Saturday, December 17, 2011

An Unlikely Story

During Advent we prepare for the coming of the Christ child. One would think that the obvious place to turn in the Bible during Advent preparation would be places like Luke, Matthew, or Isaiah. However, I am discovering this year that God began writing the Christmas story long before even Isaiah. Even more, in His story He demonstrates that He can take even what is ugly and broken and bring about beauty and restoration.....

Genesis 19: 31-32, 36-37 

 One day the older daughter said to her sister, “There are no men left anywhere in this entire area, so we can’t get married like everyone else. And our father will soon be too old to have children.  Come, let’s get him drunk with wine, and then we will have sex with him. That way we will preserve our family line through our father.”.... As a result, both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their own father. 

How is that for a heartwarming Christmas story? Can I just say YUCK?!

As stomach-turning as their sexual sin was, the deeper sin was their unbelief. They did not trust God to provide for them, so they acted in fear and took matters into their own hands.

(Sounds just a bit too familiar to me when you look at it that way!)

 When the older daughter gave birth to a son, she named him Moab. He became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Moabites. When the younger daughter gave birth to a son, she named him Ben-ammi. He became the ancestor of the nation now known as the Ammonites. 

By taking matters into their own hands, Lot's daughters achieved their short-term goal of having sons, but sin has consequences. The Moabite and the Ammonite people that resulted from this sin were generational enemies of Israel.

Not a good thing, to be on bad terms with God's chosen people.

The message is clear: Sin costs.


Look at how the Master Weaver shows us that even the most despicable sins can be redeemed.

Ruth 1:22 

...Naomi [an Israelite] returned from Moab, accompanied by her daughter-in-law Ruth, the young Moabite woman. 

A Moabitess, descendant of the sin of Lot's daughters, is redeemed by her mother-in-law's relative, a man named Boaz. Together they were the parents of Obed, who was the father of Jesse.

Isaiah 1:1-2

And a shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him—The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge of the fear of the LORD. 

Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, came from Boaz and Ruth.

But wait—it gets better. Ruth's side is only half of the story:

Joshua 6:25

So Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute and her relatives who were with her in the house, because she had hidden the spies Joshua sent to Jericho. And she lives among the Israelites to this day.  

You see, there was this prostitute in Jericho...

Lowliest of the lowly in that time, a woman....and a “harlot” at that, she recognized the Truth when she saw it. She recognized SOVEREIGNTY and feared the Lord more than her people. Because of her faith in Him, He not only spared her, He blessed her.

She lived among the Israelites and even may have married one--

Matthew 1: 5-6 
Salmon was the father of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab).

if this is indeed our Rahab, she married a man named Salmon. And God blessed her with a son

....named Boaz

…..who married Ruth

An Israelite and a Moabite.

What a creative, redemptive LORD we have!

In Ruth, God restored what was ruptured by Lot's daughters. He bound together people divided by centuries of enmity.

In Boaz, He redeemed not just the family of Naomi, but the past of Rahab.

For out of Boaz

out of Ruth

came the Ultimate Restoration. Immanuel. God with us.

 Boaz was the father of Obed (whose mother was Ruth).
 Obed was the father of Jesse.
 Jesse was the father of King David.... 

...16 Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.

Mary gave birth to Jesus, 
who is called the Messiah. 

How beautiful is that?


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