Giving Community: Advent Day 3

Salmon was the father of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab).
Boaz was the father of Obed (whose mother was Ruth).
Obed was the father of Jesse.
Jesse was the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah). (Matthew 1:5–6 NLT)

Out of all Jesus’s ancestors listed in Matthew 1, there are only four women mentioned other than Mary, his mother. The three mentioned in these two verses span four generations, and two of them are not even Hebrew. Rahab was a prostitute from the city of Jericho who gave shelter to Joshua’s spies before the Israelites destroyed the city and who, as a result, was invited to join the community of God. Ruth was a Moabite woman who chose to remain with her Hebrew mother-in-law after her husband died, forsaking the community in which she grew up in favor of the community of her husband’s family. Despite their heritage or background, both of these women found a home amongst a people who were not their own. In turn, the people of Israel welcomed these women as their own.

There is a warning in this passage as well. Uriah was a member of David’s mighty men, the best warriors, all of whom were incredibly loyal to David. King David, in turn, took advantage of this tightly knit community of loyal men by impregnating Bathsheba, having Uriah killed, and taking her as yet another wife. David took advantage of the trust granted to him by his close-knit community, and the ultimate result was a kingdom split in two.

Take a few moments to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you where you have acted like the Israelites who accepted Rahab and Ruth into their community and where you have acted like David and betrayed the trust of your closest friends. Then, take time to celebrate the former and ask God to lead you to repentance and restoration of the latter.

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