The covenant promises of God reveal specific ways God will reverse the curse and usher in a new heaven and new earth. A hint in how this will be done was given in the announcement of the arrival of a king (Gen. 17:6, 16; 35:11; 49:10). In the Law of Moses God even provided His expectations of the king (Deut. 17:14-20). In this stage on our journey through the Bible we will see how God prepares the way for a kingdom, we will see the kingdom’s progression and prominence, and then we will see the kingdom’s parting and perishing.
This stage in Biblical history contains a series of unlikely individuals used of God to prepare the way for the introduction of the monarchy and the arrival of the King of kings. The preparation for Israel’s future king begins in Bethlehem (Ruth 1:1) and this is where it finds its climax (Matt. 2:1). By the providence of God a lady named Naomi moves back to Bethlehem in sad circumstances. She lost her husband, and her two sons. With the death of her sons they left behind two widows but no children. At the backdrop of this story are the effects of the curse, especially effects on the land (famine) and in child bearing (no offspring). One of those widows was Ruth, a Moabite. She followed her mother-in-law and in a beautiful story marries Boaz. Boaz and Ruth had a child named Obed, Obed fathered Jesse, and Jesse fathered David, who will become king of Israel.
The preparation for Israel’s future king who will reverse the curse is significant. Firstly, it teaches us that God is doing a lot more behind the scenes that we realise. The difficult circumstances of Naomi and Ruth (which were outworks of the effects of the curse) made their situation look helpless. But God was preparing the way for the King who will usher in His eternal rule. Secondly, this preparation was significant because of the individuals used by the Lord. The coming king came from the line of Ruth, a gentile woman. Ruth’s husband Boaz was from the line of Rahab, who was also a gentile woman. This anticipates that the rule of the coming King will extend a two all sorts of people. As God promised Abraham “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3), so it shall be in the coming King.
As the transition from judges to kings continues to take place, a key individual in the lead up to the kingdom was Samuel (1 Samuel 1:1-8:22). Samuel was called by God to be a prophet. A prophet of the Lord received revelation from God and spoke God’s words. This was sometimes in the form of forth telling and foretelling. Samuel’s life and leadership is presented in contrast to the corruption of the priests and his life and leadership are a transition from Israel being led by judges to kings.