One of the distinctive features of Arad are their lookout points giving a view of the vast valleys and grand mountain ranges surrounding the area. It was an admitted thrill to stand in the foothills of what was once Judah and gaze across to the mountains of Moab.
The next two offenses God listed had to do with marriage: marrying outside the faith, and divorce, problems that existed among the priests as well, even in the high priest’s own family.
The story of Ruth is one of redemption. In fact, the word redemption shows up twenty-three times in this little book of only four chapters.
Having made his point with these six pioneers of faith, the writer then recalled to mind other men and women whose mention would have conjured up vivid memories of mighty deeds, great bravery, and fervent faith.
I wonder if Matthew, ex-tax collector and publican that he was, identified with these women and men at some level. Through this record God is displaying God’s grace to all people, victims and perpetrators. Even in this genealogy Matthew was already giving us a clue there is something unique and earth-shaking about Jesus.
If Matthew had ransacked the entire Hebrew scriptures he would have been hard-pressed to find four more unlikely candidates for the Messiah’s genealogy!
Listen to a story of unshakeable faith, knowing fear is the enemy of faith, and that God redeems the stories of every person who puts their faith in God through Christ!
But, if Matthew had ransacked the whole Old Testament, he’d have been hard pressed to find four more unlikely candidates for the Messiah’s genealogy than the following women.