Lately I’ve been thinking about the sovereignty of the Lord. There are so many things about my life now that are only possible because of the experiences I’ve had in the past. The dreams and hopes and goals I currently have for the future are built upon things I did years ago. I wouldn’t want to be a writer had I not enjoyed writing short stories in elementary school. I wouldn’t want to create curriculums and resources for schools and churches had I not worked at both of those institutions. I wouldn’t know the importance of generosity had I not experienced it for myself. I wouldn’t appreciate health as much as I do had I not known what it feels like to be unhealthy. There are hundreds of other examples that I can give, but I don’t want to get bogged down here.
Nothing happens in a vacuum.
This is probably one of my favorite phrases. I firmly believe that everything is connected and one lone event doesn’t just happen, but is informed by a long series of events leading up to it.
The Bible is such a beautiful book because 40 authors over a span of 1500 years in 3 different languages and vastly different cultures were all used to write a beautiful, cohesive love story from God to his children. Talk about impressive!
Some of the coolest verses in the Bible, in my opinion, are about the genealogy of Christ. At first, I used to skip over these because I couldn’t say some of the names and didn’t want to sound like an idiot trying to pronounce them. A list of names isn’t all that exciting; they aren’t action-packed verses until you know the story behind them.
The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son (descendant) of David, the son (descendant) of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers [who became the twelve tribes of Israel]. Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram. Ram was the father of Aminadab, Aminadab the father of Nahshon, 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.
Matthew 1: 1-6a
There are 11 more verses in this chapter, but I just want to focus on these two, incredible sentences.
We first meet Rahab when Israeli spies scout out the land of Jericho. Though she wasn’t Jewish, she was still accepted into their tribe after she did her part and protected the spies. Rahab left her old life behind and settled down, having a child named Boaz.
If you’re familiar with Bible stories, especially if you’re a female, you’ve heard the name “Boaz” before. He shows up in the book of Ruth, where we learn that he is the kinsmen redeemer and ends up marrying Ruth and giving her a much deserved happily ever after.
Their child’s name was Obed, who the Bible doesn’t say much about, skipping forward to Jesse who was the father of David who later became king of Israel.
There are many more generations that came and went before Jesus showed up on the scene, but these few stories are incredible!
I wonder if these people knew they were part of a greater plan or if they were just putting one foot in front of the other, just taking the next right step. Did they know they would be important characters in the beautiful story God was writing? Did they understand that their actions would impact nations? I highly doubt it.
This always makes me wonder what is going to come from us that we can’t see or don’t understand right now. I don’t believe in chance and randomness, I see connections everywhere. I believe the positive changes, the God-honoring decisions that we make today will carry into to the future. Each good choice builds upon the one previous to it. When we listen to God and choose to sacrificially serve someone else, who knows what they’ll do to serve another person. When we love others well it can empower them to love others well. Kindness is contagious and who knows how that can rock someone’s world!
I hope and pray that we each take the opportunities in front of us today to impact someone’s world and show them a glimpse of God’s character.