Why Messiah?

In the Garden of Eden, at the very beginning, after Adam and Eve had sinned, God had vowed that Messiah would come: “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” God said to the serpent (Genesis 3:15). Through Messiah, God would provide a way of salvation, Satan ultimately destroyed.

The events of Jesus’ birth were foretold in many prophecies in the Old Testament. A Messiah was promised through the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesse, and David.

When identifying the people God has chosen for the good of us all, we often don't judge accurately. #Messiah #Jesus #LineageOfMessiah Click To Tweet

1000 B.C.

When identifying the people God has chosen for the good of us all, we often don’t judge accurately.

God sent the prophet Samuel to Jesse the Bethlehemite, “for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.”(1 Samuel 16:1 ESV). Jesse had eight sons, and Samuel wrongly assumed the anointed one would be Eliab, the firstborn.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 ESV).

The LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7 ESV). Click To Tweet

Jesse brought forth his sons, and Samuel worked his way through the oldest to youngest. But God had chosen none of them. Samuel asked if all his sons were present.

Oh yeah, there’s one more (forehead slap). Jesse hadn’t thought the youngest was of any account.

“There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep” (1 Samuel 16:11b ESV). Samuel instructed Jesse to bring him in, since Samuel had already looked at all the others. Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down until he comes here” (1 Samuel 16:11c ).

Jesse had left David out in the field, assuming that surely his youngest wasn’t king material. Jesse, though David’s father, had looked right past David. But Samuel was being led by God. He knew David was to become king, and so Samuel required Jesse to bring forth his youngest.

12 And Jesse sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah” (1 Samuel 16:12-13 ESV).

David was a man after God’s own heart, and now filled with the Holy Spirit. Here, at last, was one who loved God. It was because of David’s heart for God that God used his family lineage as the bloodline of Messiah Jesus.

740-701 B.C., Isaiah’s Vision of the Lord

“1 In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train/hem of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!”[may His glory fill the whole earth]

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for” (Isaiah 6:1-7 ESV). [another imagined image of seraphim below]

An image of one artist’s imagined depiction of a seraphim

As time passed, God found no repentance, no humility, no obedience from their leaders, and so He had them carried off into captivity in Babylon, where they were kept for seventy years. That meant that the oldest people of Israel died there or died in the initial siege that starved man, woman, and child. The children who were alive at the end of their captivity had been born there and knew little of Israel.

And then, God released them. Cyrus even paid for the restoration of their temple. They returned to the Promised Land, just as they had after their captivity in Egypt. They started over again, from the ground up, beginning with the altar and then the entire temple were built simultaneously to their dwellings.

Matthew spelled out a lineage of the coming Messiah that has names we became familiar with when reading the recorded facts of the Jewish people during the time of captivity.

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ: Jacob, I have Loved

1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothersand Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ramand Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmonand Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.

“And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah [Bathsheba], and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaphand Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah,11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon (Matthew 1:1-17 ESV).”

There were only two righteous kings in that entire lineage, Hezekiah and Josiah. Note also the highlighted women and consider the backgrounds of each and the beauty of God’s plan to choose them.

Sadly, the generations between Hezekiah, a righteous king, and Josiah, another righteous king, produced some of the most wicked men ever seen in Israel, even though Hezekiah had been a godly king, as was Josiah on the other end of this group of exceedingly sinful kings.

When King Josiah died, the people went back to their old ways, worshiping idols and disobeying the Lord. The time of judgment had come. God used Nebuchadnezzar—the king of Babylon—to deport the people from Judah to Babylon where they would live in exile for 70 years as chastisement.

Consider that these godly kings, while still very human, loved the Lord and yet still had difficult sons. We hear little of daughters in ancient record keeping. Manasseh was the most wicked child of king Hezekiah.

Manasseh sacrificed his own children over the fires of demonic high places. The Bible was lost (found later). Many people followed the example Manasseh set, which resulted in the Lord allowing the Jewish nation to be taken away into captivity in Babylon for seventy years.

Continuing the lineage:

12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, who was the father of Zerubbabel, [who rebuilt the temple after the captivity]13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ, the most important name on this lineage. (Matthew 1:12-18).

This confirms the godly character of Joseph. Not only was he of the lineage of many godly men, but his lineage was peopled by men who did NOT sacrifice their children to pagan idols. Joseph handled Mary and her pregnancy with the greatest care, recognizing that God was involved in the conception and that she had done nothing sinful, and yet, she was with child.

An angel came to Joseph in a dream, affirming all of this. And then angels directed Joseph where to go.

Of course, it was widely believed that the baby Mary carried was the son of Joseph, and indeed, Jesus was raised by Joseph, and was taught to be a carpenter and a stonemason by Joseph, working alongside His younger brothers: James, Joses (a form of Joseph), Simon, and Jude

God Himself is the Father of Jesus

17 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. (Matthew 1:1-17 ESV). And, here we have arrived.

Messiah was born to Mary, as detailed in my Christmas posts: Peace with God at Christmas, Unto Us is Born a Savior, The Role of Christmas in God’s Glorious Story, and Turning our Hearts at Christmas.

Now, what comes next? No longer were their oppressors Persian or Egyptians. No, the oppressors were now the Romans and the oppressive rigidity of the Pharisees. The people were oppressed by the false teachings of the preachers of the Pharisees and Sadducees. There was no growth. There was a growing burden of legalism.

The mighty tree of the people of God seems to have been chopped down to the ground. Will God ever speak to them again, as He has done in the past? Will they ever regain the glory of David’s and Solomon’s reigns? Both men who loved God, flawed though they were, men who made Israel strong.

Is there hope for a shoot to come forth out of that sawed off stump?

The Stump

I am a Bible Gateway Partner and Affiliate, one of many bloggers on the Blogger Grid, #bgbg2.

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Illustration of Isaiah in header:

Creator: Clive Uptton 

Copyright: © Look and Learn

I am a Bible Gateway Partner and Affiliate, one of many bloggers on the Blogger Grid, #bgbg2.

My blog is also available on the BG² portfolio at https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/bloggergrid/:. 

My Twitter account @MelindaVInman is on the Bible Gateway Twitter List: http://bg4.me/1DNKdv2.