Beneath the Tapestry
Open Your Bible
Ruth 4:18-22, Matthew 1:2-16, Romans 15:12, Luke 3:32-38
Text: Ruth 4:18-22, Matthew 1:2-16, Romans 15:12, Luke 3:32-38
Have you ever seen the Bayeux Tapestry? I haven’t seen it in person. It lives in Normandy, France—ooh la la! 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 a hot mess 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. So, when God weaves together the family line of Christ, He uses people we would never expect. We assume the line of ancestry for the Son of God would be filled with “respectable” male leaders. But God used women, foreigners, illegitimate children, and a prostitute. (Sidebar: we live in a great world where women can be leaders, but Ruth lived in a world where leaders only looked like serious-faced, respectable men.)
Ruth was not only a foreigner; she was from an enemy country, Moab. The Israelites despised the Moabites. So when Ruth walked into town, that’s likely what they saw—a woman with the invisible label of “Moabite” hovering over her head. She herself wasn’t guilty, but she was an easy target for prejudice. And God chose to weave her into His Kingly line. See how the tapestry looks crazy from underneath?
God makes Ruth an ancestor of David and the Messiah. It is the greatest of honors. This is the story God was penning all along, from the beginning of the book.
Look at some of the names in Christ’s genealogy:
Do you know all the people on that list? I don’t.
The story of Ruth shows us that there are no insignificant people in God’s plan, even if we only know them as a name on a list. He takes the despised and the rejected, the lowly and the insignificant, even His enemies, and He binds them to Christ.
What looks messy and meaningless to us is, from God’s perspective, an intentional and precise way He is working to establish His kingdom. He takes what appear to be loose, broken, and unrelated threads and reveals how He was weaving something eternally beautiful all along.