Last time, we talked about Joshua and Judges and the narrative that unfolds in those stories. When we left off, the Israelites seemed to be in the worst position they’ve ever been in. They are not following God and they are doing whatever they want and whatever they see fit. They need that seed of the woman more than ever and now we are going to with a woman named Ruth. We will cover the story from Ruth to 2 Chronicles and develop a huge part of the narrative through these books.
Ruth is a small yet important book in the narrative of the Israelites and the story leading to Jesus. The story of Ruth is a story of a woman named Ruth who is wholly dedicated to Naomi and her God, Yahweh. Ruth meets this guy by the name of Boaz who takes particular notice of Ruth in the grain fields. An interesting note about Ruth is that she is a Moabite, not a Hebrew. Ruth and Boaz eventually get married and have a son that continues the genealogy that leads to David and eventually Jesus. So Boaz and Ruth play an important role in the Jesus narrative but also the grand narrative of the Bible. Boaz is called Naomi and Ruth’s “guardian-redeemer”, which in this time was someone close to the family they could count on in a time of need. Boaz was this to their family and ultimately he was to the family line of Jesus. This gives yet another hyperlink back to the garden narrative of the seed of the woman and looking for one who would crush the head of the snake. He’s a good choice, but as we will see later, sin still rages on in the world.
We then move on into 1 & 2 Samuel. 1 Samuel starts out with the story of Samuel being called to service of the Lord. Samuel was a child born to Hannah who earnestly pleaded with God for a son. He was dedicated to the Lord and entered under the service of Eli to the Lord. Samuel helps bring the people back to the Lord for a time and Israel asks for a king like all the other nations. Even though God was supposed to be their king, they wanted a man to rule them. So again, we see them taking from the tree of knowledge of good and bad instead of from God’s wisdom. Well, as it turns out, the people do get a king named Saul. Now Saul was not the most humble man and his arrogance leads to his downfall. Even with the people not understanding that they don’t need a king, God still gives them another chance. If the king follows the commands of Yahweh, then God will still be on their side but if he is not, then God will not fight for them. Saul, at the end of his reign, does not obey God’s commands and it eventually leads to his downfall. So we have another ruler who falls short of the mark. While this main story is going on, God is working to bring about the new king who will take Saul’s place, David. David is this different man who seems to be the most unlikely man for the job. His story takes place in 2 Samuel.
2 Samuel is all about David and his reign as king over Israel. It starts out with war and death, still not a good sign. However, when David becomes king and all the people recognize him as such, he united the people as one kingdom. He conquers Jerusalem and makes it the center of the people for religious and political reasons. With all of this good stuff happening, it again takes a turn for the worse. David, for all this time, has been put on this pedestal as a man of God who does everything he can to stay faithful to God and he makes a tragic mistake. He does some not so good things with another man’s wife and tries to cover it all up and it spirals out of control. Once again, we see a man who looked so good is still screwed up. Time and time again we have seen someone who does so good and takes one time from the tree and mess it all up. This is the tragic result of sin that separates us from God. Even though there is all this evil in the world, there is a promise that a messiah will come and he will crush the head of the snake and a king who rules in the eternal kingdom. It is a promise that has yet to be fulfilled but we are constantly looking for it. As for the smaller narrative of King David and King Saul’s successes and failures and the people of Israel, it points to the fact that despite our brokenness, we can all have hope in the promises of God.