David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, Solomon the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asa, Asa the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram, Jehoram the father of Uzziah, Uzziah the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amon, Amon the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jeconiahand his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon. Matthew 1:6-11
We’re continuing to see some of the people from whom Jesus was physically descended. I challenge you to get into the books of the Old Testament (1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 and 2 Kings specifically) to read up about the lives of David, Solomon, and all the others. Jesus descended from these kings of Judah, and some were good, and some weren’t. It’s worthwhile to remember that, first, Jesus was descended from the world’s Godly patriarchs, then descended directly from God’s chosen kings. He was a member of the royal family. Like most people today, even those in that royal line didn’t know their full ancestry.
Some of them probably didn’t care. Rehoboam, Abijah, Jehoram, Manassah, and Amon were evil kings. It’s not that they just did “evil in the eyes of the Lord” (the common Old Testament description of their actions): it’s that they enthusiastically did evil. They willingly, willfully, gleefully committed detestable sins that were totally contrary to God’s commands. They abandoned worshipping at the Temple; they set up idols; they performed sexual acts to worship their graven gods of wood, mud, and stone; they performed human, even child, sacrifices.
These were the men God allowed to sit on the throne He established. It’s a testament to God’s patience, as well as His respect for free will, even when it (often) runs against His holy word. It’s a good thing to remember because, my friend, we aren’t so different from those evil kings of old. Just yesterday, my friend, Mark, preached an advent sermon on King David and his wayward, evil son, Absalom, who staged a revolt after incidents of incest and murder in the king’s own family. David was, as we all know, “a man after God’s heart.” Yet David sinned against God, and, years later, he refused to step in to administer justice when his heir, Amnon, raped another of David’s children.
Again, these were the children through whom God chose to demonstrate His patience and His justice. Contrast them to Jesus, who embodied God’s love and perfect justice many centuries later. Through Jesus, God’s patience and love are still displayed today. Summing it up, like good people among us, there were good kings of Judah in Jesus’ genealogy but, by and large, there were more sinners than saints.
For more reading: Matthew 1:12-17
Father, thank You for sharing Your Son’s royal lineage, for informing us of their sinful and saintly acts alike.