Day 12

Beneath the Tapestry

from the Ruth reading plan

Ruth 4:18-22, Matthew 1:2-16, Romans 15:12, Luke 3:32-38

BY Rebecca Faires

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.



Post Comments (56)

56 thoughts on "Beneath the Tapestry"

  1. Amen says:

    It seems there are some 60 generations between God and Jesus as documented in Matthew and Luke. We do not know if any were missed, or omitted, as the lineage documented seems so straightforward and simple and direct. And yet. It is difficult to try to fathom retaining this information from one generation, and passing it to the next, for that many generations, that long ago.

    My own family history seems to get lost a few short generations back, as members crossed from one continent to another. As a child, a maternal perspective was shared and little was apparently known from the more traditional paternal perspective. People document what they want to be seen I guess.

    Here we are today – many hundreds (thousands and more) generations later. And even with wonderful tools like along with church and government records in written archives, there are known gaps to how our bloodlines trace back to Jesus. We know some written records have perished in fires or by intentional destruction. And as generations proceed forward these documentations are turning to dust. All part of His plan.

    Today, more than ever, we must remember that it is by faith alone that we all belong, because it is by choice that we belong. Our community is a complex tapestry of threads, some neatly organized, while others are a tangled mess. For some, this faith comes easily, while for others a rooted need persists to see facts and data as a means of proof of their belonging. Where it is tangled, alternate routes have been developed to try to help make sense of it all. All a part of His plan.

    We must continue to learn and remember to pray for them all, not just a select few.

    Romans 10 NLT

    1. Amen says:

      Romans 10:1-21

  2. Katie Jackson says:

    Did you know that the meaning of every name in the genealogy of Christ is a description of God? How cool is that?!

    1. elicia says:

      Where did you learn that?

      1. Katie Jackson says:

        I don’t remember. I think a friend told me that about a decade ago. I have looked all of them up in a Hebrew dictionary and have them in a word document if you are interested in seeing it.

        1. Frieda says:

          I’d like love to see that! Be very grateful if you sent a copy to me! [email protected] Thank you! God Bless you for your trouble.

          1. Patti says:

            I’d very much like to see your list. Thank you for doing the work! My email: [email protected]

        2. Amber H says:

          I’d be interested in a copy as well if it’s not too much trouble! [email protected]

        3. Lindsey says:

          I’d love to see that too, if it’s not too much trouble. [email protected]. Thank you!

          1. Bette says:

            I will be putting this dailnzzg insight to good use in no time.

    2. Jess says:

      Hey Katie. Wow, I did not. Very cool. Will have to look into this!

    3. Michelle says:

      That is very cool! I dint know that. Thanks for sharing.

    4. Dana says:

      Where do I find that?

  3. Keri Underwood says:

    Using a tapestry to mirror God’s plan…genius. That is the perfect way to explain it. We look at it and cannot see it yet. But the promise that I hold onto is that one day we will join Him and we will understand! One day it will all be understood and we will look back and think, “OHHH! THAT’s why!” Love this!

  4. Caroline says:

    I love that this points towards the importance of community. We are all weaved together for a reason. To do life with one another, encourage each other and love each other through the ups and downs. I have so loved this Ruth series!

  5. Curry says:

    Today’s study reminds me of Corrie Ten Boom’s poem:

    Life is but a Weaving (The Tapestry Poem)

    My life is but a weaving
    Between my God and me.
    I cannot choose the colors
    He weaveth steadily.

    Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
    And I in foolish pride
    Forget He sees the upper
    And I the underside.

    Not ’til the loom is silent
    And the shuttles cease to fly
    Will God unroll the canvas
    And reveal the reason why.

    The dark threads are as needful
    In the weaver’s skillful hand
    As the threads of gold and silver
    In the pattern He has planned

    He knows, He loves, He cares;
    Nothing this truth can dim.
    He gives the very best to those
    Who leave the choice to Him.

    1. mary001 says:


    2. Cindy says:

      So beautiful …. Thank you for sharing, Curry!

    3. Katie Jackson says:


    4. Nancy says:

      Love this poem. Whenever I see a tapestry I’ll think of this and how God works in our lives. Thanks for posting.

    5. Frieda says:

      Thanks for sharing and taking the time to write it out for us. I have always loved that poem but had forgotten about it, til now.

  6. Leah says:

    I used to skip over genealogies in the bible. I don’t anymore bc I have learned why they are there. I usually can’t pronounce the names or towns. Now I think they are neat!

  7. Natalia Rivera says:

    My family tree is a mess.I can’t go further my grandparents in the family tree. I tried ancestry once, but it didn’t work, sorry Natalia now idea how you got here. I never had any relation with my paternal grandfather nor my maternal grandmother. My maternal grandfather remarried and it was a mess. He was in love with his alcohol, his job and everything this lost world has to offer. My family tree looks empty, for me it’s and eternal puzzle I can’t complete. Stories of hurt, spiritism, witchcraft, infidelity, kidnapping, babies given bottles of coffee cover in white blankets pretending to be milk were normal to me . I’m still meeting new first aunts and uncles and even cousin that studied with me in the same school, graduated the same year! Everything bad a family can go trough, I heard it all. I don’t know what is like to have grandparents. Never had any kind of relationship with the only one I met and still alive. But somewhere along the way in both my families, someone met our heavenly father, at the exact same time. Can that even be possible? At the exact same time? My mom and my dad met God, and then their brothers and sister, and their nieces and nephews. Today there’s a new generation of believers and a new one that is just starting. Side note, my children have 3 grandmothers and 3 grandfathers, how awesome is that!! A new family tree is forming, the only difference is who holds that three today from the roost all the way up, is God. My family tree was a confused terrible mess but today is a beautiful tall, vibrant happy tree bearing fruits for the very first time.

    1. April says:

      Natalia, thank you for sharing your story. It was such a blessing to read. God’s evident plan.

    2. Frieda says:

      Natalia, that’s VERY cool! I ended reading it with a big smile on my face! Thanks for sharing!!

  8. Shannon says:

    I love that in the tapestry there are names we don’t know. You know why? Because it shows that sometimes even though we may not be famous and do things that may not be note worthy in this world we are still important and you may never know what your offspring or theirs down the line may accomplish and it was through you and your due diligence that accomplished it. Praise the Lord for his awesomeness is grace and strength is new every morning!

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