Open Your Bible
Ruth 2:3-12, Ruth 4:1-13, Ruth 4:18-22, Psalm 16:1-6
Have you ever seen the Bayeux Tapestry? I haven’t seen it in person. It lives in Normandy, France—ooh la la! I felt incredibly lucky to go to the grocery store alone this afternoon, so, you know, I don’t often get out to Normandy. But seeing pictures and reading about it will do for now.
The tapestry narrates William the Conqueror’s victory at the Battle of Hastings. It’s very famous, very big, and sometimes very beautiful. The top side of it makes sense and tells a story. The underside is messy and looks like the weaver didn’t have a plan.
God’s will throughout history is like a tapestry. We are underneath looking up, and all the random threads tied in knots and snarls don’t make sense to us. We can’t see the tapestry of history like God sees it. From His perspective, it tells the story of His love and plan for mankind from the beginning of time.
Our earthly perspective is limited. For example, when God wove together the family line of Christ, He used people we would never expect. We assume the line of ancestry for the Son of God would be filled with respectable leaders. But God used women, foreigners, illegitimate children, and a prostitute. (Sidebar: the Bible is unique and awesome because it does include women, and in ancient cultures women didn’t often make the rosters.)
Ruth was not only a foreigner, she was from an enemy country. The Israelites despised the Moabites. So when Ruth walked into town, that’s likely what they saw—a woman with the invisible sign “Moabite” hovering over her head. Not guilty herself, but an easy target for prejudice. And God chose to weave her into His kingly line. See how the tapestry looks crazy from underneath?
Because we see Ruth’s story with the perspective of thousands of years, it seems to be all tied up with a pretty bow. But it didn’t feel that way to Ruth. After her husband died, her life looked like a chopped down tree: all stump and going nowhere.
But God took that stump and gave it new branches, and that family tree became the line of the Messiah. When we look at Ruth’s children and their children, we can trace the line of David and of Christ. It is the greatest honor. This is the story God was penning all along, from the beginning of the book. It is His perfect design!
God takes the despised and the rejected, the lowly, the insignificant, even His enemies, and He binds them to Christ (Psalm 87). Christ comes to us, takes the mess of our lives, and makes it mean something.
He takes the loose threads of our story, and weaves something beautiful.
Even though Ruth couldn’t see the whole beautiful tapestry of her story, God had blessing and goodness planned for her. He promises that His plans are always good for us, and that He is enough (Rom. 8:27-28). He holds our future, and we are safe in Him.
Lord, you are my portion and my cup of blessing;
You hold my future.
– Psalm 16:5