A friend recently challenged me to read through the Book of Matthew, an account of Jesus’ life with which I thought I was very familiar. Interestingly, there’s always something new to be learned when one revisits previously studied material. As I’m delving into this gospel, I’m seeing old truths that for me are new.
God placed the Messianic line in the wombs of many less than reputable women. Chapter one of Matthew lists Jesus’ genealogy. Scattered throughout the long list of His progenitors are five women whose accomplishments included prostitution, adultery and foreign birth. Ruth hailed from Moab, a nation which descended from incest (Genesis 19:30-36), and carried on generations of strife with Israel (https://www.bibleodyssey.org/places/main-articles/moab ).
How amazing that, of all the “nice” women God could have listed in Jesus’ birth record, the ones He saw fit to mention by name were scandal-ridden. Eight times as many men are listed in this chapter as are women, and the one thing that small female fraction had in common was an undesirable background. Yet God used these women with checkered pasts to be vessels of salvation.
God used dreams to accomplish His purposes and warn His people five times in the first two chapters. Five times! I read these pages just about every Christmas, yet I never noticed this glaring fact. The dreams fall into categories of:
a) guidance superintending the family into which Jesus would be born (Matthew 1:18-25); and b) life and death warnings which direct the hearers either to do or not do something which will ensure the Son of God’s earthly survival (Matthew 2:12-30).
In order for divine guidance to make a difference in the recipient’s life, obedience is crucial. In the aforementioned dreams, Joseph and the Magi acted on the information God delivered to them. The Lord roused these men in order to impart instructions, and they lost no time (but they did lose sleep) to follow His leading.
What Sin Disgraces, Grace Displaces
I find hope and a call to action in these texts. What sin disgraces, grace displaces. Simply put, God loves to use underdogs and transgressors to carry out His plans, and He may use supernatural means to reveal them. Most importantly, if we are willing to be used, we must stand willing to obey.
For more like this, check out: Morsels for Meditation…: Pedigree of a Savior
Thea Williams’s short story, “Phoenix,” appears in 50 Over Fifty: A Celebration of Established and Emerging Women Writers. Her work appears in Focus on the Family Magazine and Al Anon’s The Rap. Subscribe to Thea’s blog at www.reflectionsbythea.blogspot.com By day, Thea educates and prays for young minds at a local school district. Contact Thea at https://www.facebook.com/thea.williams.16 or https://www.youtube.com/user/theabwilliams.