I was reading through the genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1, and I noticed something that has escaped my attention until now. There are four women listed in addition to Jesus mother, Mary. There is Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and the Wife of Uriah. My curiosity peaked about the life of these women and why, above the men they represent, they are listed in this otherwise all male genealogy.
Who were these women?
Tamar (Genesis 38), her first husband died because he was wicked in the sight of the Lord. She was then given to his brother, as was custom in the day. He refused to impregnate her and died also. She was then sent to live with her father until the third and younger brother grew up. After being strung along, she decided that she would trick her father-in-law into having sex and ended up conceiving twins. When he found out that she was pregnant, he went to have her killed, only to find out he was the one who did it.
Interesting that Tamar would be included in the genealogy of Christ, most would leave that story off the family tree.
Next was Rahab (Joshua 2), she was a harlot or prostitute. She lied to the king of Jericho after hiding the Israelite men who came to scope out the land to destroy it. Most would call her a traitor.
God gave her a spot on the family tree. Of all the women that could have been named, she was one of five.
Then there was Ruth (Ruth 1) she also was a widower and outsider. I thought about the genealogy I have seen of my ancestors, and apparently someone had a little fling outside the race, that person wasn’t labeled by name, only by color.
God didn’t exclude Ruth for being an outsider. He included her.
Last there was “the Wife of Uriah” (II Samuel 11), aka Bathsheba. She was an adulteress with King David.
Her name is not mentioned, only that she was someone else’s wife.
Could it be that God included these women, so that years later as we read these words that we would be able to overlook our past. Instead of being condemned by it, know that we too can be accepted in the family of Christ. Their lives led up to Christ, just as the path we take can lead up to Christ. It doesn’t matter who we have aligned ourselves with in the past. It doesn’t matter what we have done in the past. It doesn’t matter if we didn’t fit in and were outsiders. It doesn’t matter if we married to the world before we came to Christ. It only matters that it all ended in Christ.