Monday, May 12, 2008

Heritage

I've been reading recently in the book of Joshua, and this past week the story of Rahab caught my attention. It's a familiar story... of how the harlot Rahab protected the Israelite spies and then was spared when the city of Jericho was destroyed. She went on to become a respected member of Israelite society, marrying a man named Salmon. We know she ended up being a great-grandmother (several generations back) of Jesus, and she is mentioned in the "Faith Hall of Fame" chapter of Hebrews 11. What a transformation in her life to go from being a harlot to these prestigious honors!

But something else struck me this time, as well. I had never considered before what kind of mother Rahab must have been. She was the mother of Boaz in the book of Ruth. Remember what an honorable man of integrity he was? He was so gracious and kind to Ruth and Naomi. Then, of course, Boaz and Ruth were parents to Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of King David, who was "a man after God's own heart."

Genealogies are fascinating to me, particularly when you can trace the influence of a godly heritage from one generation to the next. When it comes right down to it, though, genealogy is just an interesting hobby. It doesn't matter to God who my ancestors were, but rather what I have done with the opportunities He has given me.
We're pilgrims on the journey
Of the narrow road
And those who've gone before us line the way
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who've gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
--Steve Green

4 comments:

A Romantic Porch said...

Karla, That is awesome. Happy Mother's Day a morning late! Love,Rachel

Toots said...

Beautiful truth, Karla. Thanks for the reminder. It is amazing how just one generation can turn things around--one way or the other! I am ever grateful to my mother (on her side) for choosing to do that, and for my grandfather (on my dad's side) for the same.
I owe so many so much!
BTW, I'm "paying it forward" with the tea package! Thanks again for your thoughtfulness and generosity! It warms my heart still.

Heather said...

Wow, what a new thought! I never thought about Rahab's legacy that way.

Thanks so much for sharing, Karla! And for participating in More of Him.

Farrah said...

I never thought about Rahab being the mother of Boaz, either. Interesting to ponder.

Sometimes I like to think about the millions of people who have lived through the ages...and how each and every one would have so many stories to tell. It's mind boggling!

Amazing how a single godly man can have a huge impact on future generations. And yet the Lord has been so good to judge individuals separately from their parents. In Ezekiel 18:20, which I just read in the last few days: "The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father."