“There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. There were born to him seven sons and three daughters.” After God allows all 10 children and everything he owned to be taken from him, Job speaks one of the sweetest sentences in all of scripture. “I know that my redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.”
About the time of Job, there was a man in the land of Ur whose name was Abraham. Now Abraham was childless but he was given a promise by God that he would have a son and that through that one son would come descendants as numerous as the stars in the heavens and that through him all the families on earth would be blessed.
Hundreds of years later in the land of Moab, a widow named Naomi suffers the tragic loss of her only two sons. Bringing her daughter-in-law, Ruth, with her, she travels back to her hometown of Bethlehem. There Ruth meets Boaz, a kinsman-redeemer, who marries her in order to restore the family line, which is exactly what happens through the birth of their son, Obed, the grandfather of David.
It is of this very place that the prophet speaks in Micah 5:2-5:
“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days . . . And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace.”
Truly, it would be in this very place that the very Redeemer spoken of by Job would first stand upon the earth.
“O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie! Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by. Yet in the dark streets shineth the everlasting Light; the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”
(After singing O Little Town of Bethlehem, list to Handel’s Messiah selection “I know that my Redeemer liveth…”)
Click on the About link at the top of the page to find out how we use tiny objects like the one above to help remember each of the 25 people in the genealogy of Christ we will be reading about during the Advent season.