God Can Use Anyone – Matthew 1:1-17

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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If you’ve ever wondered if God could use you in a significant way, remember that God uses nobodies. Abraham came from the family of an idolater. Joseph was a slave. Gideon was a simple farmer and hard to convince that God was going to use him. Saul was a fearful man. David was a simple shepherd and the family’s last choice. Solomon was the son from a union begun in adultery. Hosea had an adulterous wife. Jeremiah wept frequently. Peter was a rugged fisherman with no particular education. Matthew was a hated tax collector, and Paul was a vicious persecutor of Christians. These examples prove God can use anyone.

Four women in the lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ continue to prove this point. Matthew 1:3 refers to “Thamar,” which is spelled “Tamar” in the record of Genesis 38:6. She was the daughter-in-law of Judah, originally marrying his firstborn son. When Judah’s second son refused to give her children, and Judah delayed in giving her his third son to provide children, she used cunning to become pregnant by her father-in-law. Even though this was a sinful union, she is in the line of Christ. “Rachab” (Matthew 1:5) refers to “Rahab the harlot” in Joshua 6:17. Hebrews 11:31 tells us it was “by faith” she protected the Jews who came to spy out the Promised Land before it was conquered. Though a Gentile with a morally sinful past, God used her. Ruth (Matthew 1:5) was a Gentile Moabite who married the son of Naomi when their family traveled outside Israel during famine. She chose faith in Jehovah, and followed Ruth back to Israel to care for her. With a willingness to work and be counseled, she was married to Boaz. She is likewise in the line of Christ though a Gentile woman with a background in idolatry. “Bathsheba” is not specified in Matthew 1:6, but she is referred to as “her that had been the wife of Urias” with whom David begat Solomon. II Samuel 11 and 12 records the events surrounding this union with David, which included a provocative public display, and consensual coupling with David in an adulterous affair. Nonetheless, she too is in the line of Christ.

The encouraging lesson from all these examples is that God can graciously use anyone, even those with a past of sinful mistakes. One only need turn to the Lord in faith, be willing, and be available in His cause. Prayerfully report for duty right now.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."