Advent Journal: He Is Faithful

“Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob” (Matt. 1:2a).

I have heard many people share their dislike for genealogies in the Bible. Why are they even in there? I mean, who cares who begot who and whatnot. I too have thought these very things until God revealed something to me while reading this genealogy that begins the book of Matthew.

The second verse in the entire book of Matthew is so important. It begins the genealogy, the family line, that would bring about the Savior of the world. Not only that, but it shows God’s fulfillment to the promise he gave Abraham so long ago in Genesis. “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing” (Gen. 12:2). This is the very fulfillment of this promise given to Abraham. And the fulfillment of this promise came against all odds. Abraham was old and his wife, Sarah, was barren. They could not have children. Not only this but twice Abraham gave his wife into the possession of another man, when if God had not intervened, the father of Isaac could have very well been in question. God was faithful to Abraham.

Circumstances can very easily destroy a family line. We’ve seen it many times in history: war, famine, or plague sweeps through and kills off an entire family line. God was faithful through all of life’s circumstance, through the mistakes made in the family. He preserved the line for Christ to come. This genealogy screams of the goodness of God. He worked through a messed up family to keep them together to bring the Savior to the world.

Not only was he faithful to Abraham, but he was faithful to all mankind by fulfilling his promise in Genesis chapter three: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). God is faithful to his word. Never once did he stray from his promise. The genealogy is a map of God’s faithfulness, showing how he preserved each person, each child, each family to create a scarlet thread woven through history to the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

The Christmas story starts here. It began with God’s promise the garden of Eden just after the entrance of sin. It began with his promise, and it was fulfilled through the family line of Abraham. The genealogy is so important to the Christmas story which is why it is the very beginning of the New Testament. It shows God’s goodness as he faithfully preserved the family of Abraham through forty-two generations to the coming of the Prince of Peace.

“So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations” (Matt. 1:17). 

Advent Journal: The World He Entered

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, thought he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped” – Philippians 2: 5-6

Fall is a beautiful reminder of the condition of the world we live in. The vivid green shade of the grass slowly fades into a muddled brown. The leaves of the tree turn brilliant oranges, reds, and yellows, then in a days time change to a lifeless brown. The air turns colder, the sky becomes cloudy. The delightful lively times of spring and summer pass into a melancholy monotony. It is a slow fade, a sad goodbye. Everything in fall points to the true condition of our world: everything is a slow fade to death.

You might have just gotten that new promotion, you may have just had your first child, you may have just won the lottery, but all of life’s circumstances are a slow fade to the end. The trees you see will die. The building you live in will crumble away. People that are born, will die. This is how life works, everything slowly fades into the sad goodbye.

This is why we wait. We wait with the hope that is set before us, that the Light might enter the darkness. It has been written on our hearts that we are in the darkness. We do not live oblivious to this, knowing only the darkness. The conscience that God gave us reveals slight hints of the Light. We know there is something more, but we do not know who it is. We cling to the promise. The promise that one would come to set things straight, to point us to the way, the way of Life. We fight against our self-absorbedness, looking up for the Light.

This is the world he entered into. A waiting world. A world longing for change, to be drastically called to new life in the glory of God. He also entered a dark world, where so many were not waiting, only blinded by the darkness, not trying to be changed from it. It was a world at war with itself, where injustice ruled and unrest is the only sure thing. The Light entered a world almost completely dominated by the darkness.

The Light entered this world.

He did not enter it haughtily or proudly. He did not enter it with dominion, condemnation, or conceit. He entered the darkness as pure light would with brilliant love, unspeakable joy, remarkable patience, beautiful faithfulness, eternal peace, selfless kindness, humble gentleness, powerful goodness, and grace upon grace.