Here is the story of God building nations from two men. One mans name was Abraham. God blessed Abraham and his family. They were blessed to the point that they had more livestock than they knew what to do with. Not only was Abram blessed but his nephew Lot was blessed too. They were so blessed and had so much that they couldn’t share the same land. It couldn’t sustain the blessings.
In Genesis chapter 13 Lot says to his uncle Abram, “Hey we can’t do this any longer. I’ll go left and you go right. We’re going to have to separate.” Abram agrees. He settles in one land and Lot settles in another land. You may have heard of it, Sodom and Gomorrah. Well as the story goes Sodom and Gomorrah is a pretty bad place and God decides to destroy it. Because Abram’s family is blessed, God decides to save Lot before the city goes up in smoke. Lot gets out. Lot’s wife does not make it. She looks back on the city and turns to salt.
So what happens? Lot’s daughters freak out. How will the name of Lot go on? In those times your family name was all you had. They come up with a plan. Genesis 19 tells us that they get their father Lot really drunk and then they sleep with him so he doesn’t know it’s them. They both get pregnant and from this incestuous relationship we get a child named, Moab. Moab becomes a great nation that is an enemy of Abram’s nation. What is Abram’s nation called? Israel. Moab is a cursed nation, an enemy of Israel.
When we read scripture from a limited view, a human view we only get half of the story. We actually get a really sad story. It’s a story of two family members who create warring nations.
But that's not the end of the story.
In the Book of Ruth we're reminded 13 times in just 4 chapters that Ruth comes from this incestuous land of Moab. As a Jewish reader you would be reminded 13 different times that Ruth:
- Is a political enemy
- Is cursed
- Comes from a tradition of polytheism
- Is not allowed in the temple of God (read Deuteronomy 23)
- Does not have a physical appearance that resembles the "chosen" people of Israel.
And yet that's just half of the story. Here's the full story.
God relentlessly pursues this cursed woman. God relentlessly pursues the cursed nation of Moab through Ruth. God is relentlessly working to bind together what was once split apart.
It's through the marriage of Boaz and Ruth that God restores the cursed nation of Moab. God unites the warring nation. God gives us the full story.
What's your half story?
Are you broken? In pain? Are you sick, lonely, lost, or maybe even into polytheism? Maybe you feel like you're split from God, that you've gone your own way, that you're cursed.
Here's the full story.
God relentlessly pursues you. God pursues you in your pain and sickness, your loss of identity, your unbelief. God is relentlessly working to bind together in you all that feels torn apart.
And if God can work in a selfish, drunken, incestuous, war story, just imagine the good work that God will do in your story.