Happy Mother’s day to the mothers who are reading this post and I hope you had a great weekend with your family .
To those of you who are not yet mothers, I’m thinking of you. I don’t know His ways and I don’t understand Him often, but He has still been Faithful.
To those of you who have had children and they are no longer here, I’m so so sorry, I will never have the words to comfort you, but He can.
To those of you who are spiritual mothers and mentors, I thank you. You make a difference in people’s lives for generations to come. We rise and call you blessed.
To those of you who are mothers, you make a difference. You are seen. You are valued. You hold your families together and you are loved.
For Mother’s day 2017, I’m going to write a little about the women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus. They have been spoken on and dissected and discussed often, but I’m always grateful when women (and men)’s names are mentioned in the Bible. They were real, flawed, human and felt things. They made mistakes. They made sacrifices. They prospered and failed and loved and hated. They were known to Him and He made sure their names/ their lives were written down for us to know them as well.
In Matthew 1:1-17, the genealogy of Joseph (who was married to Mary, the mother of Jesus) is mentioned. The women mentioned by name / circumstance are Tamar , Rahab, Ruth, (Bathsheba) she isn’t mentioned by name but the Bible says “who had been Uriah’s wife”, and Mary, the mother of Jesus. In Luke 3 :21-38, the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph is mentioned as well, but the names of the women are not.
Tamar was the daughter-in-law of Judah.
She was not an Israelite, but she was given in marriage to Er. He sinned against God and was struck down. She was then given in marriage to his brother Onan, who used her, but refused to give her children to carry on the name of his brother and was struck down as well. Judah in fear that his third son would be killed as well asked her to live in her father’s house. She did. Judah dealt with her falsely, and when she saw that she wasn’t given to Selah as his wife, Tamar seduced Judah by pretending to be a shrine prostitute. She conceived and was nearly stoned for adultery, but she sent out Judah’s pledges to him for him to recognize. Judah said that she had been more righteous than him, and lets her live, but does not have sexual relations again with her for the rest of her life. Tamar gives birth to twins, one of whom would be the fore father of kings and of Jesus Himself.
Tamar wasn’t part of the chosen people, was deceived and in turn was deceitful herself. But God . God chooses to give her children and take away her shame. He chooses her name to be mentioned in His family line.
No matter how often we slip up, He can turn our lowest, weakest, ugliest moments around and use us for His Glory.
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Rahab was a harlot. The few times in scripture that she is mentioned, she is known as Rahab the harlot /prostitute. She lived in Jericho. She had heard of what God had done during Moses’ time (a good 35-40 years ago) and was terrified. She chose to hide the 2 spies that Joshua sent, but she made sure to ask for a favour. She wanted to be safe when God destroyed Jericho. The two spies promised her that her family would be safe as long as they were in the house and she had tied a scarlet ribbon in her window. She believed them and did exactly as they commanded her to. Rahab was the instrument through which her family was saved. Later she was allowed to marry an Israelite and through her son, kings and later the Messiah would come.
Rahab was not a Hebrew, she lived an immoral lifestyle. But God. God gave her the faith to believe in Him, and she and her family were saved because they had a reverent fear of Him.
What we have done is the past does not determine what God can do with us. God can and will turn your lifestyle around when you call upon Him and choose to leave everything behind for His Name’s Sake.
Ruth was a Moabite. She had been a wife, then became a widow. She chose to stay with her mother-in-law in spite of being urged to go back to he father’s family. She was hard working and went to glean grain behind the workers. Ruth was obedient to Naomi and did what she asked regarding marriage customs, even if they seemed foreign to her. She was then given a husband and a child and children , and became the great grandmother of King David.
Ruth was not of the holy and set apart people. But whatever she saw and experienced in her husband’s home made her choose to stay with her mother-in-law and follow her God. She left behind everything known to her. But God. God gave her peace and acceptance in the new land and gave her a husband and children of her own.
Do you feel unseen and unknown? And aren’t sure of how to make ends meet? Are you in a new and foreign land and lonely? I can’t say that everything will be roses and peaches ever after, but I can tell you, that God sees. God knows. He takes into account everything. And this faithfulness will be credited to you.
Bathsheba is not mentioned by name. The genealogy only mentions “who had been Uriah’s wife”. She was the grand-daughter of Ahitophel ( King David’s trusted advisor), and was an Israelite. Either she was forced by King David, seduced by him, or she did the seducing, but sexual sins lead to events that caused David to murder her husband. The child that she conceived was taken by God when he was born ( 7 days later), but she gave birth to at least 4 other sons, who were taught by the prophet Nathan. Her son Solomon/ Jedidiah would become king after his father David even though he was not the first born.
Either things she did or were done to her caused events to spiral out of control. But God. God renewed her womb and restored her honour. She was wife to one king and a mother of another. She is mentioned in the line of Jesus.
When God honours you, your past can and will become a clean slate. He will lift you higher than you imagined. He will give you more than you ask. He will do strange and incredible and marvelous works than you could not even dream of.
Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Mary was most likely a teenager when she
conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit. She was asked to do something impossible and mind boggling. She did question the angel and even though her response is similar to Zechariah ( husband to Elizabeth and father to John the Baptist), “how can it be?”, apparently her heart and her attitude were very different , as evidenced by the responses given by the angel Gaberiel to the two of them. The few times Mary is mentioned later on the gospels, the accounts portray her as a considerate mother. It is also mentioned that “she pondered all the things [that happened around and to Jesus] in her heart”
This one is interesting. By all accounts Mary seems to be the proverbial ideal wife and mother. In some accounts though, it feels like she doesn’t believe Jesus ( when she and her other sons went to Jesus when he was preaching and getting “in trouble” with the religious leaders because they thought He had lost His mind), but in other accounts, she absolutely believes in Him ( she tells the servants to do everything Jesus tells them at the wedding in Cana).
Mary’s but God. God used a simple, young, humble, possibly poor girl to bring His Son into this world. No one and nothing is beyond His control.
No matter who we are, we are loved by God. We are known to Him. He cares for us. He died for us. He rose again for us. He is preparing a place for us . And He will come back for us.
With joy, until next time.