During the month of December leading to Christmas Sunday, we are taking apart the genealogy of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1) and noticing that Matthew, the inspired penman, made note of the four women found in our Lord’s lineage. These four women (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba) speak to us about the amazing aspects of salvation.
This past Sunday, it was my great joy to speak about Tamar (Matthew 1:3, Genesis 38). She, however, is not an easy character to speak about and her story, frankly, is only told in mixed company with a tact provided only by the Holy Spirit.
Tamar was the unfortunate widow of two unbelieving husbands and the destitute daughter-in-law of Judah, one of the sons of Jacob. In her desperate plight, she devised a wicked plan to ensnare her lying and dishonoring father-in-law. In the process of time, the seed of iniquity brought twin boys into this world, the sons of Judah.
After you read Genesis chapter thirty-eight, and then find out that she and her sons are included in the genealogy of Jesus Christ, you marvel and say to yourself, “How did she get HERE from THERE?”
This, however, is the story of all of our lives. How did the prodigal son get to the banquet hall of home from the pig farm in the far country? How did the maniac of Gadara sit clothed and in his right mind at the feet of Jesus, when as yet he spent all his previous days demon-possessed dwelling among the tombs? How did Saul of Tarsus leave for Damascus with intent to arrest and kill Christians, only to meet Christ and become a preacher of the gospel?
Simply put, it is amazing grace. All of these stories, including our own, are stories, which, after inspection, leave this great impression: God alone and only God can take such unsightly and wicked pieces and make something beautiful out of them!
Tamar, the incestuous widow, Rahab, the harlot, Ruth, the Gentile, and Bathsheba, the adulteress, are as much a part of the Christmas story as is Mary the mother of our Lord; for the baby born in Bethlehem’s stall was all of God wrapped up in all of man. He came robed in flesh (Philippians 2:5-9) and understands the human condition (Hebrews 4:14-16). He knows how we feel! And out of this knowledge He sits in Heaven as our Mediator to God (I Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 1:1-3, Romans 8:26).
Truly we ought to make the message loud and clear…amazing grace will always be my song of praise!