Gleanealogy: Forward, Ever Forward (3)
Pray Psalm 72.18, 19.
Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel,
Who only does wondrous things!
And blessed be His glorious name forever!
And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen and Amen.
Sing with thanksgiving Psalm 72.18, 19.
(Martyrdom: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed)
Now bless the God of Israel Who wondrous works performs.
And bless His Name, His glory tell both now and forevermore!
Read Ruth 4.13-22.
1. What does this toledoth connect?
2. Is this a complete toledoth or partial? What does this suggest about its purpose?
The book of Ruth is a pivotal story in three ways. First, it demonstrates the sovereignty of God in delivering His people from the chaotic and destructive period of the judges into the flourishing and prosperous realm of David. The book begins in the time of the judges; its last word is David.
Second, it demonstrates again God’s determination to bring the nations of the world into the family of the blessed people. Strong condemnations had been pronounced against all the people of Moab for their treachery against Israel as they approached Canaan (Deut. 23.3, 4). Yet here a Moabitess is redeemed and incorporated not only into the people of the tribe of Judah, but into the very line of David.
Third, the concluding toledoth of Ruth links her and her grandson David all the way back to Judah’s son Perez, using the formula – וְאֵ֙לֶּה֙ תּוֹלְד֣וֹת, elle toledoth, or “this is the genealogy” – which we saw to be so foundational in establishing God’s people, place, and project in the book of Genesis. These five verses (18-22) construct a genealogical bridge all the way back to the patriarchs, through the journey in the wilderness, the conquest of the land, and the time of the judges, to the coming of Israel’s first great king. It is a very condensed genealogy, because the writer does not want us to miss the connection he was trying to make.
But why start this genealogy with Perez and not Judah? Because Perez – like Ruth, and like Rahab, wife of Salmon (Matt. 1.5) – was a Gentile, and not one of the descendants of Abraham. Ruth’s incorporation into the people of Israel is thus consistent both with what God had promised Abraham (“all the families of the earth”) and what He had done previously. It reminds us of the promise of God’s covenant and points us forward to the day when all the families of the earth will know the blessings of God’s grace.
1. We recall that David only became king after seven years of civil war (2 Sam. 5.1-5). How might this toledoth have helped David in seeking to establish his claim to the throne of Israel?
2. How does this genealogy serve to remind us of the faithfulness of God?
3. Write a prayer of thanksgiving, using names from this toledoth to outline your prayer.
Ruth was a foreigner, but nevertheless she was married to Boaz. So, too, the church is from among the Gentiles. For like Ruth, these Gentiles had been foreigners and outside the covenants, yet they forsook their people, their idols and their father, the devil. And as Ruth was wed to Boaz of the seed of Abraham, so too was the church taken as bride by the Son of God.. Theophylact (ca. 1050-ca. 1108), Explanation of Matthew 1.3, 4
Great is Your faithfulness, Lord! Help me to be faithful to Your Word today as I…
Pray Psalm 72.7-17.
Ruth points us forward to David, and David points us forward to Christ through Solomon. His prayer for his son envisions the coming of Christ’s Kingdom. Pray that God will give you a clearer vision of what it means to seek and advance His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
Sing Psalm 72.7-17.
Psalm 72.7-17 (Martyrdom: Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed)
Let righteousness abundant be where Jesus’ reign endures.
Let peace increase from sea to sea ‘til moonlight shall be no more.
And let the Righteous rule the earth, and let His foes bow low.
Let nations praise His matchless worth, and all His bidding do.
The Lord the needy rescues when he cries to Him for grace.
All they who suffer violence find mercy before His face.
Let Christ be praised and all the gold of Sheba be His right.
Let blessings to His Name be told, and prayers made both day and night.
And let the earth abound with grain, let fields His fame proclaim.
And may our King forever reign and nations bless His great Name.
T. M. Moore
The poems featured in the Gleanealogy series are by T. M. Moore. To order T. M.’s most recent collection of poems, Bricks and Rungs, click here. The genealogies of Scripture reveal the heart of God in His covenant relationship with His people. To learn more about God’s covenant, order our book, I Will Be Your God, by clicking here. You can learn to sing all the psalms to familiar hymn tunes by ordering a copy of The Ailbe Psalter (click here).
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).