Skeletons in Christ’s Family Tree
by Cliff Cinamon
Resources to aid your Understanding
We all have skeletons in our closet. If they were made known some would be highly embarrassed others would be ruined. Why? Because men and women have a sin nature we have all inherited from Adam and Eve after their disobedience in the garden.
God put emnity between the serpent and the woman, a curse as part of the judgement they both received. 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.(Genesis 3:15) Ever since Lucifer, “son of the morning, the shining one” (in Hebrew) has sought to destroy or at least corrupt the holy seed of Christ’s family lineage, because of God’s word that “you shall bruise his heel but he shall( mortally) wound your head. This word of God was fulfilled on the cross of Calvary. Along the way the “Father of lies “ has tried to undo the “Father of lights.” In the next few moments I’d like to give you a narrative of that saga in the character’s own words. It is my own interpretation of actual historical events from scripture in the form of a play.
Tamar had bad luck with men. Her first husband was evil and the Lord caused him to die. The second (her first husband’s brother) withheld the life-giving seed from her, even in intimacy despising her. A cruel thing to do to a barren woman. The Lord saw it all and took him out also.
Judah her father-in-law said, “Wait a few years. I have yet one more son you can marry and raise up a child with.”
The years were bitter living back home with her mother. She must have children! She is not going to be an old maid! Time passed . . . He is old enough . . . yet no betrothal only betrayal.
Servant Judah the sheep need sheering. You must go on a journey to the far pasture. Tamar (To herself) This is my chance. I’ll dress up as a harlot and vail myself. He’ll never know the difference. That pig of a father-in-law of mine. We’ll see who’s the fool.... He sees a tent.
Judah (to himself) My wife has been dead beyond the time of mourning why not indulge?
Judah Woman what is thy price?
Tamar What do you have?
Judah How about a nice young lamb from the flock? I’ll have my servant bring it to you later.
Tamar That’s fine sir except how do I know you’ll return. What is your pledge of security? A girl can’t be to careful you know!
Judah Sure thing, I understand. How about my signet ring, necklace, and staff.
Tamar That will work just fine. Judah unknowningly fathers his own seed to his daughter-in-law.!
. Judah What’s this I hear.? Tamar has played the harlot and is now 3 months with child. Bring her out here lets burn her for this transgression!
Judah What do you have to say for yourself woman before I pass judgement on you?
Tamar The father is the one who’s things these be!. The signet ring, the necklace, and the staff!
Judah Uh Oh! You have been more righteous than me; because I did not give you my third son. I was afraid he would die also. Go back to your mother’s. The child is mine, so be it.
A bitter widow woman bent on having a child stoops to being a prostitute to have a child by her father-in-law. Tamar is now the mother of the next descendant of Christ (Pharez).
Rahab was a common prostitute. Maybe not so common, as even the king knew of her, She lived in her own house near the wall of Jericho. One day two unusual men came to her for refuge. She had heard of these people. The fear of them had gripped the land. Now they had come here as well. What to do? No people could wipe out terrible peoples and their kings without a real God to fortify and protect them. Their God must be the one and only God. She was already somewhat of an outcast amongst her own people, yet accepted as part of society.
Rahab We are all doomed! What if . . . I surrender my life to this God. Perhaps he will save me.
A golden opportunity arises. God led two advance scouts to seek refuge to the one known for accepting strangers. Ordinarily for payment of her services. Now perhaps these two men could save her and her family’s life.
Scout Hide us quickly the king’s guard has discovered our entry here.
Rahab If I do this will you spare my life and my family’s lives?
Scout Yes, only you must remain inside this house. All who are within shall be spared. Our lives for yours. Only put this scarlet rope in the window for a sign.
Rahab Wonderful! Get under the newly hewn flax on top of the roof. Quickly!
A short time passes.
King’s Guard The men that came unto you where are they?
Rahab They have just gone. Go quickly and you can catch them on the way out of the City Gate.
The deed was done! The two scouts were let down the wall by the scarlet rope and told to hide in the mountains for three days. They rode back to camp and told Joshua all that happened.
Joshua Surely God has given us the victory for the people are sore afraid. Keep your promise and go tell all the officers about Rahab and the scarlet rope.
You all know the story of Jericho - the walls came tumbling down. None saved alive not even cattle, except for Rahab and her family. God keeps his promises. Rahab became the mother of Boaz. The great great grandma of King David.
