Summary: God's plan, laughter, joy, sacrifice
Amazing Births: A Child of Laughter
Matthew 1:1-2 (pg. 681) December 2, 2012
Matthew, the record keeping tax collector, begins his gospel record as any good number cruncher would, with a list…an important and precise list, too.
“A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
If you think it’s an accident that David’s name came before Abraham’s in the intro you’d be mistaken. Most of the time names were recorded in order of importance and significance. If you don’t believe me check out Luke’s writings in the book of Acts where he lists Barnabas and Saul (Acts 13:2) being set apart. But by the end of this chapter it’s Paul and Barnabas were leaving (v. 42). Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly (v. 46). At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual (14:1).
Abraham is the father of the Jewish nation as promised by God in Genesis chapter 12:2, “The Lord said I will make you into a great nation.”
And we’ll see how God miraculously does just that in an amazing birth. But David, isn’t the first king of Israel. That distinction belongs to Saul. But David is regarded as the greatest King of Israel. The promised Savior was certainly known better as the “Son of David” than any other name.
All Jews claimed to be “sons and daughters of Abraham” but the majestic, kingly, messianic title “Son of David” seemed held for “the promised one.”
Why? Because of power. Kingly power. Majestic power. Power to throw off oppression. Power to reclaim me.
If Jesus tarries we’ll look at an amazing birth that involves King David. But today we look at maybe the second most amazing birth recorded in all of history.
“Abraham was the father of Isaac.”
If you know nothing about Jewish history you’d think, “Big deal! Abe was the father of Ike.” But Matthew, the amazing tax collector, turned “Holy Spirit inspired gospel writer,” knows Jewish history. His genealogy of Jesus Christ will begin with that second most memorable birth in history, Jewish and otherwise, and end with the absolutely most amazing birth. Let’s look at this amazing birth starting with the “birth announcement.” In genesis 15 Abram (Abraham before the covenant with God) has given up on ever having children. So in his prayers he says to God, “You have given me no children so a servant in my household will be my heir!” But listen, God shows
1. An Amazing Promise (Gen. 15:4-6, p. 10)
I’m pretty sure Eliezer of Damascus wasn’t real crazy about this promise from the Lord. He was the servant who would have received everything. But God said, “It won’t be this man. It will be a son coming from your own body.”
It was a nighttime promise because God took Abraham outside and said, “Look up. See all those stars in the sky. Your descendants will be like that in number.” Promises are only as good as the one who makes them.
Last month before the election we heard politicians from both sides of the aisle promise everything from a “chicken in every pot to pot being legalized for personal use!” And most of us would say we’ve become jaded to those promises. We know they can’t or won’t keep them. We expect them to be half kept or not kept at all.
But God isn’t a politician. He’s the creator of the universe, so when he shows you a night sky filled with stars he hung there and you’ve experienced His promise keeping ability in the past even when you’re 75 years old and your wife is 65, even when you’ve started to make other plans for your inheritance because you’ve given up, you have a choice. “Trust God, believe Him or…not.”
“Abram believed the Lord.”
This promise was maybe the second most miraculous birth promise ever made. The first most miraculous was to a virgin who found favor in God’s sight and was promised the child growing within her was from the Holy Spirit. Both Abraham and Mary trusted and believed. And because of that God put in their spiritual bank account a deposit that said, “righteous person.”
The most difficult thing about Abram’s promise from God is he had to wait 25 years for it to become true. Mary, just nine months. Abram two and a half decades. And he’s old.
II. Waiting for Amazing Promises is never easy.
God would reinforce His promises to Abraham and Sarah on several occasions through those 25 years. He would even forgive them trying to take matters in their own hands by Abraham fathering a child with Sarah’s maid, Hagar. But Ishmael wouldn’t be the promised child. God would forgive their impatience. But, man, there would be consequences.
“God’s messenger said, “He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him. And he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.” (Gen 16:12)