Updated: Jan 2
Joseph, the father of Jesus, had a family that for generations had been part of the story of God’s compassion for the outcast and helpless. His was a family tree ripe with the fruit of stories of redemption. I can’t help but wonder if his mind considered his very unique family tree when the angel told him to take Mary as his wife. We’ll take a couple weeks to explore some examples of the fruit of redemption in his family tree.
First up: Salmon and Rahab.
You’ve probably heard about Rahab the prostitute in Joshua ch. 2, but do you know who she married? She married Salmon. Was he a big deal? Maybe not, but their son was. Their son was Boaz. The Boaz who was the central hero of the book of Ruth. The Boaz that was honorable, godly, polite and generous during the days of the Judges when those qualities were rare, if not non-existent!
Salmon married Rabab and rescued her from a life of abuse, pain and obscurity by introducing her to the God of Israel and His amazing grace and compassion. God blessed her with a lasting fruitful lineage (she’s in the line of King David and Jesus).
Salmon must have been an amazing man and a strong leader in order to live in the chaotic times of Judges, marry a prostitute and produce a godly son like Boaz. Impressive! I bet he walked with God.
So, after the angel’s explanation to Joseph about Mary’s baby being from the Holy Spirit I wonder if the example of Salmon and Rahab would have provided him with courage and motivation to take Mary and stand by her side, to redeem her…literally saving her life from the stones of judgement that according to the law should have been hurled at her head. He would take her from death to life, from obscurity to honor, from shame to significance…just like his ancestor Salmon had done for Rahab.
I bet theirs was a home where the conversation never veered far from the Grace of God. Can you imagine their stories at social parties? “So, Mrs. Salmon, tell me about yourself?” Ummm…ok…” It was a story of God’s grace, his redemption, his compassion. That’s always a good story.
Have you recognized God’s grace, redemption and compassion in your story?