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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Ruth 4:13-22

Verse 17 The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

There once was a baby boy born in a little town called Bethlehem. No, not that boy that we celebrate at Christmas. This little boy was his ancestor.

We first hear of this little town in Genesis 35:19. Its name at that time was Ephrath and is where Jacob buried his beloved wife, Rachel. Then it shows up a few times in the time of the Judges, one time that has great relevance to our story of David.

A man from Bethlehem named Boaz married a Moabite woman who had chosen to follow God and the mother of her dead husband. Ruth was so loving to Naomi that the whole town took notice including Boaz. She was younger than he was but he was second in line to marry her to keep the land in the family. This act of redemption was something that was to point to the work of the One promised from God way back in the Garden of Eden.

Boaz was the son of Salmon and Rahab, the prostitute from Jericho. Boaz and Ruth had a son named Obed and Obed had a son named Jesse. All these generations lived in this little town of Bethlehem and so it was into this town that Jesse had a son named, David. Boaz had made a name for himself as the hero in the book of Ruth but we know nothing about the life Obed led or much about Jesse. But David took after his great grandfather in way of becoming a hero that all looked up to.

One thing we know about Boaz and Jesse and most likely Obed was their relationship with God. We can see from the way that Boaz lived that he was a devote follower of God in a time when the majority of Israel was following the ways of the false gods of the people of Canaan. He would likely have been intentional about making sure his son, Obed, also understood that God alone was worthy of praise. And because of the faithfulness of his father, Jesse was raising his sons in the same manner. And that is why God chose David as His special man.

Making It Personal

How many generations of believers do you come from? Are you living in a way that future generations will know about Jesus? In what way does your life need to change so that your legacy will reflect Christ in the best way?

Making It Personal Kids

Who did you first learn about Jesus from? Do your grandparents love Jesus too? What is something that you learned from your mom, dad or grandparents that helped you grow to be more like Jesus?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for this example of generations living for You. Please help us do our part to make sure that the next generation knows and loves You too. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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