If you have ever read through all the “begats” in the Bible then you know how boring it can be. The names are hard to pronounce and you might find yourself wondering why God would include all those genealogies in the Bible. There is not one part of God’s Word that was a waste. Those genealogies show the lineage of Jesus. In Isaiah, the prophet foretold that Jesus would come from the lineage of Jesse, King David’s father. The book of Matthew begins with telling us that prophecy was fulfilled. It also shows that Jesus was a descendent of King David, which means he had royal blood in Him. You can read the full lineage in Matthew 1:1-16.
Through 28 generations and about 1700 years, God was preparing for the moment that Jesus would enter the world to carry out God’s plan of redemption. Jesus wasn’t born to the best, perfect mother. He didn’t even come from a spotlessly clean lineage. In fact, Abraham was a coward and liar (he lied twice about his wife being his sister). Then, his son Isaac, did the same thing. Jacob lied to his faither, cheated his brother and ripped off his father-in-law. Rahab was a prostitute. Ruth was a Gentile from a despised country. Solomon had over 1000 wives, all of whom he allowed to worship false Gods. Rehoboam split the nation of Israel in two. When reading through the Old Testament we find that many of the kings that ruled Israel and in Jesus’ genealogy were terrible people who led the people away from God that caused the downfall of the nation. King Manasseh sacrificed his own son to an idol. Tamar deceived her father-in-law (who previously deceived Tamar), slept with him and had his son. David committed adultery with Bathsheba then had her husband killed by putting him in the front line of battle.
Why is all that important? Because if God can use those imperfect people to bring His only Son into the world to be the Savior of the world, then he can use you too. Like all those people, we also have our own flaws and skeletons in the closet. But when we prepare our hearts and surrender to God’s plan, then God gets all the glory for what is accomplished in our lives despite our fallen, ugly, sinfulness. Jesus’ lineage is full of people just like you and me. Despite who they were or what they had done they were still redeemable and so are we. God can take the most unlikely people with messed up lives and turn them upside down and use them for His purpose when we surrender our hearts to Him. God is bigger than our failure. He isn’t surprised by our failure. We can’t sin so much that we become out of the reach of Jesus and hope of salvation – not even the person who intentionally turns their back on God. His mercies are new every morning and there is always hope.
Perhaps you are praying for an unsaved family member: a spouse, parent, child, aunt, uncle. Maybe a close friend has turned their back on God and made idols out of their job, hobbies, or money. Maybe you’re struggling with a load of guilt over past sins or a habitual sin you can’t seem to shake. Isaiah tells us the Spirit of Lord rests on Jesus – a Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge and the fear of the Lord. As we prepare our hearts during this week of Advent, take some time alone with Jesus and surrender the struggles you have and the ones you long to find salvation to the One who has wisdom, understand, counsel, strength, and knowledge. Allow God to work through your faults and failures. Ask Him how He can use them in His plan for your life.
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