What’s in a Genealogy? Not much right? It’s just a list of names.
Yes, but…those names are of real people with real stories. And those stories matter.
As we studied the book of Ruth we saw that the entire book ends with a genealogy of David:
Now these are the generations of Perez : to Perez was born Hezron, and to Hezron was born Ram, and to Ram, Amminadab, and to Amminadab was born Nahshon, and to Nahshon, Salmon, and to Salmon was born Boaz, and to Boaz, Obed, and to Obed was born Jesse, and to Jesse, David (4:18-22).
But why put this at the end of the book of Ruth? Essentially it shows the “birth certificate” of David, who just so happened to be the grandson of Obed. David would be the first legitimate and greatest king of Israel. God was answer the plea from Judges 21:25 – “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
God is saying to his covenant people, “Amidst all this darkness, I have not forgotten about you. I’ve been working to provide a great king for you.”
The story of Ruth is not just about a sweet marriage in a little village and a happy grandmother. It’s about the Lord sovereignly exercising his covenant love to redeem a people for himself through the lineage of David. This story points forward to David. The book of Ruth tells us about the preservation of the family line of David. And it’s from the line of David that Jesus Christ would come! So the story of Ruth points forward to David who points forward to Jesus!
But there’s more!
Notice who is part of this genealogy. Perez whose mother was Tamar. Boaz whose mother was Rehab. Obed whose mother was Ruth. David whose wife was Bathsheba.
Those are the four women listed in the genealogy of Jesus (cf. Matt. 1:1-17). That’s right included in the genealogy of Jesus is Tamar, a foreigner who deceived her father-in-law to sleep with her; Rehab, a prostitute; Ruth, a broke, widow from enemy land; Bathsheba, an adulteress.
Oh, how great of a Redeemer we serve! That he would not only redeem the foreigner, the prostitute, the enemy, and the adulteress, but sovereignly orchestrates it so that his very family line included those people so that we are left with no doubt about his redeeming power and love.
Remember, that you are Tamar, Rehab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. Yet, God in his kindness offers the same redemption to you.