Unspeakable Joy Devotional

December 5th

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Family Trees and The Father’s Faithfulness. Isaiah 25:1 “O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.”

Take a few moments to read Matthew 1:1-17, the genealogy of Jesus. Don’t worry if your tongue twists as it tries to pronounce names that may be new to you. As you read, try to remember things you have learned in the past about the men and women listed. What do you know of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Do you remember the wonderful works God did among them? Can you recall the promises God made to them? What about the other names on the list? Are there some you’ve never seen before? Others you’re surprised to see?

One might expect the genealogy of Jesus to be filled with only the faithful, but as we look closer at the family tree of Jesus, we are tempted to wonder exactly what the Lord was thinking.

Abraham lied to protect his own life, putting his wife in danger. Twice. Jacob took advantage of his brother and lied to his father. Judah sold his brother into slavery. Rahab was a prostitute. Ruth was a foreigner. David was a murderer. He stole another man’s wife. Solomon allowed his many wives to worship false gods. Manasseh was an evil king whose worship of others gods went so far as the sacrifice of his own son. He even set up an idol in the very temple of the Lord.

We don’t have to go any further to know there were some family stories they probably preferred not to publish. Still, God had chosen Abraham and his descendants and had promised to bless all the people through them. The promise didn’t depend on them. It depended on God. He had a plan, and nobody thwarts His plans.

You see, even the father of the Jewish faith was not perfect, and his descendants were nowhere near perfect either. That’s why they needed a Messiah in the first place, and it’s the same reason we need Christ. They didn’t choose God; God chose them. And He used them, in spite of their faults.

Jesus said, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” John 15:16 Like Abraham, David and even the carpenter Joseph, God has chosen each of us, and He wants to use us to accomplish His purposes on earth. Do we have to be perfect? No, but like Abraham, who answered God’s call to follow, we have to be willing.

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