their God (Ruth 1:16). But even that was not sufficient: through Jewish practice, it was necessary for a kinsman of Boaz to decline the right to marry Ruth to pave the way for Boaz to take her to wife...

Again, only God could arrange all that...


I. Present and Future Joy -

(Ruth 4:13-17)

Naomi was to say the least an unhappy woman. In fact, she had earlier named herself “Mara” (bitter: cf. Ruth 1:20) in describing her quality of life. She had lost two sons and a husband, leaving her widowed and childless. But God did two things with a single act: He furthered His Plan of Salvation, while at the same time giving Naomi the joy of motherhood again. Notice verse 16. It was Ruth who gave birth to the child, who was fathered by Boaz, but it is Naomi who “nursed” the infant. In those days, this type of action was recognized as an adoption. This was the present joy – a child that was described by the women in attendance as “better…than seven sons…”. God did all this through opening the womb of Ruth, who bore a son that would be in that direct lineage from Abraham to Jesus...

As for the future joy, read verse 17. There the child is given the name “Obed”, which is interpreted “worshiper” or “servant”. Further, the author of the Book of Ruth (Largely agreed to be unknown) probably added the closing observation that Obed would be the father of Jesse, the father of David. Obviously, the lineage to Jesus is becoming clearer. God announced His Plan to Abraham, and portions of that are coming to pass in today’s lesson. Jesus announced His Plan to His waiting disciples as He left on a cloud. That Plan is also well under way...


(Matthew 1:1-6)

Reading these verses may seem to be not much more than an expansion of Ruth 4:17b. But a closer examination would reveal that Matthew is making a point: Jesus was indeed the Messiah that the Jews were waiting for, but failed to recognize. It is important for Matthew to repeat these lineages (They are all in the first three chapters of 1 Chronicles) to show that the writers of yesteryear were indeed correct, and indeed inspired. The writer of Chronicles was able to witness to portions of the genealogy, but Matthew was able to confirm that and show in a single paragraph how all these seemingly scattered relationships came to fruition in the Birth of the Savior. And why is this Birth so important? It’s because it represents God’s final initiative to save mankind. God began with Adam, but chose many years later to “begin again” with Noah. Then there was Abraham, father of a chosen nation. Finally, there is Jesus, who would pay the sin debt for past, present and future transgressions...

But the reader must be aware of the fact that the original promise made to Abraham in Genesis 12 has still not yet been fulfilled. That’s because ALL nations have not yet been blessed, and they won’t be, until after the Second Coming...


Two things are necessary for one to have hope: a sincere desire for something, and a reasonable chance of getting it. Take away either of the two and hope is lost. It is not difficult to imagine that we all hope for a bright future. We hope for an end to misery and disappointment, and a peaceful coexistence with loving friends and family. But is that a false hope?

Some 4000 years ago God made a single man a promise that is destined to affect us all. But can we hope that it will come to pass? One way of looking at it is the way suggested by the combined scriptures of today’s lesson. What is the “track record” of the one making the promise? Are there, as Hebrews 12 would declare, “clouds of witnesses” to the fact that portions of the Promise have already become a reality? It is little wonder that three separate scriptures, written by three different hands, would say the same thing: the hands are different, but the Author is the same...


1. Think of some of the most devastating occurrences in your life. How did these things affect your self-esteem?

2. Have you ever had support coming at the most opportune time, but from a totally unexpected source? Discuss those incidents...


1. Name some instances in which you know that God intervened in your life...

2. List some things that have happened during your lifetime that may have been fulfillment of Scripture...


Father, we thank you for first knowing our needs before they became needs. And we thank you most of all for your only Son, who supplied those needs. Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.


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Thanks again for an insightful lesson. Sorry it took me so long to read it.
Godspeed and God bless,
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