The Birthright (2)

Posted on November 9, 2010

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Matthew 1:17 says that in Christ’s genealogy, there were 3 sets of 14 generations, altogether 42. However, after looking back at the Old Testament, there were actually 45 generations between Abraham and Christ. There were four generations left out, and David was counted twice.

Did Matthew have a problem counting? I hope not, he was a tax collector. His job was to count. Why the discrepency? Scofield’s Bible says that it was for “the purposes of memorization,” but if you memorize it like that, you would get it wrong. I think Scofield’s explaination is too shallow. The NET Bible says that it is obviously for “theological purposes” but then they never give those purposes, so they’re not much help.

The Life-study of the Bible by Witness Lee gives some good reasons of these discrepancies and some amazing principles that are illustrated through them.

First, there were no kings from Israel included in Christ’s genealogy. After Solomon, God’s people were split into two kingdoms: Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Israel was the bigger of the two with 10 tribes, where Judah only consisted of 2 tribes. If you were there, who would you go with? I would go with Israel; it is the majority of God’s people. But God did not go with Israel. Christ came through Judah, the minority. Why? You can read Israel’s history and you will see that they were not for Christ. They were for idols and so many other things. Therefore, God went with Judah, who, although it was small, was still faithful to what God had given them. They were for Christ. The principle is the same today with God’s people. We are all God’s people, but are we solely, purely, fully, and ultimately for Christ or are we for something else?

The lesson here is: It is not important to have the most people. That’s not what God cares about. God cares for those who are faithful to what God delivers to them. Christ came through the group that had small numbers, but were faithful to God’s plan for His people.

Three generations were omitted from Christ’s genealogy in verse 1:8 of Matthew. They were Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah (1 Chron 3:11-12). Why were they omitted? Joram married one of the daughters of Ahab and Jezebel. This was evil to God and according to Exodus 20:5, God visits iniquity on the 3rd and 4th generations of those who hate Him. Therefore,three generations of Joram’s descendants were cut off.

Principle: As an unmarried believer, to marry the wrong person, even if its one of God’s people, can cause you to lose the birthright. Who we marry is very serious. Don’t let your marriage cause you to lose the birthright.

The last omission is in Matthew 1:11. Josiah’s son was Jehoiakim, and Jehoiakim’s son was Jeconiah (1 Chron 3:15-16). However, Jehoiakim was left out the genealogy. Why was this? Well, he was made king by Pharaoh of Egypt and collected taxes for Pharaoh (2 Kings 23:34-35). Egypt is always a picture of the world. So because of Jehoiakim’s involvement with the world and its politics and its commerce, he was omitted from the birthright.

Principle: As Christians, we are in the world but not of the world. Give up the world, Christ to obtain. If not, we may lose our birthright.

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Posted in: The Birthright