No matter your flaws, God can use you in extraordinary ways
By D. Clay Perkins
Saturday, December 29, 2018
“By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.” — Hebrews 11:31 (The Bible, New International Version)
Have you done it yet? I have not. But I plan to. You know, the DNA ancestry testing. All humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. With today’s science and a simple swab, multiple genomic and biotechnology companies will tell you more about your family ancestry than you ever thought possible.
Each Christmas many families gather and read the Christmas story in their homes and houses of worship. But very seldom, if ever, do we read together the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah found in Matthew chapter 1. Did you? Many of the names are hard to pronounce, and there does not seem to be much of a story. It is understandable why we would skip over this.
But maybe there is hidden a story in this genealogy, and maybe there are truths for us to remember as we start a new year. In Jesus’ family tree we read of 42 men and four women. One of the four women was Rahab. She worked in the “oldest profession” in the world, in the red light district.
What? Are you kidding me? There is a “woman of the night” in Jesus’ family tree?
God has a pattern in His Word of not hiding the flaws of those who serve Him. During the time Jesus lived on earth, if you were nobility, it was expected that you share your lineage. Who came before you and all the great things your father, grandfather, and more, accomplished would be listed in your lineage. And if you had a rotten apple in your family tree, you would leave that name out.
Not so with God. The One who is prefect has no predisposition to hide those in the family tree that were less than noble. Why, then, would we think that God cannot accept us when we find a lady like Rahab in baby Jesus’ family tree?
God has a pattern in His Word of using people with questionable character. God does not have a habit of using the elevated, but rather has the habit of elevating those he chooses. And often he chooses people from the gutters. So we should not be too prideful when God chooses to use us in His service.
Why not make yourself ready to be used by God? No one is ever so far from God that God cannot use him or her. God wants you and me to be a part of his story, no matter who we are or what we have done.
God has a pattern of redeeming the most unlikely people. That’s why in Jesus’ family tree we find this prostitute, a woman God used to hide spies in Joshua, Chapter 2. In return, she asked the spies to spare her life. And they did. With a simple scarlet rope hanging from her window, she and all the members of her family were spared.
And God is still ready to spare you from eternal harm. He and He alone is ready to redeem you and your family, to make you a part of His eternal family. A scarlet rope, in a red light district, saved Rahab’s family. A scarlet thread runs through the entire Bible pointing to our savior Jesus, offering redemption.
Never forget that God is different. He is not bothered by your flaws. In fact, if you are willing, He will save you and use you in some very extraordinary ways. He has always used ordinary people to accomplish His extraordinary purpose.
Clay Perkins is an adjunct professor at Mid-Atlantic Christian University. The opinions expressed in this column belong to the author and may not be those of the university.