The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers... and Nahshon the father of Salmon. Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David the king.
Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, 'Go, view the land, especially Jericho.' So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there.
Now it came about in the days when the judges governed, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the land of Moab with his wife and his two sons... They took for themselves Moabite women as wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other, Ruth.
If I never heard another Christian boast about the length of his salvation, the strength of his pedigree, or the extent of his resume, I would be grateful. Because projected on our screens, preached from our pulpits, and professed to each other, these proud points are bitter bites to outsiders.
Standing in opposition to religious swagger was a Carpenter named Jesus. His royal Identity was a closely guarded secret. Concerning His accomplishments, He claimed none: 'I can of Myself do nothing' (John 5:30).
Concerning His lineage, God named five women. Two of them were outsiders: Rahab, a Canaanite prostitute from an evil city,* and Ruth, a Moabitess widow from an evil nation.**
Here's the thing: before Jesus, we were all outsiders. Even the Jews, God's chosen people, were separated from Him by a veil. According to the Bible, over the years, His children became increasingly separated from Him by pride, hypocrisy and worldliness. Basically, they left Him, so He left them... temporarily.
Yes, Jesus changed everything. He removed the veil of separation and invited us to join Him by faith. Once done, He joined us by Spirit. But like many Jews in His day, have many Christians in our day become increasingly separated from God by pride, hypocrisy and worldliness?
Actors, models and talent for Christ: God loves everyone, including outsiders. Rahab and Ruth became two of His most famous insiders: women chosen to be ancestors of Jesus.***
If you're compelled to boast, 'Boast in the Lord' (2 Corinthians 10:17). Boast about the length, strength and extent of God's love: 'For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord' (Romans 8:38-39).
Boast about your sufferings and how God delivered you. The Apostle Paul put is this way: 'Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me... For when I am weak, then I am strong' (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).****
But for Heaven's sake, for outsider's sake, for your own sake, don't boast about your insider status.
To Be Continued...
* Brief article on the life of Rahab: http://www.gotquestions.org/life-Rahab.html
* Previous AMTC Devotion Series on Rahab: 'Royal Woman...:' http://amtcdevotions.org/royal-women-the-genealogy-of-jesus-part-2-rahab
** Brief article on the life of Ruth: http://www.gotquestions.org/life-Ruth.html
** Previous AMTC Devotion Series, 'Lessons From Ruth:' http://amtcdevotions.org/lessons-from-ruth-part-1-trials-and-tribulation
** Previous AMTC Devotion Series: 'Royal Women...:' http://amtcdevotions.org/royal-women-the-genealogy-of-jesus-part-3-ruth
*** Another of the Old Testament's chosen outsiders who became a famous insider was King Cyrus of Persia, whom God calls 'His anointed' (Isaiah 45:1). The prophet Isaiah predicted the reign of Cyrus The Great (by name) even before his birth: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+45%3A1-13&version=NKJV
**** Paul's boasting: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+11%3A16-32%2C12%3A1-10&version=NIV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Outsiders series.