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Chosen but Flawed

Matthew 1:6b-11
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jeconiah and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon. (NIVUK)

The Lord Jesus Christ's human blood-line included some very disappointing characters. King David should never have fathered Solomon: the king committed adultery with the boy's mother and had her husband killed. Solomon’s only son Rehaboam encouraged people to worship idols and the nation was split in two. Abijah gave the impression of being godly but did not truly worship the Lord. Asa served the Lord for the first 35 years of his reign but turned against the Lord in the last 5 years. However his son Jehoshophat wanted to honour the Lord although he made some bad decisions and compromised his faith.

Jehoram brutally murdered his brothers and reigned wickedly. Uzziah was an effective king until he became proud and God struck him with leprosy. Jotham was a good king but was unable to lead the people to love the Lord. Ahaz was wicked throughout his reign; but his son Hezekiah was a godly man. But Manasseh worshipped idols and practised witchcraft, and his son Amon was worse. Josiah was very different; he loved the Lord and established major spiritual reforms. However, it was Jeconiah's sin that finally tipped Israel into exile in Babylon.

You may think, how could God choose such wicked people to be the human ancestors of the Christ? The answer is that their sins were the reason why Jesus had to come to die. Matthew probably saw his previously corrupt lifestyle mirrored in this list. And yet Matthew knew the freedom of forgiveness through Jesus' death. God chooses flawed people to achieve His purposes and Matthew was glad, and so should we be glad – otherwise none of us would have any hope. So we should be encouraged that there is no sin so bad that God cannot use us and work out His purpose through us. Of course, He wants us to repent and cooperate with Him like Josiah and Hezekiah (they were greatly blessed by God), but He has the power to achieve His plan even through evil people (although they will face His judgement).

Sovereign Lord. I am in awe of Your ability to achieve Your purposes through worshippers, failures and even through evil people. I am sorry when I have turned from Your way, satisfied wrong desires and brought dishonour to Your Name. But please help me to turn back to You, and give me the opportunity to work with You to Your praise and glory. And help me to be a good witness to those around me so that they may also seek Your forgiveness and have a new hope for eternity. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams