[From the archives.]
Being Disqualified Is Not The End Of The World
I read an interesting passage the other day:
No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of the Lord, not even in the tenth generation. For they did not come to meet you with bread and water on your way when you came out of Egypt … .” (Deuteronomy 23:3-4.)
King David was a descendant of a Moabite. Here’s how it happened:
Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from his hometown. Today you are witnesses!”
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. … And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. (Ruth 4:9-10, 13, 17.)
Ruth the Moabite: she’s one of those people who can’t enter God’s assembly, and neither can her descendants to the 10th generation. Yet she is treated like one of the family, literally, and is given a place of honor in the town of Bethlehem, Boaz’s home.
Only three generations removed from Ruth we read of her most famous Old Testament descendant:
The Lord said to Samuel … “Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” (1 Samuel 16:1.)
That would be Ruth’s grandson Jesse, although he’s not the most famous descendant. Samuel went to Jesse’s house and found he had many sons, but God told Samuel to wait for the youngest to come in from the fields.
So [Samuel] sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.
Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”
So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. (1 Samuel 16:12-13.)
God chose David, a person disqualified from entering the assembly of God’s people, to be the king of all Israel. How could this be? As God told Samuel:
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7.)
The people around them might have seen David’s family as Moabite descendants, but God saw David as:
… a man after his own heart and [so] appointed him ruler of his people. (1 Samuel 13:14.)
God did not hold David’s heritage, his past, against him.
The Bible tells us we are all disqualified when it comes to entering God’s glorious presence, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23.) On the other hand, we are all also completely qualified to come to God because “all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:24.)
It is because of Jesus we can now approach God boldly and with confidence.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. … Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence. (Hebrews 4:14, 6.)
Those who belong to Jesus are not disqualified. On the contrary, we get to approach God – we get to enter the assembly of God’s people and approach him – because of Jesus.
Don’t let anyone ever call you disqualified again.