I sat in church and blinked back the tears.
It didn’t matter, they rolled down my cheeks anyway.
As our pastor read through Matthew 1, I couldn’t stop my emotions from telling on me.
My heart was overwhelmed by the grace of God.
Each and every name in the lineage of Jesus is precious.
Most, don’t have anything more than their name and who was their father and who was their son.
But they hold an incredible honor of being linked directly to Jesus Christ.
As precious as that is, what caused my deep emotion was the four women included.
Matthew 1:3 NKJV — Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram.
Matthew 1:4 NKJV — Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon.
Matthew 1:5 NKJV — Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse,
Matthew 1:6 NKJV — and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.
Within these four verses are four women who are included and each one has the incredible story of God’s grace upon their lives.
Tamar was the mother of Perez, because her father-in-law was refusing to do what was right, she “played the harlot”, and became pregnant by him. (Genesis 38:6-26)
Yet, when the truth came out Judah testifies that Tamar was more righteous than he was and the wrong is not repeated. (Genesis 38:26)
Rehab was a harlot by occupation, yet she had the wisdom to see the God of the Israelites was the one true God.
She risked herself and hid the spies from her own people and in return she gained a brand new future for herself and her entire family. (Joshua 2, 6:17,25)
Afterward, she married an Israelite man, Salmon, and was the mother of a very honorable man, Boaz.
Ruth’s story is full of inspiration.
She was from the hated people of Moab.
Her life had been marred by grief, first from a barren womb and then from the death of her husband.
Her mother-in-law had suffered much as well and when she was to return to Israel, Ruth chose to leave her people, her people’s ways, her people’s idolatry, and she clung to Naomi.
They arrived in Bethlehem, but things didn’t get easier.
Ruth was reduced to gleaning the fields, the law’s provision for those who were poor.
Yet, she did what was needed and she must have done it well, for she was noticed and God ends her story as a joyful wife and mother. (Book of Ruth)
The last woman was not named by her own name: Bathsheba, but rather by her first husband’s name.
He was a man of integrity and honor. (2 Sam. 23:39, 1 Ch. 11:41)
He served God and the king with righteousness and it cost him his life.
For King David had fallen into adultery and when he couldn’t trick Uriah into thinking the child in his wife was his own, the king sent word by his own hand, to have him killed in battle. (2 Sam. 11)
The consequences of this were grave and Bathsheba went through terrible loss. (2 Sam. 12:1-25)
Yet, God blessed her marriage with King David and they had four sons. (1 Ch. 3:5)
God’s grace in the lives of these four women astound me.
As I listened to their names being read my heart was encouraged again by the vast depth and awesome impact of a life which God touches.
And He is the same today.
His grace is amazing and He gives it to those who are willing.
Matthew 16:24 KJV — Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
May our hearts be encouraged and our minds inspired to choose to follow Jesus and walk in His grace, today.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for walking with us and showing us such incredible grace and mercy. Lord, Your Word is full of those who chose to obey You and the marvelous ways You used their lives. Lord, I want to be one of them. I want to choose You daily and to live as Your servant, Your friend. I want my life to be completely surrendered before You, that You might be glorified. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the encouragement. Thank You for Your instruction. Lord, I give You this day and I praise Your holy name! Amen.