Summary: Notice God’s sovereignty on display in Christ’s lineage.
God’s Sovereignty in a Family Tree
Woodlawn Baptist Church
December 7, 2003
Thanksgiving is behind us and we are officially in the Christmas season. Folk are counting down the shopping days, the economic analysts are checking the fourth quarter profits, Santa is out in full force in the toy stores and malls, families are shopping and spending and making sure they’ve bought all the right presents for all the right people, stress levels are going up right along side credit card balances, and we’re already hearing the usual cries from those who say its all too commercialized. On the radio stations we’re told that we need to return to the real meaning of Christmas, but what does that mean? I’ve heard people say that the real meaning of Christmas is love, or family, or giving. There’s the “spirit of Christmas” and the “Christmas spirit.” One guy said in the paper this week that we all just need to rent a cabin in the woods and refuse to participate. Over and over we’re going to hear how Satan has duped the world and now Christ has been forgotten in it all, as though he had never thought about doing that before the multi-media days.
In Matthew 1:1-17, Matthew records for us a genealogy that we often pass over with all its begats, but I want to suggest to you this morning that there is much contained in that genealogy for us to learn. One such thing is that Satan’s work surrounding the birth of Christ is not a new thing. Now, Christmas as we know it today is a relatively modern idea with all the trees and lights and presents, but the attention given to the birth of Christ by both men and angels is at least as old as the promise given in Genesis 3:15. After the fall of man, the Lord told Satan,
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
From that day man began to look for the one who would come and bruise the head of Satan, and Satan began to work to prevent it, but if anything leaps from the genealogical record it is God’s declaration that regardless of the work of Satan He was the victor and the Savior had been born. God majestically proved the right of Christ to ascend the throne and pronounced Him King. God in His sovereign work claimed the victory and triumphantly declared that He could not be overcome!
To say that God is sovereign is to say that God’s rule is independent and absolute. Listen to what He says in Isaiah 46:9-10.
“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure…”
Psalm 135:6 says,
“Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.”
God does what he wants – He has the right and the power to do whatever makes Him happy. That’s what it means to say that God is sovereign. Because of man’s sin, God determined to bring a Savior into the world to save the world, and nothing on earth could change that! Satan could do what he wanted, could bring all the forces of hell against God’s plan, but nothing he did, nothing he tried, nothing he planned could thwart the plans and purposes of God! Now let’s read Matthew 1:1-17 and watch the sovereign hand of God at work.
“The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; and Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; and Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; and Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; and Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; and Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; and Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: and after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; and Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; and Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; and Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.”