How Naomi and David Found Answers in Bethlehem?

All of us go to certain places searching for answers and remedies – to the mechanic for our car problems, to the clinic for a persistent cough, and so on. As we delve further into what the Bible says about Bethlehem, we find that this place is connected to the stories of three people – Naomi, David, and Jesus – and in each story, solutions were found in Bethlehem.

Naomi was a widow, bereaved of her husband and sons. In a world where men were the breadwinners, this left her and her daughters-in-law destitute. In their need, Naomi decided to return to her hometown, Bethlehem, alone; but Ruth, her faithful daughter-in-law, insisted on accompanying her (Ruth 1:3-17). 

In Bethlehem, Ruth sought sustenance for them by gleaning grain in a field belonging to kind, protective Boaz. In the end, she married him, for he was actually their kinsman-redeemer – one responsible to marry his relative’s widow and redeem their property (Ruth 4:1-12). So it was that Bethlehem provided the answer for this family in need.

Decades later, King Saul disobeyed God’s command, and so God rejected him as king (1 Samuel 15:17-26). God sent the prophet Samuel to Bethlehem, where the descendants of Ruth and Boaz were staying (Ruth 4:16-22), to anoint a new king.

One by one, Jesse’s sons passed before him; but none of them were chosen by God. Desperately, Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” and as an afterthought, they called for David, the youngest, who was tending the sheep.

Finally, David was God’s anointed one, the next king of Israel (1 Samuel 16:1-13). He went on to defeat the giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17) and became Israel’s greatest King. So it was that Bethlehem provided the answers for this nation in need.

Centuries later, it was not just a family or a nation in need, but the whole world. For the world groaned under the weight and bondage of sin, in desperate need of an eternal solution. David had been promised that the answer would come from one of his descendants (2 Samuel 7:12-16), and Micah had foretold that it would come from Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).

And in the fullness of time, Jesus was born, as promised, in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1, 6, 8, Luke 2:4, 15).

This village that had provided a solution for a family in Naomi’s day, and for a nation in David’s day, now provided the best solution of all: “Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

Materials from this page are adapted from “Discovery House Bible Atlas” by John A. Beck, Chapter 9: Birth and Early Years of Jesus, pages 223-235 and used with permission.


  • How has God come through for you in the past, providing and meeting your needs at particular times? Give thanks to Him for His providence.
  • In what ways have you come to know Jesus as your true and greatest treasure? This Christmas season, will you commit to pray for one or two people and share with them this most precious remedy to their sins and sorrows, and to those of the world?


Father, thank you for the way you provided Boaz for Naomi and Ruth, the way you provided David as king for Israel, and for the myriad ways you have provided to meet my every need in my journey with you. Give me faith to continue trusting in you to come through for me. Thank you also for Jesus, our ultimate Provider. Give me wisdom, opportunity, and courage to share Him with [name one or two people God has placed on your heart] this Christmas season. Amen.

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Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a town of great significance. But he grew up in Nazareth, a small village that was not even mentioned in the Old Testament.


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