There is an old saying that goes: "You can choose your friends but not your relatives". I am sure that we all have some relatives that we may not be proud to claim, or maybe you have been the relative that no one wanted to claim. Either way, they say blood is thicker than water, and don't forget, all of us relatives have similar DNA. We come from the same pool.
When we look in the Scriptures we will find that Yeshua (Jesus) had some "shady" characters as blood relatives. God sure didn't try to hide the promiscuous details surrounding Yeshua's chosen line of descendants. Just imagine a family re-union of His descendants all gathered together in the same place, at the same time. We would have: murderers, women who were prostitutes, men who went to prostitutes, relatives who participated in incest, children who were products of these incestuous relationships, adulterers, many who practiced polygamy, many who practiced sorcery, etc, I think you get the picture.
There are three "seductive" situations in Yeshua's lineage that I find very interesting because of the way they are mentioned in the Scriptures and then how a final situation culminates in a "seductive", albeit innocent, encounter.
Go with me to the book of Genesis where we will find two of these seductive encounters. The first is the story of Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah. If you notice, before the story of Sodom is interjected into Scripture one has just been reading along about the life of Abraham and Sarah and their promised child Isaac, then right there in the middle of this we find the story of Sodom and Gomorrah crammed in.
So, we know the story, upon leaving Sodom and Gomorrah Lot commits incest with his two daughters and produces offspring with each daughter: Moab and Ammon; whose descendants are the Moabites and the Ammonites. In this story the two daughters of Lot seduce their father while he is drunk.
The second story of "seduction" is also in Genesis. One is reading along, chapter after chapter about the life of Joseph when all of sudden we are sprung a commercial right in the middle. Another story of seduction. This time it involves Judah. Judah has three sons: Er, Onan, and Shelah. Er is married to a woman named Tamar. Er dies without having children of his own. When Er dies, keeping the Levirate law of marriage, Judah gives Onan to Tamar as a husband to bring forth children for Er. Well, Onan doesn't like this idea and God ends up taking his life. Shelah is too young for marriage so Judah promises Tamar that when he gets old enough that he will give Shelah to her as a husband to bring forth children for Er. (Finding the Levirate law of marriage here is extremely interesting since Mt. Sinai hasn't even happened yet).
Tamar stays in mourning waiting for Shelah. Shelah is never given to her so she takes matters into her own hands. She dresses as a prostitute and places herself in front of where Judah will be passing. Seeing the prostitute, Judah is seduced by her, not knowing who she is; his daughter-in-law, and to make a long story short, this seductive story brings twins into the world: Perez and Zerah.
Now, this all brings us to the final story of a seductive encounter where two descendants, one from each of the aforementioned stories, just happen to show up and are participants in this last historical romance.
This story is found in the book of Ruth. Their names are Boaz and Ruth. Ruth is a Moabite. She was a descendant of the incestuous union between Lot and one of his daughters. Boaz was the descendant of Perez, from the incestuous union between Judah and his daughter-in- law, Tamar.
I hope you know the story. It goes like this. Naomi was married and had two sons. Her husband and 2 sons die and she finds herself going back to Israel, her ancestral homeland, with only her daughter-in-law Ruth. Naomi wants Ruth to find a husband to carry on her dead son's line. Boaz is curious over Ruth but has not made a move towards her in this regard. Naomi and Boaz are relatives. It would be only right for him to take Ruth as his wife and bring forth children. Naomi takes matters into her own hands and arranges a very seductive plan to make this happen.
It was during the Spring harvest. She instructed Ruth to go in the middle of the night and watch where Boaz goes to lie down to sleep, after he is drunk, and to UNCOVER his feet and to lay down at this feet. Now, I don't know about you but this could have turned out to be quite the situation. A drunk man wakes up and finds a beautiful woman basically lying in the bed with him, in the darkness, no one else around; not a good situation for a woman to be in. In addition, she was told to uncover his feet. Now, it would be bad of me to make accusations against the great hero woman, Ruth, but there are persuasive arguments that point to similarities between Ruth and Boaz, Tamar and Judah, and Lot and his daughters. Josephus thinks more went on here than just a beauty waiting for a sleeping man to awake. Of course, Rabbi's don't want to talk bad of her. I did find this article in "The Times of Israel" interesting: https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/what-did-ruth-and-boaz-do-on-the-threshing-floor/. After all, they were both descendants of this "shady" practice. Ever hear of generational curses.
Ok, I am gonna leave this one alone! ANYWAY - God does not try and hide the faults of people in the Bible. He tells us the good, bad and the ugly about most everyone, including the line of Yeshua.
Haven't we all had the good, bad, and ugly sins in our lives? Wouldn't many of us be embarrassed if the closet were cleaned out of all of the skeletons from the past?
Here is the deal! God knows how we and our ancestors, and our modern "shady" relatives, have messed up. He sent His son to redeem us from these dark sins. Even the generational ones. If God can forgive me, He can forgive anyone else. They just need to ask.
Instead of looking around at all the "shady" people in our lives, let's spend that time praying for them and reaching out to them with the love of God. A Moabite can turn into a Ruth, and the child of a less-than perfect union can turn into a man of God.
I see patterns of generational curses all the time, but I know a God that can break them. I know a Savior who spent His time with the prostitutes, tax-collectors and the outcasts of Israel. If He didn't shun them, then why should I ? They need God also.
In addition, no one has to be a product of their past. It doesn't matter who your ancestors were. It doesn't matter what sins you have committed in the past, no matter how dark and ugly they may have been, it doesn't matter what skeletons are in your closet. Yeshua is in the new creation business. No matter how shady your past may be, God forgives, heals, and delivers.
PS - What do I think could have happened between Boaz and Ruth? I think that some deceiving may have went on to entice Boaz to marry Ruth, tying this story to the other two in this lesson. I think it possible that Ruth could have uncovered more than just his feet. When he awoke and saw himself and saw her lying there, he having been drunk and not remembering the previous hours at all, perceived that something had gone on between them. Now, the thing for him to do was to marry her and make it right. I guess we will never know. Either way, Naomi's plan worked.