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Gems From the Genealogy

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
December 21, 2022 12:00 am

Gems From the Genealogy

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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December 21, 2022 12:00 am

Despite the “coexist” bumper stickers and other unity-of-world-religion assertions in our culture today, the fact is that Christianity is different—and it’s exclusive. In fact, it’s the only belief system that is fully rooted in historical and archaeological fact. The genealogy of Jesus found at the beginning of Matthew not only attests to His surprising ancestry, but also asserts unique gems of profound truth about the Person of Jesus Christ and promises of God.

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The lost sinner is unredeemable.

Rahab was the only person in that city who was interested in the God of Israel. When those Israeli spies came and then found refuge on the roof of her brothel, having had her help and escape, they tell her to hang a scarlet cord out her window. Look, if you really believe that our God is the true God, then when we come and march against this city, we'll rescue you, but only if you give us the indication you believe.

I don't think they were gone five minutes she had that scarlet cord out the window. Looking at the genealogy of Jesus Christ shows us that God is sovereign over our past. He controls our very lineage. The genealogy of Jesus shows you Jesus' legal claim to the throne of David.

Jesus is the Son of God and the rightful heir to King David. The genealogy shows you Jesus' family tree, but it does much more. God's character is revealed as well. As we continue through this series called His Family Tree, here on Wisdom for the Heart, there are some gems in the genealogy for you to discover. Stephen has a message for you today called Gems from the Genealogy of Jesus. God's plans through history are unstoppable. As you read through this genealogy, you observe that the plan of God involves sinful people, sinful and weak and unfaithful men and women.

And yet His plans for the Redeemer's lineage to be unbroken is indeed uninterrupted. Yes, you have the inclusion of Moabites and Canaanites and Hittites, and God embraces them into the family of faith. You have Ahaz. You have Bathsheba.

You have Manasseh. If anything, this genealogy points them to the cross, just as it does us. Jesus is obviously related to a bunch of sinners, just like in your family. This is what Satan was attempting to do throughout the course of this.

In times we mentioned, he almost succeeded, and he didn't, and he won't. Even though your life is intersected by sin, you've taken that to the cross. He can't have your soul. You're secure in Christ's perfection. Even though your life is impacted by sinners, he hasn't lost control. Even though your world is governed by Satan, who longs to stop the train of God's will in your own life, nothing can derail you from the tracks upon which you will eventually ride securely into heaven. That will never be derailed. So here's the gem. It's coming from this genealogy. It's stretching thousands of years to this very day to communicate to you and me, we're going to make it.

I can't think of a better way to say it than that. You're going to make it. Because what does the enemy whisper in your ear? You're never going to make it.

I'm here to tell you, you're going to make it because you're related by faith to the unstoppable plan of God's redemption. You might notice the inclusion of names here in verses 13 to 15. A lot of names that are difficult to pronounce.

Zerubbabel was the father of Abihu, Abihu, the father of Eliakim. I'd read all of them if we had time, but we don't. Nine names are listed in these verses. And guess what? We know absolutely nothing about them.

Nothing. And don't you know that you could look up every member of the Queen of England's family and find at least a paragraph or two. But here's the King of Kings. And the only thing we know about these nine individuals is that their lives covered a period of around 500 years of history. What is God doing in that 500 year period? We don't know.

But we do know that his plans are unstoppable. We have no idea what these men made in terms of a contribution. We don't know if they were godly. We don't know if they were ungodly.

We don't know what kind of parents they were. We don't know if they were followers of Yahweh or idolaters. In fact, to us, time might indicate that perhaps they didn't matter, but not to God.

He hasn't forgotten them. In fact, they're here in this genealogy as another proof of the unstoppable chain of events and God's Spirit is whispering into Matthew's heart with the list he has around him as he's collating from Old Testament records to more current genealogies. Matthew, make sure you include those nine unknown men. I couldn't help but think about the fact that to this day the gospel of Christ is advanced by unknown men and women, young and old, who never make headlines. In fact, we have no idea who millions of Christians are today who are making disciples, advancing the gospel, building the church, how they are all interwoven into the global, unstoppable plan of God. But even though they are unknown to us, they are not unknown to God. Even in this assembly, this ministry is moved forward primarily by people unknown, people who will never come up here, but known to God.

