Time wound down through centuries, from Egypt to the wilderness, to the Jordan River and across.
And the scarlet thread of hope became a scarlet line of yarn hung in a window, while spies clambered down a great wall’s side, by a rope of escape from a city of doom. And the scarlet line hanging in the window became a lifeline for a woman, a woman named Rahab, prostitute foreign to the Kingdom of God. And she too escaped from the city of doom.*
Many years later, two widows trudged, weary and world-worn back to a place long forsaken. Near hopeless the one, filled with the gall of error and loss, regret and grief—and aloneness, but for the other. The other: her faithful friend forsaking all – all earthly hopes for family of her own, even for prospect of place to dwell when the older widow should come to die.*
Back home, back “home,” the older one trod, thus accompanied, taking new name, but not new hope, only tired desperation.
“Can this be Naomi (Pleasant)?” gasped old friends, as she re-entered the House of Bread (Bethlehem). “Don’t call me Pleasant,” she replied. “Call me Mara, Bitter. I went out full, and the LORD has brought me back empty. The LORD has testified against me. The Almighty has afflicted me.”*
And so they came into the House of Bread. And so one went to glean the grain that became the bread: poor beggar, braving the harvest fields, and “happening upon” the fields of Strength (Boaz).*
And Strength beheld the faithful Friend who’d left it all to come to the Kingdom of the great King to come (although “in those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”) He beheld that beggar girl come for Naomi’s God to be her God. And he was pleased to pour abundance and redemption and new life into her life. And so a child was born in the House of Bread.*
And the father of the baby was Strength. And his mother was loyal Friendship. And His grandmother was the prostitute who’d hung the line in the window. And his great-great-many-greats Grandson, also born, millennia later, in the House of Bread, became their Bread, our Bread, from Heaven, Redeemer foreshadowed in kinsman-redeemer Boaz/Strength, but to redeem us all.*
And we read of them all in the family line, recited for us in Matthew’s book (Mt 1:1,5-6).
What a powerful parable of our All-Powerful’s perfect plan!
What to Name the Baby? A List of Names and their Meanings:
Naomi – pleasant
Mara – bitter
Ruth – friend
Boaz – strength
Jesus – Savior
*[To read, hover your cursor:
Judges 21:25; Ruth 1:1,3-6, 11-14,16,19-22;
Ruth 2:1-3,4-8,11-13; 3:15-16; 4:10-15,17-22;
Mt 1:1,5-6; John 6:35,48,51.]
Seeking the Christ Child (in the Old Testament)
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I am searching for prophecies and foreshadowings of the Christ child, book by book. I plan to post (nearly) every weekday (leaving myself some margin) a short peek at some hint or promise of the coming baby who would make all the difference. Like the wise men, I’ll be Seeking the Christ Child, but in Old Testament promises and foreshadowings, and sharing what I find. I hope you’ll join me, because if it turns out as rewarding as the past spring’s pre-Easter explorations, this focus could make this one of the richest, most blessed Christmas seasons yet.
Previous posts in this series:
(4) – Wrestling Babies Lead to Christ?
(5) – Hope Hanging by a Slender Thread
(6) Power in Small Things, and Fear of Babies
(7) Heart-felt Reflections on Foreshadowings so far