While I enjoyed the book In the Shadow of Jezebel very much, there was something that started really bothering me when I realized that Ahaziah was Athaliah’s son. Ahaziah is in the kingly line of David which means that he is an ancestor of Jesus. But as Athaliah’s son, that means Ahaziah is the grandson of Ahab. And Jezebel. This niggled in the back of my mind as I read the book, and to be honest, I really didn’t like it. I don’t like thinking about Jezebel being Jesus’ great-great-great…grandma. I don’t like it at all.
I’m fine with Tamar being in his ancestry – she was TRYING to do what was right after all. And Rahab works for me – she repented after all. I can be magnanimous and accept a prostitute as long as she has COMPLETELY repented. The whole David and Bathsheba thing being in there is irritating to me. I mean, couldn’t the kingly line have gone through one of David’s other wives rather than the one he committed adultery and murder for? But even that, I can get over because, again, they COMPLETELY repented.
Well, I finally had to stop letting this just niggle in the back of my brain and face it. And what I had to face was a little bit ugly, I must admit. Because, what I was really saying was that I wanted only good people – people who at least tried – people worthy enough – to be a part of Jesus’ extended family.
And the reason this is ugly is because it shows an area in me that the Gospel hasn’t really penetrated yet. Because, really, who is worthy to be in Jesus’ family after all?
How good is good enough to get to be a part of Jesus’ family?
I mean, sure, God can redeem Tamar’s incestuous relationship with Judah to keep the line going. And He can redeem Rahab and David’s sins. But Athaliah? And Ahab and Jezebel? Isn’t that going a little too far?
I mean, come on. How much can God really redeem?
The answer resounds and brings me to my knees. There is truly no limit to what or whom God can redeem for His glory and His purposes!
When I try to place limits and decide who is good enough and who is worthy enough, it reveals my cluelessness about the requirements of God’s holiness, my blindness to my own depravity, and the depths of my pride to think that I might make it. Because if you had to be good enough or try hard enough or even repent well enough, not a one of us would make it. Not Tamar. Not Rahab. Not David. And certainly not me.
So, I encourage you to join me and spend a few minutes today pondering the Gospel – that in Jesus, God takes all that is broken, rebellious, and downright revolting and makes it whole, righteous and beautiful in His sight.
After all, if God can take the DNA of Tamar, Judah, Rahab, David and Bathsheba, and even Ahab and Jezebel and Athaliah and make a body to house His Own Self, there is absolutely no one and nothing He cannot redeem and make a part of His family!