In fact, for us, this genealogy reminds us that the same God who guided the unstoppable process of the coming of Christ in an unbroken lineage is the same God who is orchestrating the unstoppable progress not only of the church, but your life to reach his destination. You might be unknown. You might be well known. You might make headlines.

Great, go for it. You might be like me. You don't even buy a newspaper, much less read the headlines. But whether you make headlines or not, God knows who you are. You happen to be part of his unstoppable plan. Let me give you a third observation. A personal lineage of godliness is unpredictable. A personal lineage of godliness is unpredictable. And I want to touch on this briefly. I find it fascinating as you read through these names and dig back into the Old Testament for what little you can find.

Some have more than others, but you find that there is no guarantee from father to son or grandfather to grandson. Oftentimes those are listed in this genealogy in regards to their walk with God. For instance, in verse nine, you have the mention of Hezekiah. He's a godly king who cleansed the temple of former idolatries. He tore down all those shrines. Second Chronicles chapter 20 gives us the narrative. But then Hezekiah's son comes along.

Manassas is described as one of the most wicked kings in the nation's history. And he rebuilds all those pagan altars his dad tore down. He reinstitutes idolatry in the very temple that his father had cleaned out. Then, according to Second Chronicles 33, Manassas actually surprises us all by repenting. It's one of the most unusual conversion testimonies in the Old Testament. He then goes out there and he tears down those idol altars and leads the people back into Yahweh worship and you think, wow, this unusual conversion, the repentance of this man is going to change everything for generations. Then his son Ammon, verse 10, he's mentioned there, takes the throne and evidently ignores his father's repentance, ignores his father's conversion and spends his 24-month reign chasing after every idol possible.

You think that's really going to mess everything up now for generations. He has a son, Josiah, verse 11, who turns out to be one of the nation's godliest kings. He's only eight years old when he ascends the throne. Wonderful study.

He removes all the idol worship from the land, begins to renovate the temple and rediscovers the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, leads the nation to national repentance and back to God. Talk about unpredictability. A godly father has an ungodly son. An ungodly son has a godly son.

And on and on it goes. Here's the point. And this genealogical gem is true in your family tree as well as here. It is the grace of God which is to be magnified in the conversion of any, any child of God. It is God to whom we look in the conversion. Salvation is not inherited.

It isn't passed down like some kind of heirloom. The grace of God must impact the life of everyone who will believe. And in this genealogy, it is striking to me that often it has nothing to do with the testimony of the previous generation. Now let me say something that might bother you but I'm going to apply it a little bit more realistically here.

A little bit closer to home. Parents, parents be careful not to take the blame for the unbelief of your child. Parents, be careful not to take the credit for the belief of your child. Parents and grandparents by the way, be careful not to take the blame for the unfaithfulness of your child. Be careful not to take the credit for the faithfulness of your child. We lay both at the feet of Jesus and ultimately yield to his plan and his grace and his calling and I have over the years dealt with the grief of parents who are accepting this false blame that if they had only done it better, if they had only been more consistent that their children would believe. And by the way, that doesn't bother me nearly as much as the parents who might be in this assembly who will tell others, hey, mine turned out great because I did A, B, C, and D. Let me give you my four things to guarantee a godly lineage. Don't take the blame.

I think it's even worse to take the credit. You give both to the plan and calling of God. Here's another gem from the genealogy of Jesus. Tests of faith and obedience are unforeseeable.

In other words, you got more coming. Here's King Uzziah. Notice verse 9. He's mentioned by the way in detail in 2 Kings chapter 14. He walks with God. He wins one victory after another.

In fact, it said of him that he invents these rather amazing weapons of war. He's undefeated on the battlefield. And everything is bright and well in his future. In fact, he becomes king when he's only 16 years of age. And you might hold your breath, but instead he walks faithfully with God. He's going to reign, by the way, as king for fifty-two years. But somewhere along the line, seeds of pride were sown, were received, were watered in his heart.

Somewhere along the line, perhaps after another long string of military victories where Satan patiently baited the hook of self-confidence and pride and self-assurance and then Satan did with him what he's doing right now with you and me. He just waits and he waits and he waits. He's willing to wait a lifetime because late in the life of this man, the parallel account of his life, the chronicler reads this telling statement.

