This post is about Healthy Lifestyles Tips – Enjoying the Genealogy of Jesus Christ. Many Israelites looked forward to the coming of the Messiah as prophesied by many prophets including Moses, Isaiah, Zechariah, Malachi. They wanted to be part of the genealogy of Jesus Christ. However, God’s mercies and love know no boundaries; His choice of the genealogy of Jesus Christ went beyond the Israelites’ boarder and brought in both internal and foreign women physically and spiritually.
As outlined in the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew concerning the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the first great-grandmother of Jesus Christ is the woman called Tamar (Matthew 1 v 3). In Genesis chapter 38, a sad story unfolds showing Judah’s two eldest children from a Canaanite woman named Shua, dying before reaching old age. The firstborn child was called Er and his young brother was Onan.
Judah looked for a girl whom Er should marry. Tamar was found and Er married her. His wickedness angered God and the Lord put him to death. Judah then decided to give Tamar his younger son, Onan, in marriage. So Onan was instructed to fulfill his obligations as a younger brother by raising up off-springs for his late brother, Er.
The Lord could not tolerate Onan’s wickedness when he showed signs of not wanting to raise his late brother’s children. He was put to death also. For this reason, Judah avoided his responsibilities of handing over another son, in this case Shelar, to Tamar lest he, too, dies. Tamar then was told by Judah to go and live under her father’s roof waiting for Shelar to fully grow up. Judah hoped that Tamar could misbehave by sleeping with another man so that he would not have to hand over Shelar to Tamar.
Tamar, however, was a faithful widow and looked forward to the day Shelar would be handed over to her as a person to fulfill her late husband’s obligations. She got disappointed when her father-in-law, Judah, stayed silent about handing over Shelar to her. Why was she being treated unfairly like that? What wrong had she committed?
Tamar just heard that her mother-in-law, Shua’s daughter, had died. Judah grieved over her for a long time. After some time, the next thing Tamar heard was that her father-in-law, Judah was going to the next village after her father’s village and take part in shearing the sheep. She then disguised herself as a prostitute and waited for her father-in-law to pass. Judah thought it was a prostitute and asked for her services. He would send a goat to her the following day for her payment.
Since Judah did not have the goat with him, he left his seal and its cord, and the staff in his hand as surety for the goat to be handed over to her. He tried to fulfill his payment of the goat the following day through his friend, the Adullamite, but was told that no prostitute was known around that place. Therefore, the matter was forgotten until Judah was told that his daughter-in-law had committed adultery.
Judah was very furious upon hearing such news and he asked for people to bring her to him so that she could be stoned to death. Shelar, at last, would not have to be handed over to her! He was almost jumping up to celebrate such good news, when to his surprise, his long-lost items appear before his eyes as the message was delivered to him from his daughter-in-law: “I am pregnant by the man who owns these.”
Judah became guilty for not handing over Shelar in marriage to her and he never again slept with her. She eventually gave birth to twins: Perez and Zerah. It was through Perez that the genealogy of Jesus Christ was perpetuated. In this way, Tamar became the great, great-grandmother of Jesus Christ.
The second great, great-grandmother of Jesus Christ as mentioned in Matthew chapter 1v 5 is Rahab. The story of Rahab unfolds in Joshua chapter two. Joshua secretly sends out two Israelites as spies in the city of Jericho. They enter the house of a prostitute which was adjacent to the great wall of Jericho. Rahab interacts with them and discovers their intentions of coming to invade her city and subdue it.
Rahab seems to be a well-informed person regarding the imminent invasion by the Israelites and knows the outcome pretty well. She does not even need to have second thoughts which side she should take. She knows that she is dealing with blessed people of God and only He is the ruler of both heavens and earth so that wondrous miracles like drying up the red sea and making the Israelites cross it on dry land is impossible for any human being except God.
She senses danger and quickly hides the Israelite spies from the King who is demanding their death. She lets them promise to her that in return for her good deed, upon arriving to invade Jericho, they should spare her life and the lives of her family members.
The two spies return to Joshua and inform him about the favorable conditions regarding the invasion of Jericho. They repeat what Rahab had told them concerning the fearful men and soldiers in Jericho. They included the promise they had made to Rahab about safeguarding all her family members who would be found in her house.
The actual invasion finally takes place and Rahab is rescued with all her family members who are in her house. She eventually gets married to Salmon and bears Boaz. (Matthew 1 v 5).
The third great, great-grandmother of Jesus Christ is called Ruth. This story unfolds in Ruth chapter one where we are informed about severe famine taking place in Judah. Elimelek leaves Bethlehem in Judah and goes with his wife, Naomi and two sons Mahlon and Kilion into the land of Moabites and lives there. After some time, Elimelek dies leaving behind his wife and her two grown up sons. They marry Moabite women, one named Naomi and the other one is Ruth. About ten years later, both Mahlon and Kilion die leaving behind their wives without children.
News reaches Naomi that God had visited her own people and had given them plenty of food. She decided to go back to the land of her ancestors and her husband’s relatives. She decides to say goodbye to her daughters-in-law Naomi and Ruth. She even narrates to them how difficult it would be for her to raise children who would grow up to marry them.
Of course, this looks an impossible situation for Naomi and she returns to her people. For Ruth the story is different as she blankly tells her mother-in-law not to insist on asking her to return to her people. “Please, do not ask me again to leave you or to return from following you. For wherever you go I will go and where you live, I will live; your people shall be my people and your God will be my God.”
Naomi allows her to go with her and she later gets married to Boaz. Ruth bears a child by the name of Jesse who became the father of King David, the man who was after God’s own heart.
SOME QUESTIONS ANSWERED
One may ask, “Do foreigners and aliens have a part in God’s Kingdom? Where is God in the midst of a crisis like pain and poverty? How did God provide an eternal king for his people?”
Some situations given to us through Tamar, Rahab and Ruth may help us to answer some stated questions. These three great-grandmothers of Jesus Christ show us something definite about God’s silence. God may look withdrawn from a sad situation, but is busy working out a plan to wipe away your tears just the way a woman forgets the birth pangs when she looks at her born-child.
In other words, God is showing all the people in this world that He uses other people from different backgrounds to accomplish His work. The three women, by God’s grace, were part of the blessed community to start enjoying the genealogy of Jesus Christ.
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