The famine was sore in the land. No choice it seems; lets go to Moab where we can find bread and water. The girls aren’t so bad either. The brothers both married gentile girls. Orpah and Ruth were now in the family. Naomi’s husband dies first then her sons also Malon and Chilion.
Naomi Call me no more Naomi but Mirah (Hebrew for bitter).
Ten years later the famine is past. Bread is in Israel once again.
Naomi Girls; Go home to your gods and your mothers there is no future with an old widow.
Orpah agrees and goes home.
Ruth My soul is knit to yours and your God is my God. I will not leave you or forsake you.
Naomi What profit is there in going with me? If you must lets go.
Gleaning of the harvest( the droppings of the harvesters permitted by law to feed the poor). Ruth a diligent worker she loved her mother-in-law and feared the God of Israel.
Boaz Let her glean in my fields. She’s a beauty! (Ruth means beauty, some say companion)
Servant Boaz my lord Ruth is well spoken of and virtuous fearing the God of Israel.
Boaz Well, . . . drop more than usual and let her keep all she can pick up ladies.
Ruth Naomi look at all this stuff!
Naomi Where did you gather today my darling?
Ruth In Boaz’s field.
Naomi He is my near kinsman. Do as I say. Get all dressed up and put on some make-up and tonite after the threshing and dinner and all are asleep quietly get under the skirt (long garment) of Boaz down at his feet. When he wakes up do as he tells you.
A daring plan because if accused of impropriety she could forfeit any marital hopes. He wakes up at midnight.
Boaz What’s . . . this? Who’s daughter are you?
Ruth Naomi my mother-in-law sent me.
Boaz Get up very early and go home; before sunrise so no one will recognize you. Then don’t say a word until I’ve settled the matter.; This very day!
The men at the Gate gathered around Boaz and Naomi’s closest relative.
Boaz She is a closer kinsman to you. Do you want to inherit Naomi’s land and marry Ruth the Moabite..
A nearer kinsman No, you marry her and inherit the land, not me. I haven’t an heir myself, yet you know.
He took of his shoe and gave it to Boaz as a sign of release. So Boaz could redeem the land of Naomi and Ruth.
Boaz Ok, I have done my duty before the elders.
I’ll purchase the land and marry Ruth to raise up a seed to honor Elimelich’s son Malon our brother.
The elders gave, blessings to you and yours.
What a wedding..... the poor girl to the rich land owner. Cinderella never had it so good. Obed was born.
A widowed young woman, a gentile, a despised Moabite. Not allowed to be in the temple for 10 generations declared the law. She gave her heart to the one and only God and was redeemed by her near kinsman-in-law and saved by God’s providential care through her obedience and faith.
Boaz was the father of Obed the father of Jesse the father of David the King.
Bathsheba was bathing by moonlight in her courtyard and perhaps lonely, her husband was at war. Wasn’t she beautiful and did not the king live next door.
Bathsheba Maybe he’ll see me!
Her inner court yard was visible from the kings roof. She was a fair one. The king was restless and could not sleep. Maybe the night air out on my roof will help.
King ( to servant) Uriah’s wife , she’s beautiful. Bring her to me.
King ( to Bathsheba) You knew I was looking didn’t you?
Bathsheba I am yours oh king!
King What shall we do about your husband?
King Captain! Send for Uriah, give him some leave time to go home to his wife. No one will ever be the wiser if she is with child.
Uriah, a soldier to the core. He slept on the steps of the kings palace worrying about his compatriots in battle. He could not indulge himself until the battle was won. Long live the king!
Servant King David.... we have a problem.
King David General give him orders - sealed up to take to his Captain.
General (sealed orders given to Uriah) “Place Uriah in the hottest part of the battle then withdraw his support team.” Signed: King David
He carried his own death sentence. The Lord knew.... Adultery , Murder....Thou art the man...says Nathan the prophet...Nine months came. The baby died. Grief, sorrow........ One year later Solomon was born after David had repented and grieved. Bathsheba was now the Kings wife! David begat Solomon of she that was Uriah’ wife.
Mary was just a teenager. Pure in heart and body and God favoured her. It had been prophesied several hundred years ago. Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14) It wasn’t possible was it?
Angel Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the lord shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Mary How can this be, since I have no husband ?
Angel The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Joseph If an angel says so it must be God’s will done on earth as it is in heaven.
We’ll go to our home town Bethlehem and pay our taxes.
Mary It’s time hurry!
Inn keeper Sorry, there is no room in the Inn.
