The Seventh Seven

I mentioned in an earlier post about the Keller sermon on Uriah's Wife. This sermon talks in detail about the genealogy of Christ. He shed new light (for me) on the "begats" and some of the reasons why it's so important for them to be there.

First of all, he makes the point that this is not a "once upon a time" story. The story of Christ's birth is fact and his lineage from Abraham is important because God promised Abraham that through him all nations would be blessed.

Secondly, through Matthew's account, we are reminded of the outcasts that are a part of Christ's genealogy. It is very uncommon for women to be named in ancient genealogies. Women did not have any social status. But five women are named in the genealogy of Christ. Not only are women mentioned in the genealogy, but women from despised races; Moabites and Canaanites.

In addition to gender and racial outcasts, there are moral outcasts in his family. Solomon was fathered by David as a result of his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba. Matthew makes sure that is not overlooked by his readers when he refers to Solomon's mother as "Uriah's wife." Rahab and Tamar are mentioned by name. A prostitute and a child (Perez) produced by an act of incest are included in Christ's genealogy. The Bible makes sure we know that.

Keller explains that Jesus is not ashamed to have gender outcasts, racial outcasts and even moral outcasts in his family. How amazing is that? The gospel is scandalous!

At the end of the "begats," Matthew counts the generations from Abraham to Jesus. Fourteen from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, fourteen from the exile to the Christ. Six sevens. The seventh seven is Christ.

Keller goes on to speak about the Sabbath in Leviticus 25. Not only was the seventh day a day of rest, every seventh year was to be a year of solemn rest. And every seventh seven (49 years), would be a year of jubilee. Slaves were set free. Land and families were restored. The Bible makes sure we realize that Jesus came after the sixth of seven generations. He is the seventh seven. This is a beautiful picture for us. How many times I have read quickly through the "begats" without seeing all that God had for me in the recording of those names.

The ultimate rest that God promised would come only through His Son, Jesus Christ. And that rest is available to all of us, no matter how unworthy we are. God will welcome us into His family through faith in His Son. And Jesus will be proud to call us His brothers and sisters.

Christmas is not just another story. It is THE story in all of history. And it is fact, not fairytale.

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Leviticus 25:1 The LORD spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, 2 "Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you, the land shall keep a Sabbath to the LORD. 3 For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits, 4 but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the LORD. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. 5 You shall not reap what grows of itself in your harvest, or gather the grapes of your undressed vine. It shall be a year of solemn rest for the land. 6 The Sabbath of the land shall provide food for you, for yourself and for your male and female slaves and for your hired servant and the sojourner who lives with you, 7 and for your cattle and for the wild animals that are in your land: all its yield shall be for food.

The Year of Jubilee
8 "You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years. 9 Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land. 10 And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan. 11 That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of itself nor gather the grapes from the undressed vines. 12 For it is a jubilee. It shall be holy to you. You may eat the produce of the field.

Comments

The seventh-day Sabbath can indeed represent the spiritual rest that Christians have in Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:28-30).

There is another aspect of the seventh day Sabbath and the lessons it can teach us, and this is directly related to the spiritual rest that Jesus Christ makes available. According to Revelation 20:4, after Christ's second coming there will be a period of 1,000 years when the resurrected saints will rule the earth with Christ. According to many Old Testament prophecies, this will be a time of great peace and happiness over all the earth (Isaiah 2:1-4, 11:1-9). With God, a day is as a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8), and there are indications from prophecy and the signs of the times that we are near the end of 6,000 years of Bible chronology (Daniel 12:4, Matthew 16:2-3).

As I point out in my blog, the weekly cycle with the seventh-day Sabbath can illustrate the 7,000 plan of God, with the Sabbath day representing the spiritual rest the whole earth will experience under the direct rule of Jesus Christ.
Danny Bryant said…
i listened to that sermon yesterday to get ready for sunday school. good stuff.
Shari said…
I have listened to these two a couple of times each since my trip home from Mt. Carmel. When I listen to Keller, there is so much, I feel like I can't retain it all without hearing it again. I need to get some new ones, too.

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