The Story as God Tells It
These genealogies listed at the beginning of Matthew and in Luke can seem boring, but they are the lineage of the Jewish Messiah/Christ, Jesus. What is interesting are those who are a part of this storied lineage; people like Judah and Tamar. Long story short, Judah was Tamar’s father-in-law and Tamar was now a widow with no one to provide for her a child. Judah was supposed to provide one of his other sons as a husband (a custom in that day) but he failed to do so. So Tamar pretended to be a prostitute and slept with her father-in-law. Their child continued the lineage of the Christ. Rahab was a prostitute from Jericho, the enemy of the Israelites. She married a man of Israel, Salmon, and continued the lineage of the Christ. Ruth married their son. She was not an Israelite either. She was a Moabite. She has quite the story in the book after her name. Then their great grandson King David had an affair with a woman and had her husband killed. One of their children was king Solomon, who would carry on the lineage of the Christ as well.
What does all of this teach us? Well for one, God doesn’t always work the way we think he should. This is certainly not the way we would have written the story. It’s not the way the Jews would have made it up, but that’s the way it was. God also doesn’t always work through the people that we think he should. None of this seems to make God look good on the surface.
The truth is though, it abounds in God’s glory and goodness. It reveals that God can and in fact does work through all of our human brokenness and ends up making something beautiful out of it. God used a broken road to bring His Son Jesus into the world and rescue us from our sins. Do you not think He can use the mess and brokenness in our world today to bring about something beautiful as well? Today may not be the way we would write the story, but as far as God is concerned, tomorrow has a bright ending.