The Epic of Eden
We are now into our study of God’s mission in the Old Testament “Epic of Eden.” We have studied the genealogy of Jesus from Matthew’s gospel and noticed there are women listed there. WHAT? That is not the usual way this culture does a genealogy. Yes, besides the struggle that women always face in every culture, the inclusion of women in Jesus’ family history communicates some important information. Jesus has some diversity in his family tree.
Tamar is not identified exactly, but Judah married a Canaanite woman and Tamar was from the house of Shem most likely a Canaanite as well. Rahab (the Madam) and her family were taken in by the Israelites. She marries Salmon, and gives birth to Boaz, who will marry Ruth the Moabite (pagan). She gives birth to Obed, who will become the father of Jesse, and Jesse will be the father of David. Matthew does not list Bathsheba by name, but refers to her as “the wife of Uriah” whom David has killed in battle to cover up his sin. Bathsheba convinces David to make her son Solomon the next king. Talk about your soap operas!
Anyone who knows these stories should recognize a stock character in the residents of Nineveh. Surely all through Scripture, the key to faithfulness is responsiveness: Abram and Sarai hear a call and go; some fishermen receive an invitation and follow. Here, it is not Jonah who truly “knows” the heart of the Lord. No, it is the Ninevites.