Many times, it seems like we skip over the genealogy of Christ as we read the Christmas story in Matthew, but as with all scripture, it’s included for a purpose. As I was reading back through the lineage of Christ recently, a few connections stood out to me a bit more than they once did.
One name in particular that has always caught my attention is Rahab, or “the prostitute Rahab,” as she was commonly known. Rahab was known by her risqué profession. She was known for her behavior. That is, before she made a life-altering choice. She decided to follow the one and only living God. That choice superseded all previous choices. Her life was no longer the same, and she was able to pass down a legacy of redemption. Can you imagine the story she may have told her children and grand children? “…and then I learned that God loved ME… in spite of all I’d done!”
Speaking of Rahab’s children and grandchildren, She had a son named Boaz. Boaz grew to be a godly man and was the kinsman-redeemer for Ruth when her husband (his relative) died without giving her children. Boaz did what was right and took responsibility for Ruth, giving her hope for a future; because God had a plan. (I’d written a while back about Ruth and her mother-in-law Naomi in “The New Normal.”) God used Rahab’s dedication and redemption to provide hope for Ruth, who was also dedicated to doing what was right for not only her, but for her mother-in-law.
Ruth and Boaz then had a son named Obed, who grew to father Jesse. Jesse became the father of King David. Keep in mind the legacy that was being passed along! Each ancestor had such raw, human moments. Mistakes were made, and life was painful at times. There were losses and tears. King David was known as a man after God’s own heart, but even David made sinful, selfish mistakes with painful consequences.
After David’s affair with Bathsheba and after David had Bathsheba’s husband Uriah murdered, the child that resulted from David’s moment of selfish pleasure became very ill and died, despite David’s pleading. David repented. Solomon was then born to David and his then wife, Bathsheba. Solomon was what is known in the “baby loss world” as a rainbow baby- the baby after the loss of a child, (a storm). From Solomon, the lineage continues, story after story. These are only a few of the ancestors of Jesus’ earthly family. Each generation had storms, but God had a plan. God knew at the time of Rahab what was going to happen in the life of Joseph, years and years down the line. God knew that generations later, He would be sending another child into the world who was going to save the world by reconciling mankind with the Father through the cross. He knew that He would be sending His own son to bridge the gap that was created during the fall in the garden of Eden. God knew. God has a majestic way of working through our painful storms and selfish mistakes to make beautiful things happen. Looking at the genealogy of the Christmas story, we once again have proof that there is a promise of life and hope after the rain.
2 Samuel 12:15-23
15 After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth[b] on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.
18 On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”
19 David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.
“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”
20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”
22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”