So, if you have started or will start the 90-day New Testament reading you are going to find that Matthew starts with a genealogy. Lets just acknowledge that long genealogies are no ones favorite part of the Bible and by about the 5th begat our eyes are glazing over. Hopefully you made it through. There is something that is interesting in the genealogy Matthew gives. It includes four women, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Uriah’s wife Bathsheba. Most genealogies at the time included only the men so for Matthew to include four women they must have been very important. The first is Tamar whose story is found in Gen. 38. But the short of it is that Judah, Jacob’s fourth son, is the founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. So he is an important man. Tamar is his daughter-in-law, and when her husbands dies she has to take extraordinary means to make Judah fulfill his obligation to her. Rahab (Joshua 2:10-21 and 6:22-25) hides the spies sent to investigate Jericho before Joshua’s army attacks. Her willingness to hide the spies and her recognition of the God of Israel as the true God were great acts of courage. Ruth, found in the book of Ruth, is the story of a woman who shows incredible love and loyalty to her in the face of great adversity. Even though she is a foreigner she stays with Naomi, her Mother-in-Law, and goes to Israel. In one of the most famous moments in the Old Testament Ruth tells Naomi, “Don’t urge me to leave you or turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely id anything but death separate you and me.” So, we see the love Ruth has for Naomi and we see God’s care for her through Boaz. The last woman is Bathsheba (2 Sam 11-12) who the text reminds us was Uriah’s wife. We remember that to cover his own sin David has Uriah killed in battle. God sees and cares for Bathsheba and her son Solomon becomes the King after David. We see the stories of these four women that even through difficult and frankly deeply questionable circumstances God is working to bring about the redemption of the people. Those stories would also remind people hearing the story of Jesus’ birth that God had previously brought about good through suspicious circumstances.
During the 90-Day reading program I will occasionally be posting some thoughts on the reading for the day. Also, our Wednesday night Bible studies will be about some part of the daily Scripture reading.