Mary Joseph the baby is coming now. Anywhere’ will do - just hurry.
Joseph A stable at least it is inside.
Mary Get the manger ready and some old rags (swaddling clothes) to wrap him in. Its all we have.. How unworthy I am, me Mary: a teenager, uneducated, poor, and betrothed. I magnify the Lord Though engaged, an unwed mother, a first child. A Saviour is born. Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.
What is the spiritual significance of these seemingly sordid stories in the background of Christ’s family tree?
In the story of Tamar and Judah the signet ring was an image like our modern day notary’s stamp except set in a gold ring. Adam and all of us were created in God’s image. Jesus Christ the Second Adam is the express image of God’s Glory. The necklace which holds the signet ring shows the unsearchable riches of Christ. The staff is a symbol of the King’s scepter. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He is sovereign over all things.
In the story of Rahab and Jericho we can see that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom! When faced with the reality of a certain death and an eternity without ever knowing the true God faith was exercised and acted upon. Redemption is always seen in scarlet - the blood of the lamb. The scarlet rope was a shadow of the blood of the lamb as was done forty years earlier the night before the children of Israel were delivered from Egypt. The blood of the passover lamb was sprinkled on the lintel and door post of each family’s home and the death angel went on by. Christ is our deliverer!
King David and Bathsheba were two very human parents ordained by God. He uses our weaknesses and turns our disobedience to his Glory. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.(Psalms 34:18) The King seeks us out for a bride. Our soul is a window to heaven. He sees our true self as we are naked before him. He wants there to be perfect union with Him for all eternity. David and Bathsheba wonder at the Grace of God for giving them another chance and a another son Solomon a great king in the lineage of Christ!
In Ruth we have a clear picture of our kinsman redeemer. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through Faith.(Galatians 3:13-14) We are heirs and joint heirs with Christ.
Mary the mother of Jesus was used by God so that a sinless second Adam was created to correct and cover the sin and disobedience of the first one. We are brought to newness of life by the second birth through the Holy Spirit of God when we ourselves are Born Again! For as one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto the death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.(Romans 5:19-21)
Perhaps you’re bitter, a widow, an unwed mother or a prostitute forced to make a living, an out cast, from a different race, a different culture, a different language. Perhaps you are a beautiful neglected wife with unrequited love and fell in sin far below your beginnings - sorrowful yet sinful.
God knew you before you were born. He knows your nature, your past, your present, and your future. God can use you mightily, greatly, worthily - you must come to him first. He’s waiting on you regardless of your sinful past or present. You must be totally dependent on God and believe that he is come in the flesh was Crucified, raised from the dead, and rose the third day to sit at the right hand
of God. We may have to suffer the reproach of men to fulfill the plan of God. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.(2 Corinthians 12:9 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.( Philippians 3:13) Not as I will, but as You will.(Matthew 26:39b ) I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.(Philippians 4:13 )
Surrender your life, your will, and your body to Jesus Christ - the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. It is up to you whether your destiny is to be part of Christ’s family; or rejected and shut off; discarded from eternal life. . . Dried up as useless to yourself, others and God. He will get the full Glory, whether by your obedience and surrender or by your disobedience. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!
Won’t you reserve a place in Heaven and come to his banqueting table? Let Christ spread his skirt of love around you. His signet ring, necklace, and staff of Lordship over you. His scarlet robe of righteousness about you and make you part of the royal family and freely, totally, wonderfully be your Saviour and your God! He loves you beyond measure just where and how you are now!
A woman was brought to Jesus caught in the very act of adultery. The Pharisee said, “the law says we should stone her. What do you say? (Jesus bends down to write on the ground as if he did not hear what they said to him. He listed the time each one of her accusers had committed the same sin. This is the finger of God. He knows the heart of each man there will condemn themselves.)
The accusers persist and ask Jesus again trying to trap him so they could have an accusation against him.
Jesus slowly gets up and says, “Let him that is without sin cast the first stone!” From the oldest to the youngest they drop their stones and leave one by one. He bends down and writes on the ground again. This time he writes down the accused woman’s name in the eternal book of life. Her sin has convicted her. She has repented in her heart. Jesus waits for the accusers to leave condemned before God and their own conscious.
Then he says, “Woman where are thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?”
The woman said, “No man Lord.”
Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn thee go and sin no more! He has become her Lord!”
Someone once said all the world is a stage and each of us an actor. Come to the Master he has a Devine part set aside just for you!
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