Listen. His fame spread afar until he was strong. And when he became strong, his heart was proud and he acted corruptly and was unfaithful to the Lord as God. For he entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.

This is something only the priests are allowed to do. Somewhere along the line, he arrived at the point. He said, look, I'm the king and I'm faithful and look at what God has done for me and I ought to be able to do that too. And he goes into the holy place to burn incense and the priests courageously stand up to him.

They say, you can't do that. And they have this rather violent argument. And while this king is arguing on his own behalf, suddenly leprosy appears on the forehead of King Uzziah, the judgment of God. They rush him out of the temple in disgrace and he ends up quarantined for the remaining years of his life.

It started out so well and for decades. And then this other test came along and this unforeseen temptation and he ended poorly. You see, beloved, faithfulness to God in the past doesn't guarantee faithfulness to God in the future. And you can believe that Satan has baited a hook or two for you and for me. And as a fisherman, he is extremely patient.

In fact, he might change the bait every so often to see if we flinch. Don't ever believe the lie that your testimony or your integrity is safely guaranteed. Your soul is. Your testimony is under attack and there are things planned by the enemy that we know not of.

But those unforeseen tests of faith and obedience will come. I've mentioned to you before, every Sunday morning, my father calls me on the telephone, seven o'clock. I think he's checking to see if I'm out of bed. I don't miss the first service.

Called again today, now 87, nearly 88. And he says, OK, what are you preaching on today? And I run the outline by him.

If it passes him, you get it. OK, there are corrections. We make them quickly. And I was going through the points of this text and these observations when I got to this one about how we can't ever slack up.

We got to make it to the tape. He interjects. Oh, that's me.

That's me. I need to make sure I end well. Uzziah started well, but ended poorly. Hezekiah started well, but ended unfaithfully. Verse nine. You got to go back in the Second Chronicles.

Let me just again do this quick flyover. But in Chapter 20 is one of the most unusual prayer meetings with the Lord, probably the kind we'd like to have every so often. He's asking the Lord to allow him to recover from this illness. He's been told that it's fatal terminal and God to his prophet says, Hezekiah, I'm going to I'm going to cure you of that illness and I'm going to give you 15 more years to live.

Wouldn't it be great to know? Maybe not, because for him, he hit the coast button. And though he had served God faithfully, he will make a secret pact with Babylon that will prove to be the undoing of that nation. He will grow distrustful in the protection of God.

Listen, maybe maybe you've had the thought cross your mind. You know, if God will just answer this one prayer, you know, I'll never doubt him again. If God would just come through in this one issue, I mean, Lord, I'll never question you again.

Just, you know, would you do this one could be the worst thing for your spiritual experience. Unforeseen tests of faith and obedience mean dependence on God should never go out of style. His mercy is new every morning. We need that deposit of mercy and wisdom and strength. And we're going to exhaust the deposit he gives us this day, which is why I'm so grateful that he said it's new every morning tomorrow morning when you get out of bed, Steve, and you got a fresh deposit. Let me drop into your thinking another gem. Number five, if you're keeping count, here it is.

I only have 27 of them, by the way, just in case you're wondering. The game plan of God is unconventional. The game plan of God is unconventional. Again, you don't have to read very long in this genealogy to discover that God is going to do things very differently than you would think he'd do them. And it's kind of as if Matthew rubs the nose of every Jewish reader in the reality of their heritage, not letting them forget some things they'd rather forget, which can be embarrassing. Verse three, he mentions, notice there, Judah, the father of Perez and Zara. Why keep going and mention Tamar? Here's the daughter-in-law of Judah. I touched on her briefly last Lord's Day, a widow. She's impatient. Judah, her father-in-law, isn't delivering the next husband to her from the family line. So she dresses like a prostitute, goes to where he's tending his flock, catches his eyes.

She conceives and then has these children. Why include the name? We get it.

We know. Why'd you have to bring her into this? Why'd you have to actually name her? In fact, by the way, she's a Canaanite. You got a Canaanite in the family tree of Jesus.

By the way, you got a Hittite too. Why mention women at all? This is a legal document. Women of the first century weren't legal heirs. Matthew knew that.

They're not even allowed to give testimony in a court of law. Matthew, look at verse five. You have the record of Salmon, who was the father of Boaz, who was the father of Obed. Oh, wait a second.

