Sunday, December 9, 2012

Book Review - A Lineage of Grace

As I read the book Lineage Grace by Francine Rivers there are a couple of thoughts that stood out.

You don't have to be perfect to be used by God. God can and does take your imperfections and uses them for his glory. In our world, a woman who marries her father in law, a prostitute, and an adulterer (the  other woman) are not looked upon kindly. Yet if there is a change of heart, God can use you.  All of the women mentioned at some point during their difficult lives experienced a change of heart that turned their hearts toward God.

The cultural norms of Biblical times for women are hard to reconcile with modern times. I'm sure all the women in Biblical times weren't comfortable with cultural norms that dictated they married young and bear children. When I imagine myself living back then, I think a part of me would have waged a fight.

There was a longing for the Messiah. Every generation wondered when the promise would be fulfilled. Life was full of challenges for the Jewish people and they were looking for some relief. The words of this hymn describe their ache for a Messiah:

Come Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our rest in Thee
Israel's strength and consolation
Hope of all the earth Thou art
Dear desire of every nation
Joy of every longing heart
Born Thy people to deliver
Born a child and yet a King
Born to reign in us forever
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring
By Thine own eternal spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone
By Thine all sufficient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne

I enjoyed this book and getting a sense of how the women must have lived. The thoughts I shared in the previous blog posts are only the ones that stood out, but as you read the stories you will think of things you never thought of before - deep thinking is always beneficial. But ultimately, the book is about salvation, faith and hope; when your circumstances seem insurmountable - God steps in and does the impossible. The women with their scarred pasts are now noted as heroes and God gets the glory, because He is amazing. This book also encourages women in particular to dream and to recognize that you are not limited by your circumstances or cultural norms - in God's eyes we are all equal and worthy of his love and salvation. It's a worthwhile read and I hope you enjoyed getting small look of the women that are mentioned in the lineage of Christ.

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