Four Women That God Chose to be in the Lineage of His Son, Jesus Christ
by Shari Hervold
Four Old Testament women are mentioned in the book of Matthew in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Who they are and how they got there may surprise some of you. But God is God and, while we don't always know why or even how He does what He does, we know that we can trust Him to have a master plan He is working out....for the good of those whose trust is in Him.
The first woman mentioned is Tamar, the young Canaanite woman selected by Judah to be the bride of his oldest son, Er. When Er died childless, according to tradition and the Levirate marriage law, the next closest of kin was to impregnate the widow and any son born of that union would be considered the son of the childless husband. The whole sordid story is recorded in Genesis 38, which you can read. But, because the next brother chose not to impregnate her and the youngest son was not yet marriageable age, Tamar was left to remain a widow until the youngest son reached the age of maturity, at which time Judah was obligated to give him in marriage to Tamar. Yet when Shelah, the youngest son, was old enough to marry, Judah reneged on his legal and moral responsibility and made no effort to marry Shelah to Tamar, leaving her childless. At this point Tamar did something that we might deem devious, but took a lot of courage never-the-less. She dressed up as a prostitute and seduced, not Shelah, but Judah, became impregnated by him and bore twin sons, Perez and Zerah whom Judah fully acknowledged as his. Now, we may not approve of the actions of either of these individuals and they certainly acted in disobedience to God, but we must acknowledge that Tamar was exceptional for her time period, practicing great courage in holding her ground to what was rightfully hers and preserving the line of Judah. God's grace is manifest in this story, using Tamar's moral downfall and using it in a way only He could because Christ was born through the lineage of Perez, her son. All of this could only happen through the grace, mercy, and strength of God. Her success was totally dependent upon Him. In the next post we will learn about the second woman mentioned in Matthew's genealogy, Rahab.
Reflection: God sent His son, Jesus Christ, to become the sacrifice for the sins of the world. If this is a truth that has been lost on you, but you now want to acknowledge that you are in need of a savior and confess your sins and accept the death of Christ on a cross as a penalty for those sins, you will become a child of God. Because Christ was resurrected from the dead, you too will have eternal life. I invite you to make this decision today.
Ancestry of Jesus Christ
Matthew 1 Amplified Bible (AMP)
1 - The book of the ancestry (genealogy) of Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the son (descendant) of David, the son (descendant) of Abraham.
2 - Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
3 - Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Aram,
4 - Aram the father of Aminadab, Aminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahsson the father of Salmon,
5 - Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,
6 - Jesse the father of King David, King David the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah, Bathsheba.