I skipped something. Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab. She wasn't someone who pretended to be a prostitute. She was a career prostitute. In fact, even though she's rescued, when the walls of Jericho come down, she's a member of that wicked population that knew they were probably the first pit stop for the Israelites. They lived in fear and trembling, even though they were wicked and idolatrous.

There have been discoveries. They kept babies in jars and put them in the walls to ward off defeat in battle. And she's got a bravo there alongside the wall. She'll be rescued because of her faith in the true and living God. But even still, you track her life and she shows up again in Hebrews 11 and she's referred to as Rahab, the harlot. What is the word of God trying to do?

Be sensational? Well, for starters, not everyone will identify with the life of an Abraham or even a David, but everyone can identify with a sinner. This is a subtle reminder from Matthew that while you might be aware of a sinner's past, don't forget their future.

We all have a past. And I think most of us would be glad it's not in print, sold hundreds of millions of times. I think Rahab would be a little embarrassed to know that she was tagged that way, but I think the gospel of grace is seen here.

In fact, let me give you number six, and this is the last one. No lost sinner is unredeemable. No lost sinner is unredeemable. Rahab was the only person in that city who was interested in the God of Israel. When those Israeli spies came and then found refuge on the roof of her brothel, and you might think, well, what in the world are they doing in the brothel? Well, that would be the one place where no one would ask your name.

No one would dig into who you were and why. When the spies left her home, having had her help and escape, they tell her to hang a scarlet cord out her window. Look, if you really believe that our God is the true God, then when we come and march against this city, we'll rescue you, but only if you give us the indication you believe. I don't think they were gone five minutes she had that scarlet cord out the window. I find it interesting in Joshua chapter 2 and verse 12, the normal word for cord is replaced with a Hebrew word that is most often translated in the Old Testament, hope. Hang out that scarlet hope in the true God.

Imagine. When those walls came tumbling down, she's rescued. More than that, she meets a man by the name of Salmon and enters the family line of the Messiah, the last person in that city you would ever think the grace of God would reach.

She's the only one. Whenever I come to her narrative, I'm reminded of a couple of years ago having the privilege of preaching in a rough, rather dangerous city, a day in Columbia. Our sermons, those of you who are old timers know, are translated into Spanish, aired in that particular city three times a day. So I went over to preach a rally. I'll never forget that. Of all the times over there, that particular one stands out in my memory. A government auditorium that could seat a couple thousand people an hour before the service begins.

It's filled and overflowing. Most of the people are walking to get there, taking a bus. I preached a simple, short sermon because when it's translated, it's now twice as long on the incarnation of Christ. My translator invited people afterward to come to the front where counselors from neighboring churches were prepared.

After an hour, an hour and a half, most of the people had finally left. Several had accepted Christ that I didn't meet, but I met one of them, one of the translators who was a counselor brought up on the stage, a woman who several people had been praying for in their little home church. The average church in that country is 30 to 40 people. They were praying for this young woman who'd come from a family that knew the Gospel but hadn't believed. They prayed that she would come to this rally, and she had. She had come to meet one of the counselors afterward and had trusted Christ. They brought her up on the platform, and through the translator, she began to talk to me, telling me that she was a prostitute. She looked to be in her late 20s, early 30s.

She said she was also a drug carrier for one of the cartels in Columbia. Then she said, today, I am choosing to follow Jesus, and I'm leaving all of that behind. Talk about a past. Talk about a future. What a future. This genealogy drives those of us who believe in Christ to remind us that we were not too far away for the mercy and grace of God to reach us. Look at your past life. Anything deserving in there, what a past. What a present where we obey Him and trust Him and depend on Him. Every so often, you ought to try to imagine.

Just go ahead 100, 200 years from now and just imagine your future. Stephen called today's message Gems from the Genealogy of Jesus. There are two more messages to go in this series, and we'll bring you those over the next two broadcasts. If you're able to make a year-end gift to our ministry, we'd be grateful. In fact, we want to express our gratitude by sending you a gift. You'll find information on our website, wisdomonline.org. You can also call us today at 866-48-Bible. I hope we hear from you, and I hope you'll be with us next time for more wisdom for the heart. the heart. We'll be back in a moment. We'll be back in a moment.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-22 00:54:28 / 2022-12-22 01:03:45 / 9

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