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Now we are the people of God by Susan Barnes, an Australian pastor’s wife.
“May your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah .” Ruth 4:12
This is the blessing that the women of Bethlehem gave to Ruth and Boaz when their marriage was announced. It is an unusual blessing in that it refers to the rather unsavory story in Genesis 38 where Tamar became pregnant by her father-in-law. Tamar gave birth to twin boys called Perez and Zerah. Perez was actually born first although initially it appeared that Zerah was going to be the firstborn, which was an important privilege in this culture. Perez’s birth was a complete reversal of what should have happened. He should not have been the firstborn and should not have enjoyed the privileges of that position.
When the woman of Bethlehem blessed Ruth they were saying that God was doing a complete reversal in Ruth’s life. She was born a Moabite and should not have been included in God’s family. But God turned around her circumstances. The full extend of this reversal becomes clear when we read the genealogy in Matthew 1:5 where Ruth is mentioned in the line of descendants which leads to Jesus.
Today we are like Ruth. We have done nothing to merit being included in God’s family. Yet because of God’s great mercy and grace He sent Jesus so we could be included. God has made a complete reversal in our circumstances. “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God” (1 Peter 2:10).
Susan lives in Australia and writes inspirational articles, book reviews, and devotionals. Contact
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