Bad Blood In Good People Matt. 1:1 This is the record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. In America, we have the most individualist view point of any group of people in history. Yet, we may realize that our past is still connected to us. Things that we have done in the past, shapes us today. Things that our parents did may or may not impact on how we see ourselves, or how other people see us. And what our grandparents did has even a smaller impact on us, and so on. But this viewpoint isn’t shared through the rest of the world. Most of the world have a stronger sense of the effect their genealogy has on their lives. The Jews are no different to this. In fact they see an individual as just the tip of the iceberg and their genealogy makes up the rest of the iceberg. As with most here, including myself, we tend to skip over genealogy in the bible because of our viewpoint, but in ancient times, this tells you a lot about who the person really is, for them, this is very important. Where you find “son of” that means descendant of someone. Matt 1:1 Jesus the son of David, the son of Abraham. Then he fills it out a little bit more in the rest, but Matthew still skips a quite a bit of folks. And what is usually highlighted in their genealogy was the good stuff and there was the tendency to skip over the less important people. The point was to highlight who was noteworthy. What is cool is who Matthew considers noteworthy. Matthew list 5 women in his version of the genealogy of Jesus, which very rare because women were almost never considered important enough to mention. MATTHEW 1:3, 5-6, 16 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar...Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife...Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. Tamar: The story of this Tamar is found in Gen 38. Here are a few backdrops of this story. Judah finds Tamar to be the wife of his first son, Er (that’s his name). Er was evil and died. Judah has his second son take her as his wife and raise up children in his brother’s name. But he was evil also died. (Yes, but a discussion for another time). Judah probably now thinks that she is bad luck or something, and tries to postpone giving her his next son. Now with two husbands dead and no children (which is VERY IMPORTANT), which in those days is everything, since everything revolves around the men, she mourns. Judah, after his wife dies also, comes to town looking for something (wink wink), see Tamar, but doesn’t recognize her because she has her face covered, thinking she a prostitute, said to her “Let’s do it” Tamar recognizes the opportunity that was presented ask for a payment that she will be able to us later. Judah not having the payment give her his ID (aka his seal, cord, and staff). Tamar is pregnant, Judah finds out. Judah wants her to die a horrible death. And Tamar ask “what about the man who did this to me?” Judah declares her more righteous than himself. There Tamar’s son is listed. Rahab: Joshua 2 Canaanite As with most women who finds themselves in a desolated situation, with no man or children to take care of them, so women use the one thing they have left. This was or is today the choice they want to make, they turn to prostitution. And these is where we find Rahab. The children of Israel have been marching toward their land promised to them by God. They had destroyed everyone that opposed them along the way, now they were in the land Jericho, spying on it to overtake it. In this story we find the spys in Rehab house (why are they there or how they got there is left out), but Rehab is keen about what is happening here, she can give them up and died later, or save them and save her family. “I know that Yahweh has given you the land” Rahab lies and covers for them at risk to herself. This event lands her in the “hall of Faith” in Heb. 11:31 and James uses her as example of faith in James 2:25. Rahab’s lie does make a very interesting discussion of it being right or wrong. In the case found in 1 Sam. 16:1-13 God tells/ allows Samuel to use a misleading situation so that Saul won’t kill him before he anoints David king. God doesn’t not tell Samuel to lie, but added the sacrifice to make Samuels journey appear to be only one reason, but not the important reason. Jesus repeatedly tells His followers to withhold information about Himself and His miracles. Ruth: the Book of Ruth Ruth was a Moabite woman who chose to accompany her aging mother-in-law, Naomi, to Israel even though she would be a stranger there. Ruth’s devotion to Naomi resulted in her gaining a husband (Boaz) and son (Obed) and becoming an ancestress of King David. Moab: The region east of the Dead Sea. The Moabites descended from the illegitimate son of Lot and his older daughter (Gen 19:37). Moab and Israel were often in conflict. In the time of the exodus, Balak, the king of Moab, unsuccessfully hired Balaam to curse the Israelites (Num 22:1–24:25). Ruth’s place in Jesus’ genealogy hints at the universality of Jesus’ mission, as the law forbade Moabites from entering the Lord’s assembly (Deut. 23:3). Ruth’s story is cast against the backdrop of an ancient patriarchal culture, where a woman’s identity and security depended on her relationships with men (especially her father and/or husband). Her value as a wife and contributor to society was measured by counting her sons. Under these cultural standards, it is puzzling that a Gentile outsider like Ruth—who for most of the story is widowed, childless, and barren—became a luminary of biblical history. Yet she is unquestionably one of the most significant women in the Bible. (for the rest of this back drop, let me know) Her mother-n-law was Naomi, who suffered through a series of calamities, including the untimely death of her husband. Mahlon’s (son) marriage to a pagan Moabite girl compounds Naomi’s grief, for no believing Israelite rejoices over such a union. After both of Naomi’s sons died, leaving Orpah and Ruth, Orpah runs off back to her false gods, but Ruth, for whatever reason, catches hold Naomi’s God. Ruth stubbornly clings to Naomi and embraces Naomi’s God even though it means a future of poverty and suffering in a land that is not her home. She assumes responsibility for Naomi and for the family—at enormous risk to herself. Ruth’s efforts prove to Naomi that God has not withdrawn His love. Ruth 1:16 But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to 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." We see Ruth's faithfulness to Naomi, Boaz's faithfulness to Ruth, and everyone's faithfulness to God. God, in return, rewards her with great blessings. With the first three of five women Matthew list in his genealogy of Jesus, we see in most cases, Rahab been the exception, the wrong they suffered. We see them enduring for a time the consequences of the wrong that happened to them, and the redeeming power of the Lord that He was able to give them as they persevere. Theirs is a story of grace!