Monday, December 17, 2012

25 Days of Christmas: Day 17--Genealogy of Christ

Good morning readers! I'm excited about today's post, and I hope you will take the time to read and enjoy it as well.  I've invited my long time friend and fellow-blogger, Nicole, from A Living Sacrifice to share one of her posts from the series Christmas Character Spotlights that she is running on her blog.  In this series, Nicole invites us to put aside our holiday hustle and bustle and take time to reflect on the characters involved in the Christmas story. This is what Christmas is all about, folks.

So, take a couple of minutes, grab a cup of coffee, and sit down to relax and take in these thoughts.  Thank you, Nicole, for being with us today!

Character Spotlight: Genealogy of Christ

genealogyI know what you are thinking. Genealogy?? Are you for real? It is Christmas, and you want to talk about Genealogies?? ‘Fraid so. But this isn’t just any genealogy. It is the genealogy of Christ. And He is the One this season is centered around, right? Over the last few weeks I’ve been taking a look into the details of various characters from the Christmas story. And I nearly forgot to include the lives of 5 of the most unique characters that are included in this story. And that is where the genealogy comes in. You’ll find this genealogy in Matthew 1. Woven into this long list of names no one can pronounce are the lives of 5 women that God saw fit to include in Christ’s lineage. 5 women that would never have been looked at as worthy of this honor. 5 women who’s lives may not look so different from yours or mine. Lets take a quick look at them. First, we find Thamar in verse 3, which is another spelling for the name Tamar, found in Genesis 38.  She was the daughter-in-law of Judah, brother of Joseph and the man from which came the tribe of Judah. Her story is not a very pretty one. The despicable and degrading story told in this chapter reveals the sin in Tamar’s life, who was willing to sell her body to get what was rightfully hers. Nothing good is ever said about Tamar, no blessing was promised to her during her life, and we likely would never have heard of her, had God not seen fit to use her to fulfill the promise of the Messiah. The second lady worth of mention in Matthew 1 is Rachab, or Rahab as we know her in the Old Testament. Her story is found in Joshua 2 and 6, intermingled with the popular “wall of Jericho” story. Rahab is known throughout scripture for one thing: being a harlot. Not the legacy you’d like to be known for, is it? Up until this time in Joshua 2, there is no indication that she had left her sinful lifestyle. But after the spies came, and she, by faith, trusted Christ to save her and her family, her life was different. She was accepted by the Israelites into their communities and lifestyle. She left her old life, and was given a new one by God’s grace. Not only does she appear in the line of Christ, but also in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11:31. Next we have Ruth, whom I am sure is no stranger to any of you. With a whole book dedicated to her story, she is perhaps the most well-known of them all. But she was still an unlikely candidate for being in the Messianic line. She was not an Israelite, not one of God’s chosen people. She grew up practicing idol worship and other abominable acts. Her mother-in-law Naomi gave Ruth her first glimpse of the God of the Israelites, even though Naomi was a bitter woman. Yet despite this, Ruth left her pagan religion and chose to follow Christ by faith, little knowing that by doing so she was placing herself in his Kingly line. The fourth lady is not mentioned by name in Matthew 1, but simply known as David’s wife, “her that had been the wife of Urias.” This is speaking of Bathsheba, who was taken by David in a moment of sin and weakness, and then widowed by that same man. (II Samuel 11 tells the story.) I am sure hers was a life of tears and sorrow at that point! I can not imagine the deep trials she had to endure, little knowing that it served a purpose in bringing the Saviour of the world to earth in human flesh. If Bathsheba could but have seen the future, I am sure she would have gloried in her tribulations! Lastly, Mary is mentioned in verse 18. I’ve already spent time talking about her, and certainly her story is well known, especially at this time of year. But of all women to be most unlikely, this poor, humble, virgin girl was not looking for the public attention nor for the years of honor this event would bring her. She was nothing...but she was willing to be used by God, and that made all the difference. Each of these women was an unlikely candidate for the royal line. Yet God saw fit to take them out of their lives of sin, despair, and lowliness, and give them this place in a Godly heritage. None were suspecting of it, none knew it at the time, but each was still used. Why? Because God chooses the humble, willing people to accomplish His will. He is not asking for us to be rich, famous, or even “best in show”...He uses the willing. And if we would submit ourselves to His will and simply be willing, we too could see our lives used to accomplish great things. No matter where we’ve been, or what we’ve done; no matter our station or position (or lack of!); no matter how many times we’ve failed or fallen short, God is willing to use us if we’ll let Him.

Nicole is an avid reader and coffee drinker, who loves her Saviour, her sewing machine, and fleece sheets. She blogs at A Living Sacrifice and runs a small online shop. Between sewing and blogging she can be found playing the piano, reading a good book, or chatting with friends.

No comments:

Post a Comment