Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Lineage of David: A Son Is Born -International Sunday School Lesson

International Sunday School Lesson
For Week Ending December 6, 2009

Purpose: To realize that we are chosen and empowered to serve the Lord not because of our past or our bloodline, but by His love and mercy.

Scripture Text: Ruth 4:13-17; Matthew 1:1-6 (NRSV)

Ruth 4:13-17
(13) So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. (14)Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! (15)He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” (16)Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. (17)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.

Matthew 1:1-6
(1)An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. (2)Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, (3)and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Aram, (4)and Aram the father of Aminadab, and Aminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, (5)and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, (6)and Jesse the father of King David. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah.

My Thoughts by Burgess Walter

Over the past couple of years I have made an attempt to track the genealogy of my grandfather, who came to the United States, by himself, when he was about 12 years old. I have found through old census reports, he claimed to have been born in Hesse, Germany, but that is where the trail ends. The story goes he came over to join his family, which had settled in the Bronx, New York. However, his father and mother already had a house full, so he and a sister were put on a train to go live with an aunt in Pennsylvania. Grandpa, did not like that idea, and never got off the train, later he was found wandering at the Chicago Worlds Fair, and was brought to Indiana to be raised by a family near St. Joe, Indiana. I have an old picture of him, as a young lad, given to us by an old family friend, and on the back it says “George Walter Vagabond.”

Looking back, some thing make sense, his favorite song was a little ditty that went “I've got shoe, you've got a shoe, all God's children got a shoe, when I get to heaven going to put on my shoes, going to walk all over God's heaven, heaven,everybody talks about a heaven aint a going there, heaven, heaven.” What vagabond wouldn't love that song? Thankfully Grandpa went on to serve in the Spanish-American War and was a successful potato farmer; hence, my father also became a potato farmer, about a mile from my grandfather’s farm.

The story of Ruth is also a story about a transplanted family. Ruth's mother-in-law Naomi and her husband had moved away from Bethlehem, their home town, and gone around the Dead Sea to Moab, because of a famine in Judah. While in Moab, one of Naomi's sons married a Moabite woman. When both of Naomi's sons and her husband died she decided to move back to Bethlehem where she still had rights to property, and she brought back with her the young Moabite woman Ruth. Ruth was fortunate to have a mother-in-law like Naomi, who understood the Jewish laws and traditions and she guided her to a distant relative, named Boaz, who was a successful farmer in the area of Bethlehem.

The story of Ruth and Boaz is a great love story, as well as story of a “kinsman redeemer,” Ruth was redeemed by Boaz, and he went to great lengths to make certain he did everything within his power, to see that the redemption was legal and proper, because of his love for Ruth. Like each of us, Ruth was brought into the family of God by love.

It is worth noting, that Boaz was also the benefactor of redemption, since his mother was Rahab, the innkeeper in Jericho that let down the scarlet cord and hid the spies that went into scout out the city before Joshua attacked. Rahab was also a Moabite woman, redeemed and married by Salmon.

The Moabites were descendents of Abraham's nephew, Lot. Moab was the son of Lot's eldest daughter. But, the Moabites did not worship God, they instead worshiped many different Idols, and their worship was an abomination to God.

What does all of this genealogy prove? The linage of David, as well as Jesus, was not perfect. From Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba, there were flaws in the bloodline. The good news is God was providing a way to redeem everyone, regardless of bloodline, because we are all flawed. Our duty is to ask for redemption, just as Naomi told Ruth to do. Naomi was a great councilor for Ruth, who was your councilor?

Just a little note about the legend; legend has it that the fields of Boaz are adjacent to or the same as the fields where Shepherds heard the proclamation from angels that Christ was born. It is also said that at the very stable where Jesus was born, once stood the house of Boaz and Ruth.

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