“I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.”

(Joshua 2:9-13 ESV)

Without the books of history Christians wouldn’t know the details of the lineage of Christ within the Jews, when in fact that story is, well,  full of surprises. We wouldn’t know about the heroes, the heroines, the failures, and the active faith of some of his ancestors. It’s not surprising that the Lord would weave into the books of history, as part of the Scriptures, details about Christ’s forefathers.

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27 ESV)

What is surprising isn’t that the Bible chooses to highlight the lives of some of his ancestors, but that it often chooses to make mention of the most unlikely candidates as ancestors of Christ. Why dwell on the story of Rahab the harlot? Why not downplay Ruth the Moabitess? Couldn’t it have skipped Tamar (who committed incest) or the adultery of Bathsheba? But the Bible, unapologetic, presents these women among silent dozens of others. I appreciate this for two reasons:

  1. The dubious record of some of his greatest ancestors means nobody is too low for Christ to come out from or to save.
  2. The faith of the ancestors of Christ connects the Old Testament to the New, where faith alone advances the Christian (cf. Heb 11).

Rahab believed in Jehovah, and her faith united her to Him and His people. She married Salmon and produced Boaz, the great grandfather of David. But he will have to wait for the next post.

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