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The Messiah of the Israelites
“Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar…Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab… Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,(gleaned his fields) David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” From Matthew 1.
Genealogy; some people wear their family tree like a medal of honor; their forefathers were patriots, town fathers, and local heroes. Others would never have the courage to delve into their background for fear of what they might find. A cousin traced the “Gale” family, my paternal side, and found many interesting facts. The first “Gale” brothers came from England to New Jersey in the late 1700’s. We have American Indian blood and somehow Ulysses S. Grant is in our family tree.
The first chapter of Matthew details the genealogy of Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph of Nazareth. Genealogy was extremely important to the Jewish people and God had made reference to the family line of the Messiah. What I find interesting is the women mentioned by Matthew. The first is Tamar who was Judah’s daughter-in-law. He deceived and lied to her, thereby denying her a child of his lineage. She tricked Judah into fathering her twins. She sinned but God recognized her mistreatment by Judah and blessed her.
The second woman mentioned is Rahab. She was a prostitute who protected spies sent by Joshua into Jericho. Her home was on the city wall. Joshua promised her and her family safety when Jericho was destroyed. A woman who lived in sin yet had respect for the God of the Israelites and was blessed by God. The third woman is Ruth. As a young widow, she refused to leave her mother-in-law alone, even though she had been given permission to do so. Her mother-in-law sought God who led Ruth to glean the fields of Boaz. In time they fell in love, married, and lived happily before God. A foreigner, Ruth proved her faithfulness to her Israelite mother-in-law and God blessed her.
The fourth is Bathsheba, mother of Solomon, “stolen” wife of David. In the familiar story, King David saw her, desired her, brought her into his palace, and sired her child. To cover his sin, King David put Uriah, her husband, on the front line of battle and he was “conveniently” killed. Bathsheba was a woman caught in a situation over which she had no control and God blessed her.
The last woman is Mary, mother of Jesus. A young virgin who loved God enough to feel blessed by a calling that could have led to her death. Joseph, her fiancé, learned the startling details of her pregnancy from an angel and took her as his wife. Joseph’s love and protection of both Mary and Jesus and his obedience to the voice of God proved his love and faithfulness to the God of Israel.
Four of the five women in the genealogy of Jesus, suffered and sacrificed much for the people of God. Perfection was not in any of them; but God knew their hearts and blessed them. He still blesses the imperfect who love Him; like us!!
“O come, O come, Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel. That mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appears. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel”
About the Author: Eleanor Gale lives in southern New Jersey. The eldest of six children from a close Christian family (41 & 2 on the way; 4 generations / country wide), her two children, their spouses and her two grandchildren are her greatest joys in life. Although she suffers from Chronic Lyme Disease, IBS, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes – she serves God as He calls her, where He calls her, when He calls her – all in His power and strength. @ 3/05 Eleanor Gale dma A Sister’s Hugs; ChIPS
Visit her website at http://home.comcast.net/~sistershugs.