Thursday, December 10, 2009

Matthew's Begats

As you know, I've been teaching through the book of Ruth this past month. I finished up this last Sunday, and as you also know if you are familiar with the book, it ends with a genealogy. Now I confess, I used to be like most Bible readers, who come to the Bible's genealogies, if at all, as a cure for insomnia. But in teaching through Ruth, I came to see them in fresh perspective. I realized that they are all in there for a purpose-to demonstrate to us God's sovereignty over history and to show us that God is working through people, both good and evil, and through human decisions, both good and evil, to accomplish his sovereign good purposes. After all, the genealogy at the end of Ruth begins with Perez, one of the twin sons born to Tamar out of her seduction of her father-in-law Judah. This is hardly a moral example to us, yet God still worked, bringing good out of great sinfulness.

Moreover, since Ruth is all about the preservation of family, it's appropriate that it ends with a record of the family line. Something else that jumped out at me was the fact that there was no way Ruth and Boaz could know that they were literally, the two most important people in the universe in their day. Unless Ruth somehow made it back from Moab and married Boaz (who was apparently a bachelor!), the family line that brings Jesus into the world would die out. No Ruth and Boaz = No King David = No Jesus. It was such a close-run thing, and yet God was there, sovereignly working. What larger purposes, I wonder, is God using each of us in this generation to accomplish?

Anyway, in the spirit of Christmas and these thoughts on genealogies, I give you the best musical rendering ever (and perhaps the only one!) of Matthew's genealogy of Jesus. Enjoy, remembering that all Scripture is inspired by God (2 Tim. 3:16-17):

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