Don't forget your origin, but don't let your origin become your ending. That is my takeaway from Day 23 of DWG on the life of Ruth.
The story of Ruth always gives me chills!
Ruth was a Moabite woman. Her ancestry was not a good one. Her distant relative, Moab, was born when Lot's oldest daughter decided to sleep with her father to preserve the family line.
The Moabs were considered Israel's enemy. They worshipped pagan gods. The Israelite men indulged in sexual immorality with Moabite women and the men sacrificed and bowed down to their gods. Moabites were excluded from the assembly of God because of their hostility towards the Israelites. Eglon, the king of Moab, oppressed the Israelites for 18 years. Moab rebelled against Israel. Solomon married Moabite women and worshipped their gods. There is a long history.
Ruth, a Moabite, would have most likely been a worshipper of pagan gods, like her people. But her origin didn't become her ending.
She married Naomi's son, Mahlon, an Ephrathite from Bethlehem. Her husband died and she moved to Bethlehem with Naomi. She decided to stay with Naomi instead of going back to her land and her people. She decided to abandon her gods and worship the one true God. She met Boaz, her kinsman-redeemer, became his wife and they had a son named Obed. Obed is the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David and David is in the line of Jesus.
Micah 5:2 says that out of Bethlehem will come for me, one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. Jesus, born in Bethlehem, is that ruler.
God used Ruth, who had pagan origins, to bring Jesus into the world. Jesus, our perfect Savior, came into the world through imperfect origins. God, in His foreknowledge, chose Ruth, despite her origins and gave her new origins. She was no longer Ruth, the Moabite. She was Ruth, the daughter of God.
Ruth's origin didn't become her ending. Sadly, for her sister-in-law, Orpah, her origin was her ending (as far as we know). It says that Orpah went back to her people and her gods, instead of going to Bethlehem with Naomi. We don't know what became of Orpah as nothing more is written about her in the Bible.
We all have a history, a heritage. But our origins are not an obstacle in the eyes of God. No matter what your lineage is, no matter what your life looks like now or looked like before, God can still use you. He has a new lineage for you as part of a royal priesthood, a people belonging to God. Don't let your origin become your ending!