Yesterday Terry was asking me where Rahab is mentioned in the lineage of Jesus. Matthew 1:5 tell us that she married Salmon and was the mother of Boaz. Boaz married the Gentile Ruth and they had Obed, who was the father of Jess, who was the father of David, who became the King of Israel.
Why is this important? Well, in Joshua 2 you can read the story. Rahab was a harlot; a well-known prostitute who lived in Jericho. When two Hebrew spies asked her to help them, she chose to hide them if they would save her life when Jericho fell. They agreed, and told her to hang a scarlet cord from her house. Her house was spared when the walls fell. See, the people of Jericho had heard of the God of Israel, and they knew it was wise not to stand against Him.
Because Rahab believed God and protected His men, she was accepted into the Hebrew tribes. Ordinarily, the penalty for prostitution was very harsh, but she was forgiven. Beyond forgiveness, she was blessed. She married Salmon, and became a part of the line of David, from which Jesus Christ was born. And along the way, Ruth, a woman of the Gentile nation of Moab, also became a part of the line of Jesus.
Both of these women are examples of the grace of God in the Old Testament.
A friend told me this week that she heard a preacher say something along the lines that we should forget the Old Testament and just focus on the New Testament.
My reaction? How ridiculous! The entire Old Testament records mankind, warts and all, but looks to the cross and the redemption of mankind through the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb. How could we possibly understand all that if it were not for the Old Testament record of God’s grace and forgiveness time after time?
As I blog through the book of Isaiah (just started chapter 47) I am overwhelmed at how often God forgave His people for falling away from Him into idolatry. That’s grace.
The Old Testament is so much more than just a collection of stories about war, murder, idolatry, and immorality. It is about forgiveness, reconciliation, redemption, and the love of God.
And it is about the prophecy of God’s eternal plan for His people, and for all of mankind. It is exciting, Full of miracles, the stories of sinful people, love stories, battles, and the love of God.
Discarding it is discarding the inspired Word of God. It is just wrong.