If my Christ-life is a scarlet cord, the sad and foolish, pitiful and inconsistent way I spin out my strand far too often leaves ugly lumps and frail fragments thinning down at times to threat of breaking. Sometimes the tension with which I hang on, hang on, refusing to let go, kinks up the yarn into a tangled mess, hard – or impossible – to undo. And sometimes with my too-thin or too lofty spinning, the strand drifts apart or snaps, broken!
But broken strands still being spun can yet be rejoined… And there’s another thing:
One strand alone a cord doth not make! And a multi-ply cord, with one never-failing strand, continues on, steady and strong even if all other strands should break at some point. Such is God’s grace and faithfulness, entwined with my life-strand.
Such also was the historic scarlet line from Eve down to Jesus. Times came when it seemed completely undone, irrevocably broken, even by God Himself…
Ruth gave birth to Obed, and, generations later, God sent Samuel the prophet to the household of Obed’s son Jesse, to anoint his son David as king-to-be. Still later, God promised not only that Solomon would be Israel’s next king, but also promised David himself, “When… you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever… And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.“
The eternal king would be David’s seed, David’s line. BUT…
THREAT ONE: Before David had even died, news came to him that Adonijah was ambitiously setting up and carrying out his own coronation, even as the messenger spoke! (1Ki 1:11)
… replacing the Solomon-promise strand!
Remedy for this wasn’t too hard: quickie coronation of Solomon, beating the usurper to the throne! Solomon quickly spun in firm!
But worse problems arose…
THREAT TWO: Many generations (of mostly bad kings) later, Althaliah, wicked-witch-of the-west-type queen, took over reign in place of her dead son, and, determined to eliminate the competition, ordered anyone in the royal line wiped out. Kill the children! Kill the babies! Kill them all! And she thought she did.
another woman to the rescue! Her name: Jehosheba.
“Jehosheba… took Joash [wee babe in the royal line], and stole him away from among the king’s sons [who were] being murdered; and they hid him and his nurse in the bedroom, from Athaliah, so that he was not killed” (2Ki 11:2 ).
The kingly strand grown fearfully thin – yet restored in the adventurous story you can read in 2 Kings 11.
It got worse yet. As bad as it could get…
THREAT THREE: After Joash, the kingly line grew so abominable that… GOD HIMSELF CUT IT OFF (Jeremiah 22:28-30) – and promised no descendant of King Jeconiah (alias Coniah, Jehoakim, Jehoiachin) would sit on Israel’s throne.
Now what? How could God get around His own cutting off?
Tomorrow… wonderful evidence of how precise Bible prophecy is! And how great God’s power and grace!
~for holding my life together when I fall apart,
~for clarity of mind, waking at midnight, with a problem’s solution jumping out and presenting itself in a spotlight.
~for a beautiful ballet presentation of the Nativity last night, producing goosebumps and tears of wonder
~for the beautiful young hearts of the dancers
~for a college-age friend passionate about foreign missions
~for a good time show-and-telling about spinning and weaving with fiber arts friends at a fun and friendly ladies’ luncheon
~for just enough on December’s calendar, and not too much
Seeking the Christ Child (in the Old Testament)
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I am searching for prophecies and foreshadowings of the Christ child, book by book. I plan to post (nearly) every weekday (leaving myself some margin) a short peek at some hint or promise of the coming baby who would make all the difference. Like the wise men, I’ll be Seeking the Christ Child, but in Old Testament promises and foreshadowings, and sharing what I find. I hope you’ll join me, because if it turns out as rewarding as the past spring’s pre-Easter explorations, this focus could make this one of the richest, most blessed Christmas seasons yet.
Previous posts in this series: