When reading the Old Testament many twists and turns take place. Some of the events in the bible would put soap operas like All My Children to shame. And, the characters would put JR Ewing to shame. Although, there was misbehaving, mischief and scheming in the Old Testament, it never failed that God used these schemes, people for his glory.
Rahab a very unlikely candidate to fulfill God’s purpose. She was a prostitute and lived a pagan life . Yet, she willingly hid the Israelite spies from the king of Jericho. Rahab lied to the king and his men that she did not know where the spies had gone. Thus, sending the king and men of Jericho on a wild goose chase to find the Israelites who had come to take the land of Jericho. Rahab tells the Israelite spies that she knows their history and what God has done and is doing for them. She went against the grain of her people by professing that God was the only true Yaweh to the Israelites. She made an agreement with the spies that her family and her life would be spared in return for what she had done for them. Thus, she and her family’s lives are spared and in the end God uses this unlikely lady of the evening for his glory by putting her in the genealogy of our Lord and Savior. God redeemed her and she became the mother of Boaz.
Boaz became Naomi’s kinsmen redeemer. This was done when Naomi’s daughter-n-law followed her back to Bethlehem. Ruth was Moabite. Again, a person who worshiped other gods besides the true Yaweh. However, when Naomi tried to convince Ruth to return back to her homeland and not travel with her, we are familiar with the words Ruth spoke to Naomi: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” ( Ruth 1:16) In that very monologue, Ruth denied the other gods her people worshiped and acknowledged the one true God, Yaweh. If you are familiar with the Book of Ruth any at all you know that she ends up with Boaz and they give birth to a son, Obed. Obed is the father of Jesse.
Then there was the time when God approached Samuel to bring forth his son to be anointed King. Samuel just knew his son, Eliah would be anointed because of his good looks. Yet, Eliah is not the one God wanted. After approaching God with his other sons, God asked if Samuel if he had another son. Samuel responded by saying that he had one who was out tending sheep. God told Samuel to bring David to him. Thus, we know the rest of the story….David was anointed king.
Remember the story of King David and Bethsheba? David saw Bethsheba from across the way and he was captured by her beauty. He wanted this woman for himself. David wanted Bethsheba so badly that he had her husband murdered. Not only did David have an affair with Bethsheba, and her husband murdered so that he could be with her all the time, we know that David slid on that slippery slope more than once in his life. Yet, he as a man after God’s own heart. In other words, God knew David’s heart and used all the twists and turns of his life. Not only did God use David’s twists and turns but out of Bathsheba’s and David’s relationship, a son named Solomon was born. From Solomon we get the best advice and wisdom we could ever ask for known as the book of Proverbs.
Can you see what is happening? All of these unlikely people are building the most beautiful genealogy. They are in the genealogy of prophesy being fulfilled in God’s time. The prophesy of God coming to us in human flesh,to be our redeemer kinsmen, to walk among us and to teach us of his marvelous grace. We better know this prophesy and walking human example of grace as Jesus Christ.
Oh, I could go on of unlikely characters in the bible who God uses including more women and men not only in the Old Testament but in the New Testament as well. For example, who did Christ call to follow Him? He called dirty old fishermen and tax collectors. And, there is Paul. For the longest time he persecuted the Christians but in turn he became persecuted because he became a follower of Christ.
In our society today, we have a tendency of sizing people up. We are quick to judge someone of their appearance, where they live, what they drive, what they may have done or not done, and who they know. We may even look in the mirror and size ourselves up at times and question who we really are and ask ourselves what do we truly have to offer. Yet, we fail to see the hearts of others. We fail to see ourselves as God sees us. Some of the best witnesses for Christ I have encountered in my life have been people in a homeless shelter. They have been people living on the street that gave me that word of encouragement I needed to hear at that moment. It has been people who have very little to offer willing to open the door for me or simply give a smile that warmed my heart.
Jim and I love the following commercial. The first time we saw it we were rolling in the floor laughing.
Isn’t this commercial so much of how we size people up? We see someone who is different from us, who may be dirty, have an addiction, a shady/shaky past, or not the best outward appearance and draw a conclusion before we even give them a chance? If we are going to walk in the footsteps of Christ, we must see each individual as God sees them. We must seek their heart.
Along with seeing others’ hearts as God sees them, remember the next time you look in the mirror and you find yourself sizing yourself up. When you start asking what is your purpose in life, know that God can use ALL of you, no matter your past, for his glory. Each one of us who walk this earth is a child of God. God sees our hearts and says, you are “all my children.”
- Gleaning in the Right Field (dailybibleplan.com)
- God’s Compassion (overflowroom.wordpress.com)
- We Belong to GOD (oliverbernardbrown.wordpress.com)
- Grace for Grace (theeyesoffaith.wordpress.com)