Matthew 1:5. and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab
What makes Matthew’s genealogy of Christ so unique and even shocking is his inclusion of women. And not just women, but gentile women. And not just gentile women, but gentile women with a sordid past.
Rahab is the second of these women to be named in the line of Jesus. Tamar, the Canaanite, was the first. Rahab of Jericho is the second. Ruth will be third. Bathsheba (the wife of Uriah) will be listed fourth. No mention of Sarah, or Rebekah. Not Leah and Rachel. Matthew’s choice is glaringly obvious. It might even be considered disrespectful. Listing these new matriarchs creates a whole new genesis. A family tree of faith, of imputed righteousness, of mercy. Four women living outside of God’s covenant, but brought into the family of God, and blessed beyond measure because of simple yet active faith.
Isn’t that the story of Rahab that we all heard in Sunday school growing up. Rahab, a godless prostitute in Jericho, knew of God’s exploits in Egypt. Rahab trusted in the God of Israel. Rahab hid the spies. Rahab stood up to evil. Rahab hung the scarlet cord out her window. Rahab and her household were spared.
Hebrews 11:31. By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
What will your advent legacy be? Will it be like Rahab’s? Will it be “by faith?”
By faith Rahab didn’t care that she had no business being saved.
By faith Rahab didn’t let her past define her.
By faith Rahab looked forward to a secure future, not in herself, but in God.
By faith Rahab embraced the covenant community of God.
By faith Rahab hated what was evil and loved what was good.
By faith Rahab welcomed the spies. She welcomed the hard thing. She opened up her heart to trust a God she barely knew, and to put her life in his hands.
Christian, you too can share Rahab’s faith legacy. If you are in Christ, you’re already there. You have hidden the great Spy (Jesus) in your heart. You have welcomed him into your life. You have forsaken the enemy and sent him away. You haven’t left the shelter of his love. Your scarlet cord has been hung. You have displayed your trust in him from the window of your soul.
Now we wait for the rescue. For the great advent. The world around us will shake and crumble. But our Beloved has seen our faith and will come just in time to bring us home to his land, his family, his heart.
How can you display your faith in Christ this Christmas season? Is your “scarlet cord” of faith hanging for all to see? What would your faith legacy sound like if it were being written today?