Hooray! I finished reading the Old Testament this week! Whoohoo! Funny thing is, when I got to the last verse in the book of Malachi, instead of feeling elated, I was kinda sad to see it come to an end. I've really enjoyed reading the Old Testament. Like I said in an earlier post, I don't understand all of it. But what's been evident to me is that God is in control. All the time. From the beginning to the end. As I made a note in my Bible of the date and the words "Finished reading Old Testament" I had the feeling of, "Boy, I can't wait to read it all over again!"
So I moved into the New Testament. Like most Christians, I'm more familiar with the books in the NT. But ya know what? God can ALWAYS bring something new to our eyes and our ears if we're on the same page with Him. It happened to me while reading Matthew 1 this week. Now, if you'll turn in your Bible to Matthew 1, this is what you'll find in the first 17 verses: The lineage of Jesus. I've heard these verses referred to as "dry." I mean, can reading a bunch of names be inspiring?
Believe it or not, I became quite emotional as I read through the names of the men and women who came before our Lord Jesus Christ. Some that really stood out to me are:
JACOB: God himself changed Jacob's name to Israel back in Genesis 32:28.
TAMAR: She was a Canaanite woman who'd lost her husband. She did something pretty drastic in my opinion in order to have a child (pretended to be a prostitute and slept with her father-in-law Judah!), but God still used her.
RAHAB: A woman who was an actual prostitute, but played a major role in helping God's people.
RUTH: I think I would have liked Ruth.
DAVID: King David, a man after God's own heart, even though he messed up big time!!
JOSEPH: We don't know much about Joseph, but what we do know is that he was one of those really good men. The Bible says he was righteous. He was obedient to all that God asked of him, which was a lot. We don't read about him after Jesus is twelve years old, so I assume Joseph died. But what a man he must have been, given that God thought he'd make a good father for the Son of God!
MARY: Dear, dear Mary. A woman who found so much favor with God that He bestowed on her the highest honor I can imagine!
While some of the folks in Jesus' family were righteous and lived wholesome lives, some of them had "issues." Isn't it good to know that God can use anyone for His purposes?