I’m not a preacher.
But I vowed early on, to myself, after we started The Courier in 1992 to write two religious pieces a year, one at Christmas and one at Easter. I’ve broken that vow a couple of times. I’m sorry.
It would take volumes to explain where these holidays came from. Neither is mentioned in the Bible. In fact, both have pagan origins but that’s not what I’m going to talk about this week.
Instead I’m going to talk about the lineage of Jesus Christ.
Christ is first mentioned in Genesis 3:15, not by name, but by inference.
3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
This is God speaking and it’s right after Adam and Eve have sinned. He is speaking to a personification of Satan, the serpent.
Enmity means conflict. You might say it began with Cain and Abel, but that conflict has stayed with us all of our lives. Our correct response when we do something wrong and hurt someone — shouldn’t be “the devil made me do it” but instead, if we blame anyone, “Adam and Eve made me do it.”
That one sin separated all future generations from God spiritually. Of course God knew what man would do. Nothing surprises Him. Being a loving God He did give us a way out — Jesus Christ.
The seedline began with Adam, then Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahaleel, then Jared and on and on.
It always upsets me a little when people “cop out” about reading the Old Testament. It’s not an easy read, but it’s very important not only to trace that seedline but also to see the true nature of God.
God never changes.
He’s always hated sin. If you read the Old Testament you’ll see how vividly and sometimes with wrath, He dealt with man and sin.
The Old Testament also shows heroes like Abraham in a true light, where he lied on more than one occasion and even didn’t trust God when he was told the seedline would come from him.
He was old. His wife, Sarah, was old and they saw what God was saying as impossible, so they improvised. Sarah had Abraham sleep with her servant Hagar.
All the time God was teaching us lessons. One man. One woman. When you go outside of those boundaries the conflict only increases.
Sarah began to hate Hagar, even though it was Sarah’s idea.
In the end, Abraham and Sarah did have a child, Isaac - just as the Lord had said.
It’s the waiting that got them. It’s the waiting that get’s us. God’s timeline is so different.
When Isaac was born - the child of Abraham and Hagar was 13.
When the seed moves from David to Solomon interesting things begin to happen.
From Solomon it goes to Joram who married the wicked daughter of two evil individuals Ahab and Jezebel.
Man, in his own mind, would contend the Messiah couldn’t trace back to this horrendous couple. God, on the other hand, does such things to show us he can bring good out of evil.
This is also referenced in your Bible. Exodus 20:5 (New International Version, ©2011)
20:5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.
That’s exactly what happened. Joram’s seed was cursed for four generations.
Some unbelievers will hold up the fact that the seed, in the New Testament, traces from Matthan, to Jacob and finally to Joseph, who never had intercourse with Mary prior to the birth of Christ. They, therefore, say the seed is incomplete.
The seedline, however, ran on both sides. It went from Levi, to Matthat, to Heli and finally to Mary.
Let that soak in a minute. The lineage ran for thousands of years, through good and bad people and met at Joseph and Mary and even though they never consummated the marriage, God produced a son, Jesus, who would be part-spirit and part-man.
Adam, though a sinner, continued to live physically for over 900 years after he ate the forbidden fruit. But he died spiritually as a young man. We are not privy to if he ever reconciled with God.
Here again, I think God is showing that salvation is very personal. It’s between you, or Adam, and God. He’s provided a reliable map to get you that salvation, yet, he gives everyone the right to choose.
I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and New Year.