God Isn’t Afraid of Our Mess
Merry Christmas my friends! Okay, I am a few days early, but I am happy to be one of the first ones to wish you a happy Christmas!
Recently, Ryan Paulson, of South Fellowship church gave a great message that I just have to share. If you’d like to hear the entire message, click here. He was reading Matthew Chapter 1, where Matthew lists all the people in Jesus’ genealogy. Matthew lists five women in his version of Jesus’ ancestry, (see Luke 3 for another one). Listing women in an ancient genealogy is quite unusual. But, what is even more unusual is the women Matthew chose to list:
- Tamar – who dressed up as a prostitute, seduced her father-in-law, and got pregnant with twins, Perez and Zerah
- Rehab – a prostitute and a Canaanite
- Ruth – a widow and a Moabitess (enemies of the Israelites)
- Uriah’s wife – Bathsheba, who bathed naked on top of a roof, attracting King David’s attention. David later had her husband killed in battle, and married her.
- Mary – a nobody from an obscure village, who became pregnant out-of-wedlock, and gave birth in a barn.
Wow. Not the kind of pedigree we would normally advertise. Genesis chapter 38 (Tamar’s story) reads like a plot for a racy romance novel.
Have you ever heard the statement, “God is too holy to be near sin”? Pastor Ryan says this sounds good, until you read the bible. He believes God says, “Nothing is too dark or dirty for me.” Instead, Ryan believes, “Sin can’t stand to be in the presence of God.” He says,
“Christmas is the story of God chasing down ALL the people of the world.”
How does your story read? Mine is not the greatest. In my genealogy, there is divorce, adultery, murder, gambling, domestic violence and alcoholism. In my younger days, I did not lead the purest of lives, to put it mildly. Out of that time in my life, I chose an abuser for my husband, to be the father of my kids. This man made our lives a living hell. At that time, in the midst of it, it was difficult to see God’s faithfulness to me. Why had he allowed me to marry such a person? What kind of lives could my children look forward to, coming from a home like ours?
God was bigger and better than my mess. You would never believe how wonderfully my children turned out. They all married godly Christian spouses, and live their lives for the Lord. I am unbelievably blessed.
When you look around at your genealogy, what do you see? There’s a good chance there are some unsavory characters in your bloodline. And, how has your life turned out? Has it all been peaches and roses? If you are reading my blog, the answer is probably not.
I am so thankful that God isn’t afraid of our mess. He invited some of the worst mess possible into the blood-line of his son. He isn’t scandalized by my ancestors or yours. He hasn’t given up hope for our future either.
One thing is for sure, God is for us. However, he doesn’t always bring blessing to us according to our timeline.
He didn’t for Jesus’ ancestors either. Take Ruth for example. A Moabitess, she married an Israelite but had no children, a scandal in those days. After ten years of marriage, her father-in-law died, her husband died, and even her brother-in-law died (ruining her chances of a levirate marriage). She was left with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law in a culture where women were not valued. She decided to follow her mother-in-law back to Israel where they had no home and no means of support. She went out into the fields to pick up the scraps of grain the harvesters left behind. There, she met Boaz, a godly, upstanding man. She basically begs him to marry her, (check out Ruth Chapter 3), which he does. Their child becomes the grandfather of King David, and the great, great, great . . . great-grandfather of Jesus.
Ruth’s story is a great example of God redeeming mess and making something beautiful from a broken life.
These stories encourage me. God is in the redeeming business. He takes what is broken, and makes something beautiful from it. He is in the process of doing that in our family, and he will do it in yours as well. Remember, his timing is not our timing. It may be a few generations down the road before His beautiful plan comes to fruition. Deuteronomy 7:9 says:
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
Christianity is not a self-improvement plan. We lean on Him to improve us and our children. This is my hope and my peace.
At the end of Pastor Ryan’s sermon, we sang Because He Lives by Matt Maher. Part of the song goes like this:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, every fear is gone,
I know, He holds my life, my future in His hands . . .
If you’d like to hear the entire song, click here.
Question: Have you seen God’s hand in your dark circumstances? If so, please share in the comments of this blog.
Lord, I thank you that because you live, we can face tomorrow. You are not afraid of our mess Lord; you enter into it willingly. Please give us eyes to see how your mercy enters into our story, just as it did for Jesus’ ancestors.
May the Lord bless you this Christmas,