Have you married into a family of believers, but things are far from perfect? Are you waiting for God to move in the heart of your unbelieving spouse? Maybe you are fearful that your children will fail to walk with God despite all that you have taught them!
You may even be the first in your family to believe, and God will use you to bring many of your family and friends with you into the faith.
It is interesting to note that there are five women listed in the genealogy of Jesus found in Matthew 1. Each one of them had some imperfections, yet God chose them to be a part of Jesus’ lineage.
Take heart as you read about these women, because they are like you and me, imperfect but chosen. They were not perfect, they made mistakes, but they all had faith in the God who forgave them and used them as part of His plan of redemption. Let’s take a look!
You can read the story of Tamar in Genesis 38.
We do not know how long she waited until she approached Judah, but a good deal of time had passed. In Tamar’s testimony, we see that God cares for the widows and those who are waiting for others to act on their behalf. Do you find it interesting that Tamar is never condemned for her actions in the Bible, however, I do not recommend this course of action! Later, the Law will state that Judah did the right thing in caring for her and her sons. Through Judah, Tamar had twin sons, Perez and Zerah. It is through the line of Perez that Jesus would be born.
She had lived and seen more than most of us ever will. Rahab’s testimony gives us all a glimmer of hope when we have made choices we regret. When Rahab heard what God had performed for His people, she believed the stories. When the spies came to her, she acted on that seed of faith, hid the spies, and helped them escape the city. In exchange, she acted again on her new faith by gathering her family and tying a red cord to her window. Through her faith, she saved the lives of her family when the rest of her city died.
Ruth married Mahlon, but no children came from that marriage. She lost her father-in-law, husband, and brother-in-law, thus leaving her a widow without income. When Naomi decided to return to Bethlehem, Ruth chose to go with her. Ruth cared for Naomi and worked hard to provide food for them.
Those who watched her, including her future husband, noticed her care and love for Naomi. On three occasions in the book of Ruth, she is known to display kindness. This wasn’t just a gesture or random act. It was her character. The kindness she displayed was of loyalty and devotion to her mother-in-law, her work, and her kinsman redeemer. God blessed Ruth by providing a husband for her who also extended his love, care, and protection to his new mother-in-law, Naomi.
We can all relate to these three women. Our patience has maybe recently been tested like Tamar’s, and like Rahab we may have made some choices in our lives that seem unforgiveable. Yet by faith, we can walk into the unknown as Ruth did, and see how God moves in our life and uses our testimony to see Himself glorified.
God used each of these women for an eternal purpose, yet none of them knew that this side of heaven. However, God is so good to have given each of them a glimmer of hope in the purposes He had for them in this life.
Today we have looked at the first three of five women in Jesus’ lineage. In our next post we will look at Bathsheba and Mary.
As you think about these women, do any of their stories relate to yours? Do you find yourself relating to what they went through?
All of us have lived a life that was dark before God shined His light into our lives.
I want to encourage you to follow their example of faith. None of them had perfect lives, but they all chose at some point in their lives to be obedient to the call of God. How about you? Have you chosen to repent of your sins and live a life of obedience to God?